Menopause is the stage in a woman’s life that signals the end of childbearing years. There’s a change in your hormones that leads to a lot of different symptoms and changes in your body. One of the negative effects of menopause on your body is osteoporosis, which leads to brittle bones. However, there are things you can do to prevent bone problems during this time.
At the Spine and Orthopedic Center of NM, our goal is to help you understand how to keep your bones healthy, even during menopause. Our orthopedic team not only helps you when you have osteoporosis, but also tells you how you can avoid broken bones from this disease.
All about osteoporosis
You probably don’t think about your bones often, but bone health is very important, especially as you get older. So, what causes problems in your bones?
As you age, there are many different conditions that can affect your bones, including osteoporosis. This disease is often called a silent condition, because you don’t usually know it’s happening until you break a bone.
This disease causes a decrease in your bone density that makes your brones frail and brittle, which can lead to broken bones, even from the most minor fall or slip.
To understand osteoporosis, you have to understand that your bones are living — meaning they’re constantly rebuilding themselves as they break down over time. However, if you have osteoporosis, your body can’t keep up with the breakdown of bone, so your bone mass and density decrease.
There aren’t usually a lot of symptoms associated with osteoporosis, except in the late stages when you end up breaking one of your bones. However, there are a few signs that may clue you in to this condition, including:
Osteoporosis is a common disease, but how do you know if you’re going to be affected? The truth is, if you’re a woman and you’re in the middle of menopause, your chances of developing this condition is much greater.
How does menopause affect your bones?
When you go through menopause, your body goes through significant hormone fluctuations. Estrogen is one of the female hormones that fluctuates the most during this time in your life. Unfortunately, estrogen is the hormone that helps control the breakdown of your bone tissue.
During the first 30 years of your life, your bones rebuild more tissue than they lose; but after that time, you begin to lose more bone than your body can make. Menopause only speeds up this process because of the significant decrease in estrogen.
Osteoporosis is very common in post-menopausal women, because menopause is the leading cause of this condition. It’s so common that one out of every two women who are post-menopausal will suffer from this disorder.
This means you have a 50% chance of suffering from osteoporosis sometime in your life if you’re a woman. Those aren’t very good odds, but there are steps you can take to decrease your risk of developing this condition.
Taking control of your bone health
If you’re worried about developing osteoporosis after menopause, there are steps you can take early on to decrease the likelihood that you’ll develop it, including:
- Quit smoking
- Limit alcohol intake
- Weight bearing exercises
- Keep your weight down
- Get plenty of vitamin D
Although these steps help you early on before osteoporosis sets in, they won’t cure the disease once you have it. However, the Spine and Orthopedic Center of New Mexico team can help if you’ve already been diagnosed with this problem.
Once you have osteoporosis, it’s not the end of the world. There are treatments that can help you fight off the broken bones related to this disease. But sometimes you don’t know you have osteoporosis until you’ve suffered a fracture, such as a broken vertebra.
Vertebral fractures from osteoporosis can be treated with bracing and pain medications, but in some cases, surgery is necessary.
The surgical procedure Dr. Osmani performs is called a kyphoplasty. This is a minimally invasive treatment designed to relieve your back pain and restore the original height of your vertebrae. This procedure helps you get back on your feet after osteoporosis affects your spine.
If you’re worried about your bone health, call the Spine and Orthopedic Center of New Mexico team at 575-623-9101 or book an appointment online today.