All About Osteoporosis and Menopause
At what age do osteoporosis and menopause occur? What are the symptoms of this nightmare of women? All About Osteoporosis and Menopause in the continuation of our article
Osteoporosis, also called osteoporosis, is a disease characterized by thinning and breaking of bones. Osteoporosis is seen in most women after the age of 45. Bone tissue is a constantly changing tissue due to its structure and is in a constant exchange of calcium with the blood. In the nature of bones, the processes of construction and destruction are in balance. In the post-menopausal period, production decreases and the balance is disturbed and destruction accelerates. As a result, bone mass continues to decrease by 3% each year in the 5 years following menopause. After a 5-year period, bone mass decreases by 1% per year.
Relationship between Osteoporosis and Calcium
Calcium provides strength of teeth and bones, contraction of muscles, regulation of neural transmissions and heart functions, and coagulation of blood. In the postmenopausal period, calcium decreases are seen in the bones due to the lack of estrogen. This causes the bones to weaken and crumble even at the slightest blow. After the age of 60, curvature of the spine and back pain begin. After the age of 70, the probability of hip fracture increases. In general, osteoporosis causes chronic back pain complaints, shortening of stature, tooth and gum problems, leg cramps and joint pain, especially in the evening.
There are also studies showing the effect of menopause on memory. Conditions such as the inability to concentrate, the inability to remember where to put things such as car keys and glasses are common in women who have gone through the menopause process.
Factors such as body structure, thyroid gland disorders and various drug use are factors that directly affect the risk of osteoporosis. For example, women with small bones have a higher incidence of osteoporosis. In obese women, estrogen production is higher due to the high amount of bones and adipose tissue in direct proportion to body weight. Thus, women with this type of body have a lower risk of osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis is more common in women with a family history of osteoporosis, light skin, diabetes, liver, thyroid gland disorders and kidney disease.
Excessive protein intake, cortisone, antacids, diuretics and epilepsy drugs, excessive smoking and alcohol consumption reduce calcium absorption and cause osteoporosis.
What is hormone replacement therapy for osteoporosis?
Although calcium intake, calcitonin hormone and long walks are very effective in the treatment of osteoporosis, hormone replacement is also a good treatment option. Hormone replacement therapy takes place with estrogen intake and can be applied to women who do not mind taking estrogen.
The purpose of hormone replacement therapy; It is to bring the hormones that are lost during the menopause process in women back to the level before the menopause. Estrogen preparations have been given to women in the menopausal period since 1960. In 1975, progestins were added to the treatment, considering that the use of estrogen increased uterine cancer. The preparations and doses to be used during hormone replacement therapy must be adjusted by doctors according to the characteristics of women.
Hormone replacement therapy for postmenopausal sexual reluctance gives positive results. With this treatment, 90% of women regain their sexual desire in their pre-menopausal period. In addition, with the treatment, vaginal dryness is eliminated, and the pain during sexual intercourse is reduced to a minimum with exercises that strengthen the vaginal wall and lubricants. The importance given to sexual life and personal care will increase the self-confidence of the woman and make her happier and healthier.
The benefits of hormone replacement therapy are certain, but it is not certain when to start treatment. While some physicians point to the premenopausal period to start treatment, some physicians point to the period after 1 year without menstrual bleeding. In order to prevent osteoporosis, it would be appropriate to start treatment with the menopause period.
Side Effects of Hormone Replacement Therapy
Side effects such as nausea, weight gain, tightness in the breasts, vaginal discharge and water retention can be seen with hormone replacement therapy. Headache complaints may increase in migraine patients. The risk of uterine cancer increases with estrogen treatments that are not balanced with progestin.
Hormone replacement therapy may be inconvenient in uterine cancer, breast cancer, active gallbladder and liver diseases, and blood coagulation problems. Since people with a family history of breast cancer are at risk, many physicians believe that hormone replacement therapy can be administered with low doses and close follow-up. In this way, both early diagnosis can be made and problems related to menopause can be prevented. In addition, previous diabetes, gallbladder and liver diseases also require close follow-up during treatment. There are physicians who say that in the presence of uterine fibroids or benign tumors in the breasts, the treatment can be applied with low dose estrogen balanced with progestin and close follow-up. However, in general, estrogen therapy is not recommended in such cases.
Estrogen and progestin, which are balanced during hormone replacement therapy, can cause bleeding to begin again, just like in the pre-menopausal period, and this may continue for several years. In the later period, despite the treatment, menstrual bleeding may not be seen.
Things to Consider During Menopause
The risk of osteoporosis is minimized when calcium is taken in the diet. The amount of calcium to be taken daily is 1000 – 1500 mg, and 500 mg of calcium can be taken daily with the diet. Vitamin D is necessary for the absorption of calcium. The need for this vitamin can be met by taking advantage of sunlight and eating foods rich in vitamin D. In addition, a certain amount of fat must be present in the diet for blood absorption. 30% of the daily calories we need should be met from fats.
With each passing decade, the need for calories decreases by 2-8%. Regular exercise prevents excess weight gain. With advancing age, the percentage of fat in the body increases and muscle mass decreases. For this reason, ideal weight can be maintained with a low-fat diet and regular exercise.
The amount of calcium that should be taken daily for an adult is a minimum of 800 mg. While this need is 1000 mg before menopause, it increases to 1500 mg after it. In women taking estrogen, 1000 mg of calcium is also sufficient. Calcium tablets and various other ready-made tablets can be used as supplements for calcium that cannot be met by diet. It is more appropriate to take these tablets with food in order to increase absorption.
It is very inconvenient to expose the skin to direct sunlight, especially during menopause. For this reason, it is beneficial to be in the shade between 10:00 and 14:00. If it is not possible to stay in the shade, creams with a skin protective factor of at least 15 should be used.
Smoking should be stopped. Smoking increases skin aging and wrinkles around the mouth.
Exercise positively affects circulation and skin nutrition. Consumption of a rich, balanced diet consisting of vegetables containing vitamins A and E and plenty of water nourishes and softens the skin. In addition, regular care with cleansers and moisturizers suitable for the skin facilitates a youthful and healthy appearance.
Having a large number of children alleviates but does not delay menopausal symptoms. In addition, although late menopause means long-term high estrogen levels and younger appearance, it also brings the risk of late pregnancy and ovarian cancer. For this reason, instead of enjoying the advantage of late menopause, it is necessary to stay under the control of a doctor in order to minimize the risks by living healthy.
Menopause is not understood while using the birth control pill because the signs of menopause are not understood by the effect of the pill. FSH and estrogen levels in the blood can be misleading. For this reason, it is necessary to take a break from taking the pill for a while and the hormone levels should be determined accordingly.
"The content of the page is for informational purposes only. Consult your doctor for diagnosis and treatment."