Osteoporosis generally occurs because of such reason as the reduced production of estrogens during menopause. It is known that hormones directly affect the condition of the bone metabolism and their lack is bone loss.
In childhood bone mass increases reaching the highest level in 25 years of age; maximum weight is determined by hereditary factors. Then, up to 35-40 years, bone mass remains stable and then begins to decline. In women the rate of decrease increases with the onset of menopause.
Bone mass grew faster if the body will rapidly produce sex hormones. As you know, in an age close to the elderly they are beginning to produce less and less, therefore, total bone mass decreases. This can cause unpleasant disease called menopausal osteoporosis. At the same time if the adrenal glands produce too much hormone or hormones are included in the excessive amount of drugs which enter the body it can lead to a form of osteoporosis as a steroid, which is also fraught with disastrous consequences for the person.
HRT increases bone density and reduces the risk of fractures. But the using of HRT medications increases the risk of blood clots, of breast and uterine cancer as well as increases the probability of stroke and myocardial infarction particularly in elderly postmenopausal women. The decision on the prescription of HRT after the doctor takes a careful assessment of the intended use and possible risk of side effects.
Bone demineralization is a natural process that accompanies aging. However, the bone demineralization process begins in women 15-20 years earlier than men and especially accelerated after the cessation of ovarian function. Bone demineralization occurs not only in physiological menopause, also this phenomenon is observed in young women when for some reason decreases the formation of estrogens.
With the reduction of estrogen formation the skin becomes thinner, less elastic and as a result it is easier exposed to trauma. HRT can restore the thickness and elasticity of the skin.
If a woman during the first five years after menopause does not receive estrogen she will notice a progressive linear decrease in bone mineral mass. However, estrogen replacement if started prior to or during menopause, bone density is maintained at a premenopausal level. Although there is conflicting evidence about the effectiveness of treating with estrogen replacement therapy started after 5 or more years after menopause. Using drugs with calcium does not replace estrogen. Several studies have compared the effects of treatment with estrogen and calcium. Patients who received only calcium continued to lose mineral weight and those receiving estrogens observed stabilization of this indicator. However, it is recommended to take daily estrogens with 1000 to 1500 mg of calcium.
The possibility of developing osteoporosis is influenced by many factors which are called risk factors. Risk factors divide into unavoidable (which cannot be changed) and avoidable (which can).
Unavoidable risk factors:
- Female gender and belonging to the white race;
- Genetic predisposition to the development of osteoporosis;
- Elderly age;
- Late menarche (after 16 years);
- Early cessation of menstruation – up to 40-45 years;
- Menstrual disorders in the form of scarce menstruation or prolonged absence (not pregnancy-related);
- Infertility associated with impaired ovulation;
- Low body weight (less than 60 kg);
- Surgery to remove the ovaries, made at a young age.
Preventable risk factors include:
- Smoking, abuse of alcohol or caffeine;
- Sedentary lifestyle;
- Excessive exercise;
- Low consumption of foods containing calcium;
- Vitamin D deficiency (lack of sun exposure, poor nutrition);
- Excessive consumption of meat.
Medications for osteoporosis in women should not only reduce the severity of symptoms – pain, stiffness. First of all they are designed to stop the destructive process that threatens the woman fractures and disability.
Fortunately there are drugs that help millions people in the fight against osteoporosis. They act in several directions:
- Reduce depletion rate and the bone tissue at the same time contribute to its greater recovery (remodeling).
- Stimulate mineralization – and not only bone, but also soft tissue.
- Increase the mechanical strength of bone.
This group of drugs has a complicated name – bisphosphonates. Various mechanisms of their action allow doctors to apply them successfully in the treatment of osteoporosis for many years. But again, the products of this group also have different bioavailability and therefore efficacy. How well the medication will affect the pathology depends on its chemical structure. Bisphosphonates have different generations of different molecular structure – and it determines their ability to be delayed in the field of “fresh” osteosynthesis until the replacement of the old tissue to the new one.
Special attention should be paid the preparations of last (third) generation: Generic Boniva. Structural distinctions in bisphosphonates formula affect their ability to block the depletion of bone tissue. Nitrogen-containing bisphosphonates more effectively inhibits the activity of osteoclasts reducing the rate of bone resorption.
To slow down the processes of destruction of bone tissue helps hormones-estrogens that are prescribed to women as part of HRT. Most popular of which are the following generics: Evista, Premarin and Estrace.
You need to know about the problem and to prevent it long before the onset of menopause. Woman with little effort can change her lifestyle, diet, give up bad habits and achievements of modern medicine help her for many years to stay active, healthy and beautiful.