Women and Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a common health problem in women. The main factors responsible for Osteoporosis in women are :
  1. Age-related bone loss : In women, Age-related bone loss starts earlier and progresses faster.
  2. Deficiency of Estrogen, a female hormone : Low estrogen levels due to menopause or removal of ovaries causes faster bone loss in women.
  3. Vitamin D deficiency : In elderly women, Vitamin D deficiency is very common due to poor dietary intake.
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Menopause and Osteoporosis
Estrogen is a female sexual hormone that is secreted by ovaries. It helps in deposition of calcium on bones. During menopause there is fall in the levels of estrogen, as a result there is also fall in rate of deposition of calcium in bone compared to the age related bone loss.
The lower levels of estrogen may also occur in young women after surgical removal of ovaries putting them at increased risk of osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis in Teenagers
Osteoporosis can be prolonged in women, if proper care is taken during the teenage. The foundation of the risk of developing osteoporosis in later year is laid down during the early childhood and teens. It is important to implement the desired dietary modification and exercise right from the childhood.
Up to 90% of peak bone mass is acquired by 18 years of age in girls and 20 years in boys. So, it is necessary to to achieve maximum bone mass and strength by taking proper diet.

Osteoporosis Screening

Osteoporosis screening is must for early diagnosis of osteoporosis in females. Osteoporosis  usually goes undetected till the occurrence of a fracture. Early detection of has shown to reduce the rate of vertebral and hip fracture by 50 to 70 %.

Early screening with Bone Densitometry Test is advisable in :

  • All women more than 65 years of age.
  • All post-menopausal women less than 65 years who has at least one symptoms of Osteoporosis like
  1. Episodes of back pain
  2. Generalized bone pain
  3. Loss of height
  4. Stooped posture or Kyphosis
  • Post-menopausal women having fractures.
  • Early menopausal females.
  • Females with family history of osteoporosis.
  • Females living an inactive and sedentary lifestyle.
  • Peoples taking steroids for a long time. 
Preventing Osteoporosis

Proper balanced diet, exercise and lifestyle modification can prevent Osteoporosis and further bone loss.

Kindly refer to the following guidelines :

  • Take diet that is rich source of Calcium. Include dairy products like milk, yogurt, cheese and green leafy vegetables; including Broccoli in daily diet.
  • Adequate amount of Vitamin D is required as it helps in absorption of Calcium in the body. Supplemented dairy products are good Source of Vitamin D. Regular exposure to sunlight helps in synthesis of Vitamin D in body.
  • Do regular weight bearing exercises like walking, dancing, jogging, climbing stairs, treadmill exercise or weight lifting. Everyone should start exercising at young age because it helps in maximize the mineral density of bones while they are still growing and maturing, and continuing to exercise minimize bone loss later in life.
  • Also don’t forget Magnesium ! 50% of Magnesium found in the body is stored in the bones, and so it is important that we take enough magnesium through diet. Magnesium converts Vitamin D into active form, which helps to absorb calcium to to maintain and strengthen the bony structure.
  • No Smoking ! Smoking reduces the levels of estrogen leading to reduced bone mass.
  • No Alcohol ! Alcohol increases risk of osteoporosis by decreasing bone formation and poor nutrition. 
  • Avoid taking steroid medicine.
  • Consult your doctor regularly. He may recommend you Calcium and Vitamin D supplements.

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