Postmenopausal osteoporosis is a form of osteoporosis which occurs in women after menopause. The majority of osteoporosis cases seen by the medical community take the form of postmenopausal osteoporosis. This form of osteoporosis cannot be entirely prevented, but there are some steps which women can take to reduce the severity of bone loss after menopause, and to care for their bodies during and after menopause to reduce the risk of developing complications associated with bone loss, such as fractures.
Osteoporosis occurs when the rate of bone resorption exceeds the rate of bone formation. In other words, the body is breaking down bone as it normally does, but it is not producing new bone. As a result, the bones become more porous, and more fragile. Osteoporosis greatly increases the risk of fractures, and it is harder to heal after a fracture when one has osteoporosis, presenting a double threat for people with this condition.
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People develop postmenopausal osteoporosis because estrogen rates decline after menopause. Low estrogen levels cause the rate of resorption to increase, potentially causing osteoporosis. As women grow older, they can lose a significant percentage of their bone mass to osteoporosis. Postmenopausal osteoporosis may be identified during routine medical care, or in the wake of a fracture which does not heal properly.
One way to reduce the risk of developing postmenopausal osteoporosis is to take calcium supplements throughout life, and to continue supplementing into menopause. It is important to consume dietary calcium in a way which maximizes absorption. A doctor can provide specific advice about the appropriate dosage and ways to consume it so that women can ensure that their bodies actually access the calcium they take in supplement form.
Weight bearing exercise and exercise in general are also useful. Staying active is an excellent way to preserve bone density, and many health centers offer classes specifically geared to seniors, for women who find that a little bit of exercise guidance is helpful. Hormone therapy can also be used to address postmenopausal osteoporosis, by supplementing hormone levels to address the changes which can contribute to bone loss.
Women who are concerned that they are at risk for postmenopausal osteoporosis can receive screening through a physician. The doctor can identify the amount of bone loss which has occurred, if any, and can provide suggestions to prevent further bone loss. Women may also want to discuss the risk of osteoporosis with their physicians before the onset of menopause, so that they can prepare.