Women and Osteoporosis: What You Need to Know
posted by Endocrinology | July 20, 2017
Osteoporosis is a disease that causes the bones to become weak and brittle, often as a result of a change in hormones or deficiency of calcium or vitamin D. Women are at a much higher risk for osteoporosis than men. Why is this and what can women do to reduce their risk?
Women have smaller, thinner bones than men, which is a major factor behind the large gap in males and females with osteoporosis. Estrogen also decreases as women get older and reach menopause—because estrogen helps protect bones, this development can increase the risk of osteoporosis as women reach this stage in life.
A woman’s risk of osteoporosis and other bone issues vary between different ages and ethnic backgrounds. Here’s a look at a few specific risk groups:
Menopause is a period of life where estrogen levels drop and bone loss can increase rapidly. Two factors that are vital during this period include:
Both in your earlier years and leading up toward menopause, there are steps you can take to improve bone density and reduce your chances of developing osteoporosis. Here are a few:
If you’re worried about your risk for osteoporosis and approaching menopause, your doctor can give you further recommendations for maintaining healthy bones.
“What Women Need to Know.” National Osteoporosis Foundation. https://www.nof.org/preventing-fractures/general-facts/what-women-need-to-know/
“Osteoporosis (Self-management).” The Mayo Clinic. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/osteoporosis/manage/ptc-20207963
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. You should always consult your doctor before making decisions about your health.