You may know osteoporosis negatively affects the health of your bones, but did you know it affects over 53 million Americans?
Osteoporosis causes deterioration of your bone tissue, leading to low bone mass and an increased risk of fractures. And while both men and women can develop osteoporosis, women are four times more likely than men to have the disease.
At the offices of Beth and Howard Braver, MD, our expert physicians are committed to educating our patients about this debilitating disease and the importance of understanding the link between osteoporosis and menopause.
When you have osteoporosis, your bones weaken from the inside out. Your bones constantly grow through your life. As the old bone cells die, new ones grow in their place in a process called remodeling. This process keeps your bones strong.
Once you reach your 30s, your body loses bone material faster than it can remodel it. As a result, your bones become more porous and not as strong. This puts you at risk for breaking and fracturing your bones more easily.
Menopause, which happens on average between 45-55, causes hormonal changes that increase the rate of your bone loss and risk of developing osteoporosis.
Age and menopause aren’t the only risk factors for this condition. Other risk factors include:
- Being female
- Experiencing early menopause (before the age of 45)
- Having polycystic ovarian syndrome
- Being a smoker
- Being a thin or petite person with naturally lower bone mass
- Having a family history of osteoporosis
- Being Caucasian or of European ancestry
The link between menopause and osteoporosis
The change in hormones links menopause and osteoporosis. When you go through perimenopause and menopause, your body’s production of estrogen dramatically decreases.
Researchers have discovered that about half of a woman’s bone loss happens in the 10 years following menopause, showing there is a strong link between your hormone production and osteoporosis.
If you experience menopause before age 45 (early menopause), you have a greater risk of losing bone mass. And experiencing periods when your hormone levels are low and cause you to stop menstruating or have infrequent periods can also cause a loss in bone mass.
Treatment for osteoporosis begins as early as we can identify risk factors for the disease. If we believe you’re at risk or if we diagnose you with the condition, there are steps you can take to slow its progression and manage any pain it causes.
Most of the time, treatment starts with lifestyle changes. Some of these lifestyle changes include:
- Taking vitamin D and calcium supplements
- Quitting smoking
- Doing regular weight-bearing exercise
- Reducing alcohol consumption
- Changing your diet
In addition, we may prescribe certain medications. Some are designed to support healthy bone mass and reduce your risk of getting bone fractures, while others support the rebuilding of bone and new bone cell growth.
For more information about the link between osteoporosis and menopause, contact our Aventura or Hollywood, Florida, office. You can also book online or ask us about telemedicine.