How to Prevent Osteoporosis During Menopause
Menopause and Osteoporosis
Menopause can be a difficult time for some women, because their hormonal balance is changing. However, what many women may not realize is that their risks for osteoporosis also increase during this period. Menopausal and post-menopausal women should check with their doctors to find out their risk of osteoporosis.
8 Tips to Help Prevent Osteoporosis
- All women should receive counseling on the risk factors for osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a silent risk factor for fracture just as hypertension is for stroke. One out of two Caucasian women will have a fracture during their lifetime.
- All post-menopausal women who suffer a fracture should be tested for osteoporosis with a bone mineral density (BMD) test, a non-invasive and painless test that quickly determines bone health. This test also determines the severity of osteoporosis.
- All post-menopausal women under age 65 who have one or more additional risk factors should receive a bone mineral density test.
- All post-menopausal women age 65 and over should receive a bone mineral density test regardless of additional risk factors. Women in this group should maintain adequate intake of dietary calcium (at least 1200 mg per day - use supplements if necessary) and vitamin D (400-800 IU per day).
- All people at risk for osteoporosis should perform weight-bearing exercises, such as walking, dancing and aerobics, and muscle-strengthening exercises, such as resistance training with free weights, to reduce the risk of falls and fractures.
- Avoid tobacco, and if you consume alcohol drink in moderation.
- Women with no other risk factors whose BMD T-scores are below -2.0 should begin therapy to reduce the risk of fractures. (T-scores compare a person’s BMD to the optimal or peak density of a healthy 30-year old woman to determine fracture risk.) Women with BMD T-scores below -1.5 and who have other risk factors should also consider beginning therapy to reduce the risk of fractures.
- Pharmacologic (medicine) treatment options for osteoporosis prevention or treatment are hormone therapy, alendronate, risedronate, raloxifene, ibondronate and calcitonin. Talk to your health care provider about the treatment option that is best for you.
For more information on osteoporosis, download the Free Osteoporosis Treatment Guide.