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What is the difference between perimenopause and the menopause? How do you avoid weight gain? Does the menopause magnet work? And ye gods, tell us how to get a good night's sleep! Luckily Gransnet has put together the most useful tips for navigating those muddy menopausal waters. Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you have any medical concerns do consult your GP.

Bone scan early in peri?

(6 Posts)
PeruvianFoodLover Mon 16-Feb-15 11:20:49

I'm 42 and have been experiencing symptoms of peri menopause for about 6 months or so; irregular cycle, flushes/sweats, mood swings, indigestion etc etc.

I have been experimenting with diet and lifestyle and have found ways to manage the symptoms (no alcohol, <sob>), and have done a lot of reading around the pros and cons of HRT.

I know my risk of osteoporosis is greater because I'm relatively young, but my lifestyle over the last 5-10 years has been active, with a good diet and exposure to sunshine, so I'm hoping that will stand me in good stead.

Is it worth having a private bone density scan now, to find out if my density is above "average" or not? If it is, I probably won't take HRT, but if my bone density is on the low side now, then I realise I'll need to take HRT to avoid osteoporosis later in life.

Any thoughts?

maleenteringfemalefacilities Mon 16-Feb-15 11:24:53

I had one about a year ago (am 45) and had been in peri menopause for about 4 yeart at that stage.

It's the easiest medical procedure I've ever had and they have the results for you on the spot.

Just make sure you have no metal in your clothes such as hooks and eyes on bra, metal eyelets on the waist of your tracksuit (they told me to wear one).

If it doesn't cost ��� I'd have it if I were you - better to know than to not know, I think.

maleenteringfemalefacilities Mon 16-Feb-15 11:25:33

Those squares were meant to be pound signs!

pinkfrocks Mon 16-Feb-15 12:17:51

If you have only been in peri for 6 months then it's quite early to have a DEXA scan unless you have other risk factors.

I think I'd wait a bit longer and see how you go with peri. What is important to know is that bone density drops by around 5% each year in the first 2-3 years after menopause- so you might want a bone scan as soon as your periods stop for good- which might be in a year or 10 years from now.

I had a DEXA scan at 47 even though I had no risk factors ( and was not peri or menopausal) and was found to have osteopenia.

It's better to be safe than sorry but I think you could wait another couple of years- then you are supposed to have the scans repeated every 2-3 years.

PeruvianFoodLover Mon 16-Feb-15 12:27:08

Thanks both - how much benefit will diet/exercise be now? Can I still improve my bone density with high calcium/Vit D diet and weigh bearing exercise, or is it too late, and the best I can hope for is slowing the damage?

I've been reading that salt, caffeine and phosphoric acid in soft drinks can cause more rapid bone density loss, too - so they're off the menu from now on.

pinkfrocks Mon 16-Feb-15 15:35:51

You can improve your bone density a lot. But it takes time. Unless you are having a very early meno then you ought to be fine now- but you need to re-assess in a few years.
It's never too late. Have a look at the website of the National Osteoporosis Society for information.

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