Bone Loss Due to Menopause
The decrease in levels of estrogens after menopause may increase the rate of bone loss. For some women, bone loss happens faster than for others. In fact, a woman can lose up to 20% of her bone density during the 5 to 7 years following menopause. Losing bone quickly increases the chance of developing postmenopausal osteoporosis. Women who begin menopause with low bone density are more likely to develop osteoporosis than those who begin menopause with normal bone density.
What Causes Postmenopausal Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a disease of the bone and literally means “porous bone.” When viewing healthy bone under a microscope, it looks like a honeycomb. If you have osteoporosis, the holes and spaces in the honeycomb are much bigger than they are in healthy bone. Osteoporosis happens when you lose too much bone, make too little new bone, or both. As a result, your bones become weak.
Preventing Postmenopausal Osteoporosis
- Eat a balanced diet to ensure obtaining adequate calcium and vitamin D
- Engage in both cardio exercise to keep heart muscles strong and weight-bearing exercise to maintain bone strength at least 3 times a week
- Avoid cigarette smoke and excessive alcohol consumption