Osteoporosis is one of the most serious symptoms of menopause. It significantly impairs a woman's quality of life and even life expectancy if not treated appropriately. In order to avoid some of the debilitating effects of osteoporosis, take some time to read over the following to learn about the link between menopause, osteoporosis, and natural treatments.
What Is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a degenerative bone disorder in which the bones become thinner and weaker. It is characterized as a decrease in overall bone mass and density.
Human bones contain two important minerals, calcium and phosphorus. The types of cells that regulate bone mass and bone mineral content are called osteoblasts and osteoclasts. Osteoclasts break down bones, while osteoblasts help build them. In order to maintain healthy bones, both the osteoclasts and the osteoblasts need to function properly.
Osteoporosis occurs when more bone mass is broken down than built. This condition leaves the bones more vulnerable to fractures and breaks. The wrists, spine, and hips are the most common body parts that are affected, especially when women with osteoporosis suffer from physical trauma.
Nearly 50% of women and 12% of men will be affected by osteoporosis in their lifetime. While there is currently no cure for osteoporosis, several treatments are available that can help increase bone density and prevent potential fractures.
The Link between Menopause and Osteoporosis
Menopause is a time of physiological change in which the ovaries greatly reduce the production of estrogen or other hormones. This loss of estrogen accelerates bone loss for a period ranging from five to eight years. Without enough estrogen, osteoclasts are more active than osteoblasts, meaning more bone mass is broken down than built. The result is a greater amount of bone lost than produced. This causes women to lose more bone mass than normal.
Accelerated bone loss during menopause has little relationship to calcium intake. Despite this, after the age of 60 it has been shown that increased calcium consumption can improve bone density.
Hormonal imbalance during menopause is one of the main causes of osteoporosis in women. However, other less frequently referred to causes of bone loss include inadequate intake of vitamin D, not enough muscle-strengthening exercises, and the use of certain medications.
Treatments for Osteoporosis
It is imperative that women first work to prevent osteoporosis. This can be done naturally by controlling the levels of estrogen and calcium in the body by maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Women should not wait until their mid-forties or fifties to start doing this. It is simple and requires eating a balanced diet rich in calcium and vitamin D, as well as exercising regularly.
Additionally, some alternative treatments like Macafem, as well as some prescription medication may help prevent bone loss and the development of osteoporosis. These remedies will often target the issue of estrogen depletion itself, and therefore can prove effective in preventing osteoporosis caused by hormone imbalance. Follow the links below to get more information on some of the natural treatments for osteoporosis.