Menopause and Osteoporosis

The amount of calcium in your bones can be affected by the decline in estrogen production. This can cause significant decreases in bone density, leading to a condition known as osteoporosis. In this condition you are more susceptible to hip

Updated: November 6, 2017

The amount of calcium in your bones can be affected by the decline in estrogen production. This can cause significant decreases in bone density, leading to a condition known as osteoporosis. In this condition you are more susceptible to hip, spine, and other bone fractures. The first few years after their last menstrual period, you may experience accelerated bone loss.
There are some prescription medications which can help you prevent bone loss. Also you can take care of the things listed below:

  • Take vitamin D supplements.
  • Exercise regularly
  • Eat foods with lots of calcium, such as dairy products or dark leafy greens.
  • Reduce alcohol consumption.
  • Avoid smoking.

What is osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a condition in which bones break down faster than they can be replaced, making them less dense and more porous resulting in weakened bones that are more susceptible to fracture.
There are no obvious signs of osteoporosis.  Until your weakened bones fracture or break you don’t realize that you have developed osteoporosis. Once you have a fracture as a result of osteoporosis, you are more susceptible to another. Osteoporosis can have a big impact on your quality of life. Lifestyle disruptions range from pain to depression to long term home care.

How osteoporosis develops during menopause?

As women enter menopause(the permanent end of monthly periods and fertility), their estrogen and progesterone levels begin to decrease. Estrogen acts as a natural protector and defender of bone strength. The lack of estrogen will cause the development of osteoporosis.
Decreased estrogen levels are not the only cause for osteoporosis. There are several other factors responsible for weakened bones. When these factors are combined with decreased estrogen levels during menopause, osteoporosis may begin or develop faster if it is already occurring in your bones.
Some factors that put you at a higher risk of developing osteoporosis include:

Age:

After the age of 30 bone deterioration occurs more rapidly than bone creation which results in a gradual loss of bone mass.The older you get the more at risk you are.

Gender:

Women, especially women in menopause, are more likely to get osteoporosis than men, as low estrogen levels lead to weak bones.

Genetics:

Osteoporosis can be inherited.

Body type:

People with a small, slender build are more likely to get it. This is because thinner people have less bone mass overall compared to larger people.
Some other factors could be

  • Medications such as steroids have been linked to osteoporosis.
  • Some thyroid problems have been linked to osteoporosis.
  • Low vitamin D and calcium levels can lead to bone loss.
  • Lack of exercise or long-term bed rest can weaken bones.
  • Tobacco and alcohol can weaken bones as well.

Treatment Options:

A number of treatments that can help stop the development of osteoporosis and prevent bone deterioration include:

Calcium and vitamin D supplements:

Calcium can help build strong bones and keep them strong as you age. People ages 19 to 50 should get 1,000 mg of calcium each day. Women over 50 and all adults over 70 should get at least 1,200 mg of calcium each day.
You can take supplements like calcium carbonate and calcium citrate, if you are not able to get enough of calcium through food sources like dairy products, kale, and broccoli.
Vitamin D is important for healthy bones, as it helps absorption of calcium properly in your body. Fatty fishes like salmon or mackerel are good sources of vitamin D from food, along with foods like milk and cereals in which vitamin D is added.
Sun exposure is the natural way the body makes vitamin D. But the production of vitamin D from sun light varies depending on time of day, the environment, where you live, and the natural pigment of your skin.

Prescription medications and injectable bone-building agents:

Bisphosphonates helps prevent bone loss. These medicines can slow bone loss, increase bone density, and reduce the risk of bone fractures.
Selective estrogen receptor modulators or SERMs are a group of medicines that have estrogen-like properties used for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis.

Regular exercise:

Exercise such as walking, jogging, dancing, and aerobics makes bones stronger, helps prevent bone loss, and also speeds up recovery in case of a bone fracture.

Hormone replacement therapy(HRT):

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) can help prevent bone loss caused by the decreased levels of estrogen that occurs during perimenopause and menopause. But HRT should be used only after other options for bone health have been considered.
This is not a recommended treatment option if you have a personal history of or are at an increased risk for:

  •     heart attack
  •     stroke
  •     blood clots
  •     breast cancer



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