Osteoporosis is a silent killer for women over the age of forty-five to fifty. Literally meaning ‘hollow bone’ this disease affects around 200 million women around the world which means that there is a huge number of women who are living with an elevated daily risk of fracture. A study on this disease reports, “For the year 2000, there were an estimated 9 million new osteoporotic fractures, of which 1.6 million were at the hip, 1.7 million were at the forearm and 1.4 million were clinical vertebral fractures. Europe and the Americas accounted for 51% of all these fractures, while most of the remainder occurred in the Western Pacific region and Southeast Asia “. Although it does affect men as well, the number of women affected by this condition is much higher due to their decline in oesrogen levels around menopause.
Menopause and osteoporosis
Menopausal women are at the highest risk when it comes to osteoporosis. As a woman reaches menopause, the production of oestrogen, which is responsible for the protection of our bones. With the levels of oestrogen falling, the bones start losing their mass. As bone loss intensifies after menopause, it results in osteoporosis, which makes the bones fragile and easily prone to fractures. Menopause is a major cause of osteoporosis, and fractures related to this condition around the world. In fact, the biggest cause of fracture among post-menopausal women is osteoporosis. Thus, women over the age of forty to forty-five need to be extra careful in order to save themselves from fracture since it is also quite difficult to heal as the process of formation of bone is also incredibly slow post menopause.
Hormone Replacement Therapy
Hormone replacement therapy, commonly abbreviated as HRT, is a process where the body is supplied with oestrogen and/or progesterone, from eternal sources, to make up for the lack of these hormone which is caused by a depletion of hormone production due to menopause. It helps the body with additional hormones to maintain the hormonal balance, and prevent the negative effects of menopause such as hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, rapid bone mass depletion etc.
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The hormones that are administered in this therapy differs from patient to patient. Often it is a combination of oestrogen and progesterone, but in certain cases it can be only oestrogen or even growth hormone supplements like Jintropin, which are used to arrest the effects of menopause. This therapy slows down the aging process, helps the body in getting acclimatised to the sudden change in hormones and also minimises the risk of cancer. It makes the transition smoother, thereby, helping women go through menopause, be it natural, chemical or surgical, with less painful side effects.
Risks and side effects
Although it is completely safe, like every medical treatment, it is not without any risk. The side effects of this treatment often involve nausea, cramps, bloating, indigestion, headaches etc. These often go away once the body gets accustomed to the treatment. Still, there are always minimal risks involved with any treatment, hence it is a good idea to consult a doctor before embarking on the treatment.
It is important for every woman to take good care of her bone health once she reaches menopause.