Menopause and osteoporosis: what causes bone loss?

Unfortunately for all women who are in menopause osteoporosis is a sad reality that sooner or later will become increasingly present in their lives, this is even more true in all those who already have a genetic predisposition towards this degenerative bone disease.

But what is osteoporosis? It is nothing more than a weakening of the skeleton due to the reduction of the mass of the bones that, consequently, becomes more fragile and therefore more subject to fractures. This particular pathology can be diagnosed to anyone and in any age group, but without a doubt, with the future of menopause this bone degeneration accelerates. To understand this process it is important to study it closely and understand its causes to the maximum, this will help everyone to better deal with this phase of their lives.

How osteoporosis develops in menopause

To understand how osteoporosis is born and develops, let’s first see from close up what is the natural process that bones perform in their life within the human body. Generally the skeletal structure is subject to a continuous process of remodeling, in fact every day 10% of the bones are renewed thanks to resorption and new formation mechanisms. In the human body, these operations are possible thanks to two types of cells: 

  • osteoclasts: dealing with bone destruction and resorption;
  • osteoblasts: they reconstruct the bone.

During the operation of these cells is no less important the role that vitamin D and calcitonin hormones play. The first allows a proper absorption of calcium and phosphorus by the bones, while the second counteracts those agents within the human body that favor the work of osteoclasts. Estrogen hormones also play a very important role during all these processes because they promote the absorption of calcium in the kidney, help the conversion of vitamin D and allow the intake of intestinal calcium.

The different causes of osteoporosis in menopause

The causes of osteoporosis in menopause are mainly due to the lack of estrogen, which, as we have seen before, are very important for the bones because they favor their development and strengthening. Missing these elements, the bones no longer have sources to draw on and therefore weaken over time.

However, the decrease in estrogen does not seem to be the only cause, in fact there are other factors that, united among them, favor the progress of this disease. Other reasons for the onset of osteoporosis are: 

  • familiarity and genetic predisposition, that is, people within the family circle who already suffer from this disease;
  • low calcium intake: diets made over time may have reduced the introduction of calcium into the body and this lack has affected the development and strengthening of bones;
  • sedentary: a static lifestyle without physical activity weakens the skeleton;
  • use or abuse of certain drugs: there are certain types of medicines such as corticosteroids that affect the bone constitution;
  • excessive thinness,
  • vices such as smoking and alcohol abuse.

What are the symptoms?

To understand if you are starting to suffer from osteoporosis in menopause may not be easy. Most women, in fact, in the early stages, can only realize this by undergoing some specific examinations. Of course, as the years go by, the consequences begin to become apparent such as bone and muscle pain, curvature of the back and, in some cases, frequent fractures. To understand if you are really suffering from this disease you need to resort to special examinations prescribed by your doctor. 

Thanks to different types of instrumentation it is possible to measure the levels of calcium and minerals present in the bones, the doctors then based on the parameters found will give the result of the diagnosis. Bone mineralometry, or the type of examination we talked about earlier, can also be used in a preventive way to go and act immediately before the problem becomes complicated. By diagnosing the onset of the disease it will be possible to start preventive treatment with targeted treatments.

How to prevent osteoporosis in menopause

Although in medicine there are many treatments and types of medicines that help fight the onset of this disease, the prevention that can be done on a daily basis is never to be underestimated. In fact, it is a very important element that can be used to combat the problem on many fronts.

Nutrition is one of the points on which it is easier to act, your diet must be structured so that the body is provided with all the necessary nutrients, this not only during the menopause, but throughout the course of life. With advancing age and the approach of menopause, it is necessary to better integrate those elements that help bones such as calcium and Vitamin D.

The lifestyle really helps a lot in the fight against osteoporosis, doing physical activity in fact promotes the development and strengthening of bones. Of course, exercise must be proportionate to your age and individual abilities; for older women, it could be perfect sports such as pilates that strengthens the muscles, but without making too much load on the bone structure.

In addition to these good habits it can be useful to supplement your diet with dietary supplements based on silicon, vitamin K2, vitamin D3, calcium, vitamin E and zinc. Silicon is able to stabilize collagen fibers, improve the mechanical properties of bone and facilitate remodeling and mineralization. Menaquinone MK7, a biologically active component within Vitamin K2, intervenes in the constitution of bone tissue, favoring the correct mineralization. Vitamin D3 is essential for bone health and functional to the fixation of calcium and phosphorus. Calcium, as well known, is the fundamental component for the correct formation and growth of bones and for the maintenance of normal bone tropism.

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