Posted by kathryn on April 24, 2012
SimplyHormones presents: An Interview with Prof John Studd, Vice President National Osteoporosis Society and Chairman of the British Menopause Society. Osteoporosis is a natural disease of aging but one we can ALL do something about – this brittle bone disease most often eats away at bones after degeneration of hormones at menopause.
SimplyHormones Presents: An Interview with Prof Studd on Osteoporosis
KC: I’d like if I may now to talk about osteoporosis, the silent disease as it’s often described. It’s something I very much don’t want to happen to me, I just can’t visualise myself walking down the road with a zimmer frame. The press and magazines, womens’ magazines are full of information telling us that we are supposed to be doing lots of exercise, weight bearing exercise, having better nutrition, in order to stay fit and healthy and stop the degeneration of our bones. What would you say, is that the right answer?
Overweight? You won’t get osteoporosis!
PS: Well there is some truth in that, but it’s more complicated. Having a good lifestyle, good diet and exercise is very good for you and what about exercise, it’s very good for the brain, it’s very good for the heart, it’s very good for the mood, depression etc and in large amounts it’s not bad for the bones, but I think it’s somewhat of a deception to think that if you just keep a good diet and you’re exercised by walking the dog for an hour a day, then that’s going to prevent osteoporosis, and I see it very often, you have these healthy 60 year old women, slim, healthy, who walk for 2 hours a day, with a dog, without the dog and they’ve got rotten bones. And they mustn’t think that because they are dog walkers and they exercise, that they are free from the risk of osteoporosis. Particularly, as I say, the thin women, the healthy thin women. By and large fat women don’t get osteoporosis, and the reason for that is because with this excess fat they make oestrogens in their body fat, and that protects the bones.
Thin women and anorexics at risk of osteoporosis
The thin women don’t make the same amount of oestrogens, so they are at higher risk, although they don’t know it, if they have a healthy lifestyle with lots of exercise. So it’s these women, they may have the menopause, they may have had anorexia when they were young, and they were very thin and healthy, and have lost their periods for 2 or 3 years when they were teenagers, they’re the ones that are at risk, whether they exercise or not.
KC: I suppose that’s why women have a natural propensity to gain weight as they go through menopause, because their cells are changing into fat cells instead of energy cells and in our day and age that’s something we don’t really want to see, women don’t enjoy putting on weight, but actually it’s good for us.
Weight gain in men and women is complex
PS: Well, weight gain in men and women is a complex thing, I don’t think it’s that simple. As you get older you do less exercise, you probably eat more, you might even drink more.
KC: Metabolism is slower.
Fact: HRT does NOT cause weight gain
PS: Metabolism is probably slower with age, so you tend to put on weight and I don’t think it’s a great deal to do with hormones, it’s to do with age and exercise. And the same thing applies to giving HRT, because HRT causes weight gain when it doesn’t . All the studies looking at thousands of patients over the years, what we call a longitudinal study does not show any increase in weight with HRT. There is an increase in weight, a small increase in weight with age and the menopause, but not HRT. Now that’s quite clear, but of course there is the occasional woman who has an idiosyncratic effect of oestrogens who does put on weight. You stop the hormones and they loose weight so you have to accept that. But if you are looking at a big population apart from these odd cases you don’t really put on weight with hormones.
I used HRT and did not put on weight – that came later!
KC: No, I found that myself actually. Thank you very much.
Here is a brief bio of Professor Studd together with his contact details: www.studd.co.uk
Professor John Studd DSc, MD, FRCOG was consultant gynaecologist at the Chelsea & Westminster Hospital, London and also professor of gynaecology at Imperial College.
He is now in full time private practice and runs the London PMS & Menopause Clinic at 46 Wimpole Street London W1G8SD. At the same address he has The Osteoporosis Screening Centre for the assessment and treatment of osteoporosis.
He is Vice-President of the National Osteoporosis Society and Chairman of the British Menopause Society.
In 2008 he was awarded the Blair Bell Gold Medal of the Royal Society of Medicine which is given every five years for the obstetrician/gynaecologist who has made the greatest lifetime contribution to the specialty.
You will find a huge variety of information on menopause at www.simplyhormones.com. Over 200 pages of qualified information.
See you again soon.
Kathryn Colas signing off…