Are we more susceptible to joint pain as we age?
Men, there’s something in here for you as well, don’t hurry to leave
My last blog post was about Breast Health Awareness, October is also a Menopause Awareness month.
As soon as you hear menopause, right away, you start thinking of a woman having hot flushes, gaining weight, having mood swings, poor sleep, low libido, etc.
Am I close?
Of course not every woman goes through the same symptoms, some will have a smooth ride, some wish their cycle never ended, and some are in between.
I remember when I was going through perimenopause, one day I woke up with curly hair. That lasted about 8-9 months, then all of a sudden it changed back to my wavy hair. But it never went back to my original hair. And the weight gain, overnight, I would gain, no kidding, 20lbs, overnight.
Men are not too far from this, you do go through changes as well. Some of andropause symptoms may be enlarged breasts, nervousness, low libido, reduced muscle mass, irritability, etc. (read below)
What’s all this has to do with join pain?
As we approach perimenopause and menopause our hormones start to change, fluctuate. There is now increasing evidence suggests a link between OA (osteoarthritis) and loss of ovarian function. Studies have shown that estrogen deficit has effect on all joint tissues, muscles, ligaments. It seems that as estrogen declines, inflammation increases.
Estrogen has various protective effects: cardiovascular, brain, bone.
Some studies indicate that postmenopausal women have higher chance of cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases then regular cycling women. This is do to declining estrogen levels.
Declining estrogen levels can also affect the uptake and utilization of magnesium. Therefore, low magnesium can cause muscle aches and pain, muscle fatigue and cramps.
Men, according to this study there is a direct correlation between testosterone and joint pain.
Androgen hormones, including testosterone, have a protective effect on cartilage in the body. Bone growth and maintenance are significantly influenced by testosterone. When testosterone levels are low, you may be at greater risk of inflammation and joint pain.
What can you do about it?
- There’s hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Some studies have shown increased risk of blood cloths and sleep apnea with Testosterone replacement therapies. It may have an impact on you cholesterol levels
- Bioidentical hormone therapy.
- Compounded Bioidentical hormone therapy
Yes, these therapies may have some risks, and at the same time I know for some people going through HRT, Bioidentical hormone therapy, or compounded bioidentical hormone therapy makes a HUGE difference in the quality of their life and the lives of their loved ones.
I consider myself one of the lucky ones when it came to menopausal symptoms. I had few hot flushes, some sleep issues, and can’t forget about crying over the silliest things. In my case all I had to do is start taking 1 herb, Chaste Tree, and after about a month my hot flushes were gone.
I’m not saying it’s going to have the same effect on everyone, but it doesn’t hurt to try. Here’s a great randomized double-blind study showing the comparison of Vitex with placebo in reducing menopausal symptoms.
What other steps you can take to keep your joints healthy as you age?
- Eat healthy, make sure to incorporate hydrolyzed collagen into you diet.
- Consume healthy fats, such as olive oil, avocado, raw nuts and seeds, fatty fish, etc.
- Avoid sugar and simple carbohydrates
- Here’s e-Book, 42 foods to balance your hormones
- Engage in regular exercise, especially strength training to stimulate bone growth.
- Manage stress
- Get adequate sleep