Weakened bones is not uncommon with age. In some women, however, porous bones, known as osteoporosis, is one of the "side effects" of menopause. Postmenopausal osteoporosis can be sneaky; it often doesn't have any symptoms. It's not until a woman suffers a fracture that she learns she has the condition. Here is what you need to know:
What Causes Osteoporosis?
Scientists aren't sure what triggers the condition to develop. The bones, just like your skin, are a living and growing structure, changing over time and as you age. A sponge-like bone, called trabecular bone, is covered by a hard, outer shell. Osteoporosis causes the little holes in the sponge to grow larger, which in turn makes the bones weak and more prone to fractures and breaking.
Menopause is believed to play a role. Estrogen, which is higher in non-menopausal women, serves as protection against osteoporosis. Once a woman reaches perimenopause, the period of transition from the childbearing years to complete menopause, the cessation of a menstrual cycle for 12 consecutive months, estrogen begins dropping. In women who have an early menopause, they have had even less time with the protection estrogen provides.
What Are The Symptoms Of Osteoporosis?
As mentioned, there often are no symptoms until a minor bump or mishap causes a fracture or a broken bone, commonly the hip or the wrist. Sometimes, the first sign will be a noticeable loss of height and accompanying stooped posture, which leads to back pain.
Who Gets Osteoporosis?
Caucasian and Asian women over the age of 50 are the most likely osteoporosis candidate. Women who are thin and petite or have a small frame, and are fine-boned are more likely to develop osteoporosis than women who have a heavier bone structure. Men can also get osteoporosis, but they are less likely to simply because they typically have larger bones and can absorb the bone loss better than most women can. Thin men with finer bones are more at risk. Some medical conditions, like cancer, and certain medications, can also cause osteoporosis.
How Is Osteoporosis Diagnosed?
A bone density test is performed in women over the age of 65 or those who are postmenopausal and have suffered a fractured to confirm osteoporosis.
How Is Osteoporosis Treated?
Ensuring your diet has enough Vitamin D, and calcium is extremely helpful, as are weight-bearing exercises. Your doctor can also prescribe medications that help reduce bone loss. For more information, visit the relevant website link.
Contact a company like Radius for more information and assistance.