According to the Endocrine Society, the process of menopause can accelerate bone density loss by as much as 20%. The risk of developing osteoporosis increases with age and makes women more vulnerable to breaks and fractures that can cause pain, limited mobility, and interfere with your quality of life.
How menopause affects your bones
In the years leading up to menopause, the body’s estrogen levels begin to decline. Up to about age 30, bone tissue regrows to help maintain bone density and strength.
Estrogen plays a role in building osteocytes that help to keep bones from becoming weak and porous. And the loss of estrogen during menopause and the aging process put women at a much higher risk of developing osteoporosis as they age.
Is osteoporosis preventable?
While menopause is a normal part of the aging process, there are several steps you can take to manage your menopause symptoms and osteoporosis risk. In addition to bone loss, other symptoms of the menopause process include:
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Weight gain
- Irregular periods
- Sleep problems
- Vaginal dryness
- Changes to hair and skin texture
- Mood swings
- Lower sex drive
You can protect your bones as you age and manage your risk of developing osteoporosis in a few ways. In addition to estrogen, Vitamin D and calcium are also essential to maintaining strong and healthy bones.
Getting regular exercise, including weight training and strength training exercises, is also essential for bone strength and maintaining a healthy weight during menopause. Depending on your age and medical history, bone density tests are available to help determine your osteoporosis risk. Previous fractures and breaks may also increase your risk of osteoporosis later in life.
Can hormone replacement therapy (HRT) protect your bones during menopause?
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is one of the treatment options available to manage menopause symptoms. HRT may reduce your risk of fractures and bone loss by increasing your estrogen levels. It won’t stop the onset or progression of menopause, but it can assist in managing some of the symptoms and help you maintain your lifestyle and quality of life.
There are different types of hormone replacement therapy available depending on your medical background, lifestyle, and symptoms. Our medical team will perform a comprehensive evaluation and create a treatment plan that works for you.
While menopause symptoms can be uncomfortable and disruptive, there are treatment options. We can help you remain healthy and active before, during, and after the menopause process.
For more information about menopause and how to manage your symptoms, contact Memorial Women’s Specialists to schedule an appointment at our office in Houston.