The Link Between Menopause and Osteoporosis

Did you know that osteoporosis is one of the most common diseases that affects older women? In fact, a woman’s risk of breaking a hip is higher than her combined risk of developing breast, ovarian, or uterine cancer.

About 1 in 2 women over 50 will suffer an osteoporosis-related fracture at some point in her life. And unfortunately, it’s usually women who suffer from osteoporosis. Of the 10 million Americans with osteoporosis, about 80% are women. 

But why are older women more susceptible to developing this disease? Menopause plays a big role in the lopsided statistics.

At Apex Medical Professionals, we gathered some information here to help you understand the link between menopause and osteoporosis. And Walid Elkhalili, MD, and the rest of our team are ready to work with you to prevent or treat your osteoporosis with a custom treatment plan.

Dr. Elkhalili places a high priority on preventive care, wellness strategies, and health education.

On osteoporosis

Your bones don’t stop growing once you reach your final adult height. They are living tissue that continually breaks down and builds back up.

Throughout your 20s, this growth outpaces the loss. But once you’re around 30, the breakdown starts to outpace the buildup, and you begin to lose bone mass. 

Osteoporosis occurs when you have lost too much bone mass. You can be officially diagnosed with osteoporosis when your bone mass is 2.5 standard deviations lower than the young adult average.

Osteoporosis doesn’t have any real symptoms beyond bone fragility and increased risk of fracture. For this reason, most people don’t know they have the disease until they suffer a break.

On menopause

The official definition of menopause is when a woman goes a full year without having her period. A woman’s ovaries stop producing estrogen and progesterone, which help to induce and facilitate menstruation. 

Most women go through menopause in their 40s or 50s, and the average age for menopause in the United States is 51.

The link between menopause and osteoporosis

Women are more likely to develop osteoporosis for two main reasons. First, women often have smaller bones and, therefore, less bone mass than men. The second factor is menopause, especially the drop in estrogen levels.

Estrogen acts as a natural protector and defender of bone strength, fighting against bone loss even as the bones gradually lose mass. The drop-off in estrogen that occurs during menopause triggers rapid bone loss. 

Research indicates that a woman can lose up to 20% of her bone mass during menopause and postmenopause.

Prevention

You can start healthy habits that promote bone health at any age. The sooner you start, the better. Ways to decrease your osteoporosis risk include:

Some medications may also help prevent osteoporosis.

Treatment

At Apex Medical Professionals, we typically start osteoporosis treatment with calcium and vitamin D supplements and may also recommend vitamin D injections.

We might prescribe an oral medication or recommend a Prolia® injection. These two treatments help increase bone density and slow the breakdown of old bone.

You don’t have to fight osteoporosis alone. We can help with proven prevention and treatment measures. Contact us today for an appointment at our Fair Lawn, New Jersey, office.

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