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What Every Woman Should Know About Bone Health After Menopause

What Every Woman Should Know About Bone Health After Menopause

You rely on your bones to do just about everything when it comes to moving around and protecting vital organs, as well as creating red and white blood cells and platelets. But as you get older, particularly after menopause, your bones can weaken.

This transition out of your reproductive years can directly affect the strength of your bones, leading to bone fractures and breaks due to a condition called osteoporosis

May is Osteoporosis Awareness and Prevention Month, so to better understand how menopause affects bones, let’s look at the changes your bones undergo during this stage of your life, the risks of osteoporosis on your health, and what you can do to manage and avoid its effects.

If you live in the Lake Mary, Florida, area and you’re approaching or have gone through menopause, Dr. Christopher Quinsey and our experienced medical staff can help you manage the changes due to menopause, including its effects on your bone health.

How menopause affects your bones

The process of puberty and the resulting changes in your body during your teen years are due to a surge of hormones that is instrumental in growth spurts, hair growth in new areas, and the development of reproductive organs and sexual characteristics. 

Estrogen and testosterone play key roles in strengthening bones, but there are many different hormones that play a role in bone health. 

Menopause is the period where your body stops producing large amounts of estrogen, and your bones become less dense due to that depletion. 

This increases the risk of conditions like osteoporosis, when your bones can get weak enough to increase the chances of fractures and breaks from falling or other impact injuries.

The potential risks of osteoporosis

Bones may look solid and are very strong, but a far closer look at them would reveal a vast, porous latticework of overlapping connective tissue that protects the cancellous or spongy bone underneath. 

Osteoporosis weakens bone by making it more porous and less capable of withstanding the pressures and impacts of movement and other basic functions. This also makes falls and other accidents potentially more hazardous because bones are far easier to fracture or break and take much longer to heal. 

This condition commonly affects the wrists, hips, and spine. There’s no signal in your body that you have osteoporosis until something fractures. 

Steps to prevent and manage it

Fortunately, you can reduce the impact this condition has on your life with medications and some lifestyle changes. To help you manage osteoporosis, we can prescribe bisphosphonates, hormone replacement therapy, calcitonin, and other medicines. 

There are also many changes you can make to your diet and exercise regimen, like eating foods with calcium and vitamin D, taking supplements of both nutrients and performing regular weight-bearing exercises like walking and running. 

Avoid habits that reduce bone strength, like smoking or excessive drinking.

Your body is different after menopause, but that doesn’t mean the risk of osteoporosis has to limit your life. Make an appointment with Dr. Quinsey and our team today to learn ways to reduce bone loss and manage osteoporosis.

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