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Women and Osteoporosis Gaudium IVF Centre in Delhi

Women and Osteoporosis As a woman comes of age, the functioning of reproductive system gets influenced, all due to changes in hormonal levels during menopause. Not only does it mark the end of reproductive life of a woman, she also encounters a series of health problems. Simply speaking, menopause brings a host of health issues such as female infertility and osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a condition that affects both men and women, though women are more likely to suffer from its impact. Therefore, it becomes all the more crucial for women to be conscious about the disease and its implications.

Osteoporosis: The Silent Bone Disease

Osteoporosis, literally translated as porous bones, is a condition in which the bones get weakened to the extent that they can be broken easily. The disease seldom shows any symptoms to begin with but with the passage of time, the bones lose their mass as well as strength. The age related condition can lead to fractures of hips and back and these may become recurring in nature.

Bones are made up of living tissues, which are continually lost and replaced as a normal physical function. There is a certain point of time when the bones are at their strongest, with bone mass being at its peak. Primarily, the human body undergoes the process of bone loss and buildup on a constant basis till it reaches the age of 30 years. As a person starts ageing, the rate of breakdown of bones exceeds that of the buildup of bones, which leads to gradual bone loss and can take the form of osteoporosis.

The rate of age-related bone loss varies from person to person, with some people losing it more rapidly than others. The condition silently eats up the bones and they become porous without the patient knowing about it. A fracture induced by a sudden fall or bump comes up as the first symptom of osteoporosis, which can later lead to severe back pain, stooped posture and loss of height. Women of menopausal age, in particular become susceptible to it.

Osteoporosis and Women: The Menopause Connection Studies have established the fact that fluctuation in female hormones are responsible for bone loss to a considerable extent. Estrogen is a hormone which regulates the menstrual cycle of the woman and also maintains bone health. Women of menopausal age come across sudden drop in estrogen levels in their body. The ones who have stronger bones to begin with and a high peak bone mass are better equipped to counter osteoporosis in the future. For this reason, they need to be more careful about their bone health during young age so that they can safeguard themselves from the disease in postmenopausal years.

Those who start getting periods at late age, come across menopause at early age (around 40 years), have irregular periods and absence of periods are likely to have low estrogen levels and this puts them at a high risk of osteoporosis. Additionally, those who have to get their ovaries removed surgically are prone to the disease. Therefore, menopause is seen as a key determinant of the risk factor of osteoporosis, though there are some other factors affecting it too.

The key factors that elevate the risk of osteoporosis in women are:

• Women tend to lose more bone once they step across into her thirties • The risk is higher in Asian and Caucasian women as compared to African-Americans • Heredity is another major factor that elevate the risk of osteoporosis • Women who are initially thin and petite tend to lose bone mass faster than women with larger frames and stronger bones • Long term use of certain medications such as steroids also have a detrimental impact on the bone strength

Women at high risk should, therefore, be vigilant about osteoporosis and seek medical assistance as soon as they experience symptoms of the age-related bone loss. Bone mineral density test is the diagnostic yardstick of the disease. Menopausal women, those aged over 65 years and those at high risk should take this test periodically for timely detection and treatment of osteoporosis.

Treatment and Prevention of Osteoporosis in Women: As it has been established that the fall in estrogen level is the key cause of osteoporosis in women, hormone replacement therapy is regarded as one of the best treatment options. Women who undergo early menopause and those at high risk, in particular, are recommended this therapy to alleviate the risk of bone loss.

At the same time, there are certain risks linked with hormone replacement therapy, such as those of breast cancer, heart disease, blood clots and gall bladder disease. Therefore, it is important to consult a specialist and weigh the risks and benefits of the therapy before taking it up as a treatment for osteoporosis. Alternatively, certain medications and calcium and vitamin D supplements are advisable for strengthening the bones.

Like all other diseases and conditions, it is better to look for prevention rather than treatment of osteoporosis too. Regular weight bearing exercises such as walking, hiking, jogging and dancing can impart strength to the bone. A diet high in calcium, with RDA of 1500 mg for postmenopausal women, is an effective preventive measure against the condition. While dairy products make the best source of calcium, those who are lactose intolerant can look for non-dairy food sources such as dark leafy greens, canned fish like sardines and salmon and calcium fortified orange juice.

Vitamin D is another micronutrient which is required for proper absorption of calcium. Sunlight is the best natural source of the vitamin, which also comes in food sources such as eggs, salmon, fortified cereal and milk. Abstinence from alcohol and smoking also reduce the risk of osteoporosis to a considerable extent.

At Gaudium IVF, the top IVF clinic in Delhi, patients can get advanced treatment for female infertility, in addition to comprehensive gynecological care and support for common conditions such as osteoporosis. For a free second opinion, contact Dr Manika Khanna, the leading infertility specialist in Delhi.

Gaudium IVF Centre in Delhi Address: A-41, Chander Nagar, Janakpuri West (Near Janakpuri West Metro Station) New Delhi – 110 058 (India) Phone: +91-11-69418485, +91-11-43528485 +91-11-84854359, +91-8527858585 +91-9899953963, +91-9810739199 Email: Website: Founder and CEO: Dr. Manika Khanna M.B.B.S., M.D., D.A.G.E. (Germany)

IVF Centre in Delhi: Women and Osteoporosis  

Gaudium IVF Centre in Delhi: As a woman comes of age, the functioning of reproductive system gets influenced, all due to changes in hormonal...

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