|Peri-menopausal and menopausal women often experience weakening of their bones. We call this thinning and weakening “osteoporosis.” Women who have menopausal osteoporosis are more likely to fracture bones than women who are non-menopausal or who are not experiencing osteoporosis as a part of their unique menopausal transition. Not all women who are going through menopause will react with osteoporosis, and not all women who have osteoporosis are going through menopause.
Estrogen deficiency, regardless of the cause, has been directly linked to osteoporosis. Menopause just happens to be the time in women’s lives when they are most likely to experience estrogen deficiency. The bodies of middle-aged women begin to produce less estrogen; this is a non-negotiable part of the menopausal process. This reduction in estrogen is what causes menstrual cycles to reduce and eventually stop altogether. Estrogen deficiency is what causes the hot flashes, the night sweats, and the mood swings associated with menopause, as well.
Every year in this country, as many as 500,000 women suffer a fracture of a vertebra, and another 300,000 fracture a hip. Many of these fractures are preventable. Bone is living tissue. As some tissue dies, the body produces new tissue to take its place. The problem occurs when reduced estrogen levels mean that bone loss occurs at a faster rate than regeneration.
This is not a no-win situation. There are solutions to manage osteoporosis in menopausal women. First she should make sure she is getting the proper amount of calcium as a supplement. She can also consult a physician for a medicinal, prescription replacement.
Regardless of the methods of supplements or medications exercise is important. The human body thrives on activity. Everything just works better, including bone regeneration.
Even if you didn’t begin your exercise and calcium supplement routine before the onset of menopause, it could still be very helpful to start it after menopause. You might just save yourself a broken bone. If you are concerned that you may be dealing with menopausal bone loss, make an appointment to see your doctor and discuss potential options.