How is Osteoporosis Related to Menopause?
The levels of estrogen drop drastically when a woman reaches menopause. This causes Osteoclasts to breakdown the bones faster outpacing the rate of bone formation which then result to bone loss. High rate of bone loss can put a woman at risk for osteoporosis.
At What Age Do Women Start Experiencing Osteoporosis Symptoms?
Women will start experiencing osteoporosis symptoms in their late 30s. During this time the rate of bone resorption increases and bone formation decreases.
Why Do I Have Osteoporosis? I’m Way too Young
There are several factors that can put you at risk for osteoporosis besides your age. These include:
- Ethnicity – If you are Caucasian or Asian you are at higher risk of getting osteoporosis than African American woman.
- Gender – Women are at higher risk of getting osteoporosis than men.
- Medications – There are certain medications that can put you at risk for osteoporosis. Use of steroids for a long period of time can cause low bone mass density which can result to osteoporosis.
- Underweight – People who are underweight are at high risk for osteoporosis.
- Vitamin D and Calcium Deficiency – Vitamin D and Calcium are vital in bone formation and low intake can result in high rate of bone resorption putting you at risk for osteoporosis.
How Fast Does a Woman Lose Bones After Menopause?
When a woman reaches menopause the rate of bone resorption is high compared to the rate of bone formation. A woman will lose upto 20% of the total bone mass in her first year of menopause.
Do Thin Women Have a Greater Risk of Developing Osteoporosis?
Thin women are at higher risk of developing osteoporosis because they have thin bones which can fracture easily. They also have less bone mass which means she has little bone mass to lose.
Who Should Have a Bone Density Test?
Postmenopausal women should have a bone mineral density test because of the high chances of fractures. Postmenopausal who have other risk factors such as family history of osteoporosis, taking medicines such as steroids, underweight, and ethnicity are also advised to have a bone density test.
Should I Consider Hormone Therapy (HT) or Taking Estrogen?
Before choosing between a hormone therapies and taking estrogen alone, it is advisable to consult your doctor so that you can weigh the benefits of the two.
Hormone therapy is recommended for postmenopausal women who have other risk factors for osteoporosis, women who have early menopause, and those who have low bone mass.
Hormone therapy can also put you at risk of other conditions such as:
- High blood pressure.
- Gall bladder disease.
- Breast cancer.
- Blood clots.
- Heart attack.
- Cognitive disorder.
Women who have undergone hysterectomy (removal of the uterus) are advised to take estrogen only.
What is the Role of Vitamin D in Preventing Osteoporosis?
Vitamin D facilitates the absorption of Calcium in the small intestines during digestion. Without vitamin D there will be less absorption of Calcium which can lead to a deficiency. This put you at risk for osteoporosis. Vitamin D can be made in your body when you expose your skin to direct sunlight. It can also be found in few foods such as eggs, cod liver oil, tuna, mackerel, mushroom, cheese and milk.
Vitamin D should be taken in certain quantities to be effective and to prevent the risks of overdose. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, the vitamin D recommended daily intake for people above the age of 60 is 800 to 1000IU for healthy bones. Taking more than the recommended amount of vitamin D can cause side effects.
How to Diagnose and Reduce the Risk of Osteoporosis During Menopause?
Osteoporosis is usually diagnosed using dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA). This test measures the bone density and usually done at the lower spine and upper part of hip bone.
The results of the DXA scan are then compared with the age of the person (Z-score) and how they compare to a peak bone mass of a young person (T-score).
The T-score used in the diagnosis and their indications are:
- Between 1 and -1 – This is an indication of normal bone density.
- Between -1 and -25 – This is an indication of osteoporosis.
- Below -2.5 – This is an indication of osteoporosis.
A woman can reduce the risk for osteoporosis by doing the following:
- Exercise Regularly – These exercises can include weight lifting, jogging, and running
- Ensures she maintains the therapeutic range for vitamin D.
- Ensures she gets 1200mg of Calcium intake everyday.
- Avoid Excessive Intake of Caffeine and Alcohol – Taking more than two alcoholic drinks and more than three cups of caffeine is not good for bone health.
- Avoid Smoking – Smoking makes the bones to be weak and prone to fractures.
What Type of Calcium Supplements Should a Woman Take During Menopause?
A woman who is in menopause should consider taking Calcium supplements incase she is not able to get the daily required intake to keep her bones healthy. Examples of Calcium supplements include:
Bonexcin is a dietary supplement that is used to prevent osteoporosis. The supplement helps in the formation of new bone cells, curb bone loss, and strengthen the structure of the bone.
Bonexcin contains several ingredients such as vitamin D, Calcium, green tea extract, Copper, Magnesium oxide, vitamin K, Zinc oxide, and Boron which are vital for bone formation.
Bonexcin can also help in reversing bone density loss and prevent future occurrence of bone loss. The daily dosage of Bonexcin is 3 capsules in the morning and evening.
Noticeable changes will be seen after taking Bonexcin for some time.
2. Osteo Essential:
Osteo essential capsule contains Calcium, vitamins and several herbs that can help in formation and strengthening of the bones.
Osteo essential has nutrients that facilitate the absorption of Calcium which boost the formation of the bones.
Ipriflavone, which is added in the formula helps in the secretion of hormone Calcitonin for bone maintenance. It also helps in the formation of mineralised bone matrix for bone density.
The formula contains resveratrol which acts as estrogen to increase osteoblastic activity and also contains 200IU of vitamin D for general bone health.
Osteo essential helps a woman who has reached menopause to:
- Repair damaged cartilage.
- Reverse cushions between joints for mobility.
- Boost healthy joint function.
Expert’s Suggestion to Women With Menopause Issues
A woman can encounter several symptoms during menopause. These symptoms can be treated in several ways. The following are some of the symptoms and how they can be treated:
1. Hot Fashes:
Women during their menopause can experience changes in body temperature. Hot flashes are a way of cooling the body. Some women will experience night sweats, tension, heart palpitation, anxiety, and pink reddened skin.
Hot flashes can be triggered by beverages, alcohol, spicy food, caffeine and some medications. It is easy to avoid hot flashes when you know what triggers them. Women are advised to keep a diary so that they can be able to know the cause of their hot flashes. This can be done by noting down the trigger which is present during hot flashes.
Hot flashes can also be treated by regulating the air condition in your room, sleeping in a cool room during the night if you experience night sweats, and paced respiration; this involves taking a slow, deep and full breath in and out for about six times.
2. Vaginal Changes:
Low levels of estrogen make the vagina linings to be thin resulting to dryness and irritation during sexual intercourse.
Vaginal lubricants such as Astroglide can help in treating vaginal dryness. Estrogen treatments in form of cream, tablets and rings can also help in treating vaginal dryness.
3. Irregular Periods:
This is when a woman’s menstrual cycle shortens as a result of several problems such as fibroids.
This can be treated by birth control pills, taking progestogen doses, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory pain relievers such as naproxen and ibuprofen.
4. Mood Swings and Depression:
Women will tend to experience a lot of moodswings during menopause. This has been linked to hormonal shifts which tend to disrupt s woman’s way of life.
Taking a long sleep, antidepressants, and exercising can help in overcoming moodswings.
5. Memory and Concentration Problems:
Some women in menopause will have difficulties in concentrating and experience short-term memory problems. Some researchers have shown that this can be caused by stress. Taking challenges such as playing chess, crossword puzzles and taking part in sports can be help a woman to concentrate and also be able to improve her memory.
Some researchers have linked insomnia in women who are in menopause with hot flashes. Women will experience disruption of sleep during the night and some will not be able to completely get sleep during the night.
There are available medications for treating insomnia temporarily but treating of flashes can also help in curbing insomnia.