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Here’s Why Menopause Puts You at a Greater Risk for Osteoporosis

Here’s Why Menopause Puts You at a Greater Risk for Osteoporosis

Even though women reach peak bone mass (when your bones are at their thickest and strongest) by age 30, the body is constantly breaking down and rebuilding the skeleton. Eating a balanced diet, getting an adequate supply of calcium and vitamin D, and engaging in weight-bearing exercises helps you maintain bone mass. 

What happens at menopause that increases your risk of osteoporosis? A decrease in estrogen levels.

At The Riegel Center in Plano, Texas, our hormone expert, Dr. Richard Riegel, specializes in helping women reduce their risk of osteoporosis with lifestyle changes and hormone replacement therapy.

Here, we want to explain why menopause puts you at greater risk of osteoporosis and what you can do about it.

All about osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a serious bone disease that occurs when you have a significant decrease in bone mineral density and bone mass, making the bones porous and weak, and more susceptible to fractures. Your bones weaken because your body is removing old bone cells faster than it’s replacing it with new ones.

Anyone can develop osteoporosis at any age. Women are at greater risk of developing osteoporosis because they have smaller bones with less bone mass than men. 

The link between menopause and osteoporosis

Estrogen is a female sex hormone that regulates your menstrual cycle and helps maintain bone mass. Menopause occurs when the ovaries stop producing estrogen and you no longer menstruate. Without estrogen, your bones lose mass at a faster pace. 

If your bones aren’t as strong and thick as possible before you reach menopause, you’re at greater risk of developing osteoporosis. You can lose up to 10% of your bone mass within five years after reaching menopause. 

Osteoporosis occurs without causing symptoms, and you may not know you have this serious bone condition until you break a bone.

Taking steps to prevent osteoporosis

Despite the rapid rate of bone loss after menopause, you can prevent osteoporosis. We take a multipronged approach and recommend a combination of lifestyle changes with hormone replacement therapy to protect your bones and your health.

Supplement with calcium and vitamin D

You need to get an adequate supply of calcium and vitamin D to maintain bone health. When taking a nutrition supplement, look for one that has both calcium and vitamin D to improve absorption of these bone-building nutrients.

Quit smoking

Smoking is bad for your bones. It reduces blood flow, decreases bone cell production, and affects calcium absorption. If you use tobacco products, you need to quit.

Add resistance-training exercises

Resistance-training exercises, like yoga and use of free weights, strengthens your bones much like it strengthens your muscles. The force of the resistance pulls the muscle and the bone, stimulating growth.

Hormone replacement therapy

It’s not only estrogen that affects bone health. A decrease in testosterone or thyroid hormone levels also increases the rate of bone loss. 

If you have any hormonal imbalance, our hormone specialist creates a bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) plan that matches your specific hormone needs, restoring balance and improving bone health.

When it comes to osteoporosis, prevention is always better than treatment. Do everything you can to maintain your bone health before you reach menopause, like taking calcium and vitamin D supplements, quitting smoking, and engaging in resistance-training exercises.

If you have concerns about osteoporosis or bone health, we can help. Call our office or request an appointment online today.

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