Founder, Green Body Mojo
If you are currently taking hormone treatment for endometriosis, or have done in the past, it’s important to be aware of the potential side effects.
The below study, while a bit of a mouthful, shows there is concern over these medical treatments in relation to bone-loss.
Impact of medical treatments
of endometriosis on bone mass
A review of studies examining the effect of medical therapy of endometriosis on bone mass and potential approaches to preventing bone loss was undertaken. Studies specifically examining bone density in women with endometriosis treated medically were used.
…While initial studies with dual-photon absorptiometry were unable to detect appreciable bone loss with gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist, subsequent studies have invariably found significant bone loss beginning as early as 3 months of treatment.
Quantitated computerized tomography always shows significant trabecular bone loss of the vertebrae and hip with gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist. Depot preparations appear to produce more marked loss than daily injections of intranasal spray.
Recent studies indicate recovery of bone loss may take longer than 6 months or even 1 year after discontinuation of therapy with considerable individual variation.
…Impact of medical therapy on bone mass should be a practical consideration in the selection of patients, in repeat medical therapy for recurrence of endometriosis, and in the formulation of medical therapy so as to attenuate or overcome such silent adverse effects.
Dem Bones, Dem Bones, Dem Dry Bones?
While we may most often think of our bones as a skeleton to hold us up, we mustn’t forget they are a living structure; continually forming new bone tissue and then breaking it down and reabsorbing it.
After our peak bone density is reached at the age of 30, reabsorption of bone tissue gradually begins to exceed new formation.
This is how our bones become weaker over time.
The ageing process isn’t the only cause of bone-loss, a low-calcium diet, smoking, lack of exercise and certain medications can contribute and tip the scales in the favour of reabsorption.
Bone loss (osteopenia) can eventually lead to osteoporosis, which makes you more fragile and susceptible to fractures.
Building up your bones
Calcium is well known as a key mineral in the formation of new bone tissue, and if we don’t get enough calcium through our diet, it’s taken from our bones.
The RDA (recommended daily allowance) of calcium for women aged 18-50 years old is 1000mg.
This is easily achievable on a plant-based diet.
While the importance of calcium is clear, other nutrients are involved in the overall health of our bones and plants have us covered here too.
Here are the top sources of plant-based calcium:
- Blackstrap molasses: 2 tbsp = 400mg
- Collard greens, cooked: 1 cup = 357mg
- Almonds: 100g = 264mg
- Turnip greens, cooked: 1 cup = 249mg
- Chickpeas: 1 cup = 210mg
- Kale, cooked: 1 cup = 179mg
- Seaweed (kelp): 100g = 168mg
- Bok choy, cooked: 1 cup = 158mg
- Mustard greens, cooked: 1 cup = 152mg
- Okra, cooked: 1 cup = 135mg
- Amaranth, cooked: 1 cup = 115.6mg
- Tahini: 2 tbsp = 128mg
- Sesame seeds: 1 tbsp = 87.8mg
- Chia seeds: 1 tbsp = 63mg
Hemp and nut milks are also a good source of calcium.