World Osteoporosis Day: Here’s how menopause affects your bones

Sometimes, osteoporosis develops after menopause and doesn't shown any observable symptoms. Here's how to reduce the risk.
menopause and osteoporosis
Here's how menopause increases osteoporosis risk. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock
Dr. G.V. Reddy Published: 20 Oct 2022, 19:22 pm IST
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A disorder called osteoporosis weakens bones, raising the chance of sudden, unannounced fractures. A person suffering from osteoporosis experiences loss of bone mass and strength. Symptoms or pain are not always present as the condition advances. Osteoporosis is frequently not identified until painful fractures, generally in the back or hips, are brought on by the disease. Unfortunately, once you break a bone as a result of osteoporosis, your chances of breaking it again are very high. Furthermore, these fractures may be crippling. Fortunately, there are things you may take to lessen your risk of developing osteoporosis. Additionally, if you already have osteoporosis, medicines can delay the rate of bone loss.

How does osteoporosis develop?

Although scientists may not understand the exact root of osteoporosis, we do understand how the condition progresses. Living, expanding tissue makes up your bones. Trabecular bone, which resembles a sponge, is enclosed by an outer layer of cortical or thick bone. The “holes” in the “sponge” of a bone that has osteoporosis deteriorate in size and number, compromising the bone’s internal structure. People typically gain more bone than they lose up to the age of 30. Bone mass gradually decreases as we age because bone breakdown starts to outstrip bone growth. An individual has osteoporosis after this bone loss exceeds a certain level.

menopause increases osteoporosis risk
Here’s how menopause increases osteoporosis risk. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

The link between menopause and osteoporosis

Osteoporosis, a disorder in which bones grow thin (less thick) and may fracture easily, can raise your risk of getting menopause (the natural ending of periods that often happens between the ages of 45 and 55). Low oestrogen levels due to menopause can lead to bone loss. In the first five years following menopause, women are thought to lose up to 10 percent of their bone mass on average. Eat a diet high in calcium and engage in regular weight-bearing exercise to lower your risk of developing osteoporosis. To gain the greatest benefits, it is ideal to adopt certain lifestyle behaviours when you are younger. There are medicinal options available as well that can help you manage osteoporosis.

The impact of menopause on osteoporosis

Around the age of 25 to 30, when the skeleton has stopped growing and the bones are at their strongest and thickest, women reach their highest bone mass. Oestrogen, a hormone found in women, is crucial for maintaining bone density. Oestrogen levels plummet and lead to bone loss around the age of 50 when menopause hits. Any bone loss during menopause may increase osteoporosis risk in women who had less than optimal bone mass before menopause. According to research, osteoporosis will cause at least one fracture in one in two women over the age of 60.

How to reduce osteoporosis risk during menopause?

You can lower your risk of developing osteoporosis around the time of menopause by sticking to a few lifestyle suggestions, such as:

1. Load up on calcium

Aim for a daily calcium intake of 1,300 mg (or check with your expert to prescribe the dosage as per your needS). Three to four portions of dairy stuff are included in this. Numerous non-dairy foods also contain calcium, including fish with edible bones, such as sardines or tinned salmon, firm tofu, almonds, Brazil nuts, and calcium-fortified soy or almond beverages.

2. Move more

Engage in regular, suitable weight-bearing exercise, such as resistance training with weights (always do this type of exercise under supervision).

menopause increases osteoporosis risk
Here’s how menopause increases osteoporosis risk. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

3. Mind your vitamin D levels

Keep good amounts of vitamin D. Calcium absorption by the body is increased by vitamin D. Following sun exposure, it is produced in the skin, and some foods contain extremely low levels of it. A quick blood test can be used to determine vitamin D levels.

4. Dial down on alcohol

Limit your alcohol consumption (current guidelines recommend a maximum of two standard drinks per day with two alcohol-free days per week for women).
Don’t smoke (smoking cigarettes is associated with a higher risk of developing osteoporosis).

5. Limit your caffeine intake

Caffeine anther culprit when it comes to increasing your risk of developing osteoporosis. Try to limit your caffeine intake as much as you can to avoid developing the disease. It is ideal to adopt certain lifestyle behaviours when you are younger to gain the benefits.

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reduce coffee intake to avoid osteoporosis
How to reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis? Image Courtesy: Shutterstock


Osteoporosis that develops after menopause is known as postmenopausal osteoporosis. Typically, there are no observable symptoms, and most people are only aware they have the disorder after they have fractured a bone.
A bone density scan can be used by a physician to assist in the diagnosis of postmenopausal osteoporosis. Medication, calcium and vitamin D supplements, life style changes , physical activity and hormone replacement therapy can all be used to treat the problem.

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About the Author

Dr. G.V. Reddy, Senior Consultant - Orthopedics, Joint Replacement and Arthroscopy, Manipal hospitals, Vijayawada. ...Read More

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