Osteoporosis is perhaps the most serious symptom of menopause because it can lead to severe health problems such as chronic back pain and broken bones. Not only does osteoporosis threaten a woman’s physical health, but the disease can come on slowly and go unrecognized until a bone is fractured.
About 33% of women over 50 will experience bone fractures as a result of osteoporosis. The hormonal fluctuations that precede menopause and the permanently low hormonal levels of postmenopause plays a major role in the onset of osteoporosis.
There are treatment options available, but first it’s important to be educated about osteoporosis in order to know how to prevent and treat it.
Osteoporosis is a disease that weakens bones and increases the risk of sudden and unexpected fractures. Osteoporosis literally means “porous bone”. A hallmark of the disease is an increased loss of bone mass and strength. It often progresses without any symptoms or pain. Generally, osteoporosis is not discovered until weakened bones cause painful fractures usually in the back or hips.
An unfortunate aspect of the disease is that once an osteoporotic fracture occurs, there is a much higher risk of additional bone fractures.
More unfortunate news: women make up 80% of osteoporosis sufferers. The disease does affect men but at a drastically lower rate than women. This is because men generally have stronger, bulkier bones that don’t lose their mass as easily. Men who do suffer from osteoporosis generally get it later in life than women.
Because women are more susceptible to contracting osteoporosis, they have to take greater care to prevent or treat the diseases in their later years.
Common Symptoms of Osteoporosis
- Loss of height as a result of weakened spine
- Fractured bones, especially hip bones
- Bone pain and tenderness
- Neck, spine, and lower back pain
- Broken bones, brittle fingernails
- Periodontal disease, tooth loss
- Spinal deformities become evident like stooped posture, an outward curve at the top of the spine as a result of developing a vertebral collapse on the back
Estrogen and osteoporosis
Estrogen levels in postmenopausal women are about one-tenth the amount present in premenopausal women. For this precise reason, women approaching menopause and those who have already gone through it are at a much higher risk of developing osteoporosis and suffering from bone fractures as a result.
Without adequate levels of estrogen, bones aren’t able to absorb the proper amounts of calcium to replenish bone mass as cells slough off and die. The body also has trouble controlling the amount of bone cells that are destroyed without estrogen to regulate the function.
Estrogen’s most important effect on osteoporosis appears to be prevention of bone breakdown, known as resorption. Healthy bones require a balance of osteoclasts (cells that breakdown bones) and osteoblasts (cells that produce new bone). As estrogen levels diminish, osteoclasts live longer than their counterparts, osteoblasts. This leads to bones being broken down at a rate much greater than they can be rebuilt, thus they grow weak and brittle.
Researchers agree that the primary cause of osteoporosis in women as they surpass age 50 is diminished hormonal levels, particularly estrogen levels; however, there are other causes that need to be explored in order to have a comprehensive understanding of this serious bone disease.
Other causes of osteoporosis include the following:
- Medications. Some medications can reduce bones’ ability to rebuild themselves. Some of the medications that can cause osteoporosis are glucocorticoid medications, prednisolone, excess thyroid hormone replacement, the blood thinner heparin, and certain anti-convulsant medications.
- Insufficient bone growth as a youth. Bones that didn’t get enough calcium early in life have a higher likelihood of becoming osteoporotic and fracturing as estrogen levels begin to decrease.
- Genetic factors. If a woman’s family members, especially her mother, have suffered from osteoporosis, the likelihood that she will develop the disease jumps dramatically. Genetics also helps determine the body type of a woman. If she inherited a small, thin body type, she is predisposed to osteoporosis.
The best way to avoid the painful and debilitating bone fractures that comes with osteoporosis is to prevent the disease before it takes hold. Of course going back in time to the teenage years when bone growth is most crucial is not a possibility.
However, there are still ways to increase bone mass, or at least limit the rapid destruction of bones common in menopausal women, before osteoporosis becomes a problem. Below is a list of prevention tips:
Prevention Tips for Osteoporosis
- Eat enough calcium
- Make sure to get enough vitamin D
- Get adequate physical exercise
- Avoid alcohol
- Avoid smoking
- Maintain a healthy weight
To prevent osteoporosis, you need to follow a healthy diet, like the Manna Diet and do adequate exercise each day, if possible.
Increasing your estrogen levels in the most natural way possible, through diet and a supplement like the Manna Menopause Support is of utmost importance. The Manna Menopause Support not only contains enough phyto-estrogens, but the product also contains the necessary calcium and vitamin D.