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Move About The World As You Wish: Push Back Against Osteoarthritis

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Osteoarthritis (OA) is not - despite long held beliefs that it is - an inevitable part of menopause. There is no such thing as an “osteoarthritis age”. Recent studies show that OA is a complex process that has many causes. It is a combination of factors - lifestyle, genetics, hormones – which can be prevented, slowed or modified.

A holistic, proactive perspective has long term benefits that can keep you free of what many up to now have considered a foregone conclusion. This requires an understanding of your whole body and how its various interconnected systems function with each other.

Work with your individualized healthcare team - they will help you learn about your likelihood of osteoarthritis and what you can do together to slow or prevent it.

How Does Osteoarthritis Work?

Osteoarthritis (OA) is the leading joint disease and a major cause of disability in all U.S. adults[1]. Symptoms include joint pain/stiffness, tenderness, bone spurs, a grating sensation during movement, swelling and inflammation[2].

It’s chronic, progressive and unpredictable – a joint can deteriorate for some time before the the first sensation of pain – disease that deteriorates the protective cartilage at the end of one bone where it meets another bone at a joint. When this coating wears away, it can cause inflammation and irritation.

It affects women later in life by about a decade, but they are up to hundreds of times more likely to develop certain forms.  Women between 50-60 are 10% more likely to develop OA in the hip, 40% more likely to develop it in the knee, but a stunning 350% more likely to develop OA in the hands.

Why Are Women More Prone to OA?

Women are naturally more prone to OA due to unique factors such as changes to ovarian hormones during during perimenopause or the body parts that bear the most weight or work in a lifetime[3]. There are also risk factors that are manageable and preventable, such as weight management and inactivity.

The speed of OA’s progression is dependent on the interaction of all of the above factors.

How Fast Can OA Progress?

It is unpredictable in and of itself, and this unpredictability is exacerbated by the number of preventable and unpreventable causes. However, with a thorough knowledge of your own body and constant monitoring of your own health and wellbeing you can help determine if, when and how long OA will progress and prevent perimenopause aches and pains.

Here are three possible stages of OA progression[4]:
  • Slow, progressive deterioration over several decades
  • A very rapid deterioration of the cartilage leading to complete loss within 12 to 24 months (this is officially termed “rapidly destructive osteoarthritis)
  • A hybrid of the two, in which the sufferer experiences periods of rapid deterioration between periods of slow deterioration.

Can Osteoarthritis be Treated or Prevented?

Currently there is no cure nor direct treatment for osteoarthritis. Current treatments for target pain or disability symptoms. As there is no one osteoarthritis cause, there is no single treatment.

The best way to manage, slow or prevent the onset of osteoarthritis is via a proactive approach, knowing your body and whether or not OA is something to be concerned about before it happens.

Test for the Root Cause

Work with your health and wellness team to learn more about your body and your likelihood of developing OA. State-of-the-art testing is an important. It is safe, helpful tool that provides your doctor with the data needed on your levels that can become root causes of conditions that may disrupt your lifestyle down the line.

Together, you can discover the root causes of your discomfort and apply a whole-body approach to the solution.

Hormonal imbalance

While there is a connection between low estrogen and osteoarthritis, hormonal imbalances and fluctuations are also responsible for other uncomfortable symptoms such as brain fog and bowel distress, each of which can also lead to indicate more serious conditions.

Because Health provides state-of the art and accurate testing for imbalances in progesterone, estrogen, FSH and LH. We offer white glove phlebotomy service for specimen collection at home, or you can visit one of our welcoming longevity centers for an on-site test.

Bone loss

A bone loss DEXA density test will assess whether any change in density to your bones is in line with your other natural aging markers or if it indicates a serious condition.

Eliminate Risk Factors[5]

  • Developing good habits in place of old ones is a good philosophy in general, but here are some healthy ways you can proactively affect if and when OA advances:
  • Don’t smoke: smoking affects the bones’ ability to absorb calcium
  • Include foods rich in calcium and Vitamin D into your diet. Vitamin D promotes calcium absorption by the body, enabling bone growth/repair.
  • Reduce or eliminate salt and caffeine. Salt aggravates OA by attracting water to cells, which increases swelling in the joints.
  • Drink in moderation: For two very important reasons: a) Alcohol affects the body’s ability to balance calcium levels and inhibits the body’s natural ability to produce vitamin c b) Alcohol consumption can increase your risk of falling and therefore the risk of fracture.

While working with your healthcare team to determine the root cause, supplements for menopause joint pain are available over the counter. This will alleviate discomfort while you are taking control of other factors.

The skeleton is the scaffold of the body. Work with a holistic healthcare professional to keep all your body’s systems at peak performance and keep your bones strong enough to keep up with your active lifestyle!

Primary Medical/Scientific Sources:

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