Now accepting Telehealth appointments. Call to Schedule a virtual visit.

Menopause and Osteoporosis: What's the Connection?

Menopause and Osteoporosis: What's the Connection?

More than 10 million Americans suffer from loss of bone density, or osteoporosis. Four out of five of these patients are women. Why? Because the hormonal transition women go through at a certain age coincides with the age period when bone loss picks up speed — and menopause can make osteoporosis much, much more likely.

At Indus Healthcare, with offices located in Pomona, West Covina, and Montclair, California, Dr. Amit Paliwal provides care for both women’s health and geriatric patients to help prevent, or at least mitigate, the effects of menopause and osteoporosis on the female body.

Understanding how osteoporosis and menopause are linked

By age 50, nearly everyone has some level of bone density loss, or osteopenia. Coincidentally, the average age of menopausal transition in women is between 45 and 55. This transition significantly speeds up loss of bone mass in women compared to men, who continue to lose bone density at a much slower rate.

Why do women lose bone so much more quickly than men? Estrogen helps prevent bones from getting weaker by slowing its normal resorption. As less estrogen is produced by the female body, bones start to weaken faster and become porous, meaning they’re more likely to break. 

Severe osteoporosis in men is therefore less likely than in women, and more commonly seen if a male patient has had significant steroid or other hormone treatment, usually to fight prostate cancer or restore athletic performance.

Men also tend to present with osteoporosis around ten years later in life, and may not live long enough to break bones due to the condition. In contrast, women are four times more likely than men to suffer osteoporosis and twice as likely as men to break a bone in a fall

Bone density scanning

It’s recommended that you get a baseline bone density scan as soon as you have your menopausal transition (currently identified by the medical profession as twelve consecutive months without a menstrual period). 

This shows what your current bone density is and can be used to compare later scans over time. Patients who should get regular bone density scans include:

Osteoporosis risk increases significantly for women who are post-menopausal and have had a  bilateral oophorectomy (removal of both ovaries). One study showed that a history of such surgery was linked to a 54% increase in wrist, hip, and spinal fractures.

What to do about low bone mass

If your bone density scan shows you have low bone mass, Dr. Paliwal can help by recommending ways for you to slow down your bone loss and avoid fractures as you age. Some possibilities include implementing a regular exercise plan and adding foods to your diet like calcium and vitamin D, or using a bisphosphonate medication to build more bone. 

Another possibility for postmenopausal women is hormone replacement therapy (HRT). HRT can provide an estrogen replacement to help improve bone density, and the results continue to last after HRT is discontinued, leaving the bones with better internal architecture that makes them less likely to break. 

Have you had your menopause transition and are worried about your aging bones? You need to talk to the specialists at Indus Healthcare. Call the location closest to you, or visit our contact page for more information. 

You Might Also Enjoy...

Does My Child Have a Rash or Eczema?

Does My Child Have a Rash or Eczema?

It’s a common occurrence; your child shows up with a sudden rash. Whether or not it’s simply a common heat rash or a condition like eczema is something a doctor should diagnose.
Help for COPD

Help for COPD

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) makes breathing hard for millions of Americans. Although COPD is a life-long illness, there are things you can do to make breathing easier.