World Osteoporosis Day is observed on 20 October every year. This day tries to increase awareness about this bone condition.
Osteoporosis day 2021: Osteoporosis increases the risk of bone fractures
Menopause marks the end of monthly period of a woman. Menopause is also known to increase the risk of developing osteoporosis, a condition in which the bones become thinner, less dense, and can break easily. Oestrogens, the hormones that protect bones in women, can decrease with the onset of menopause and cause bone loss. Menopausal oestrogen deficiency is the one of the leading causes of bone loss and a higher risk of osteoporosis. Other important risk factors for postmenopausal osteoporosis are advanced age, genetics, smoking, body weight, pre-existing conditions and certain medications that can affect bone health. When these other factors are combined with the decline in oestrogen levels after menopause, the disease begins to develop and can occur in the bones.
World Osteoporosis Day 2021: Why menopause increases the risk of osteoporosis
1. Low oestrogen levels
Women who have gone through menopause have a higher risk of osteoporosis because their oestrogen levels drop and they have reduced calcium deposition and absorption from food.
2. Bone mass
Maximum bone mass in premenopausal women is an important factor that determines the risk of osteoporotic fractures. If your maximum bone mass at menopause is low, then further bone loss after menopause can lead to osteoporosis later in life. The earlier you reach menopause, the higher is your chance of developing the disease.
3. Family history
If a woman has a family history of osteoporosis then also her risk of developing osteoporosis is high after menopause.
4. Certain medication and health condition
Premenopausal women can also develop osteoporosis, but it can also be due to underlying diseases or medications that cause bone loss.
Menopausal women should be careful of warning symptoms of osteoporosis. They are bone pain, backache, stooped posture and fractures by small injuries. Fortunately, there are steps one can take to help prevent osteoporosis. Timely treatments can also slow the rate of bone loss if you already have osteoporosis.
Bone density tests are recommended for women and men aged 50 and over, as osteoporosis is most commonly diagnosed in older people. Exercise is a good way to prevent osteoporosis after menopause. Adequate calcium and vitamin D intake is also crucial. Sometimes hormone replacement therapy is advised to women. Postmenopausal women can also take calcium supplements after expert recommendation and do exercise to reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
(Dr Sarika Gupta is a Consultant, Gynecologic Oncology and Robotic Gynaecology at Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, New Delhi)
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