Osteoporosis is a chronic condition that weakens bones and increases your risk of injury. This condition usually affects women and typically isn’t diagnosed until an injury occurs. After one osteoporosis-related injury, your risk of another one increases. This is a disease requires monitoring and management. There is no cure for osteoporosis, but its progress can be slowed with treatment.
Risk for osteoporosis significantly increases during and after menopause. Bone loss can increase up to 20% during menopause due to changes in hormone production. Thankfully, you can take measures to prevent osteoporosis from developing or progressing if you already have it.
Prevent Osteoporosis by Preparing for Menopause
The earlier you start monitoring your bone density, the better. Bones naturally lose density over time, and this process speeds up during menopause. You should have a bone density scanning sometime before menopause begins. Knowing how much bone you have left will help you and your doctor come up with a plan to prevent osteoporosis.
What can I do to prevent osteoporosis?
- Develop an exercise plan that has been reviewed and approved by your doctor
- Maintain a high calcium diet
- Take calcium supplements only as recommended by your doctor – relying on supplements too much can increase your risk
- Monitor estrogen levels after menopause and receive hormone therapy if recommended by your doctor
- Limit alcohol consumption (one 12 oz drink per day recommended for women)
- Stop smoking
- Eating a diet that's low in salt and rich in fresh and minimally processed whole grains, fruits, vegetables, fish, eggs, milk, and other sources of vitamin D, and be sure to limit caffeine and carbonated drinks.
Treatment for Post-Menopausal Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis can be managed with medication, hormone therapy, exercise, and calcium supplements. Hormone therapy raises estrogen levels to decrease the rate of bone loss. Hormone therapy requires careful administration from experienced professionals and is not recommended for everyone. Alternative treatments for osteoporosis include:
- Bisphosphonates medications to strengthen bones and prevent fractures
- Medications that replicate the functions of estrogen, like Raloxifene (Evista)
- Certain antibodies that stop the body’s bone-breakdown processes
- Bone building medications that stimulates new bone growth.
You should discuss the possibility of osteoporosis with your doctor as you approach menopause. At Comprehensive Spine Institute, we can help you prevent the onset of menopause, manage its symptoms, and reduce your risk of injury.
Contact us today to schedule your appointment at Comprehensive Spine Institute.