Osteoporosis and menopause: What you should know…
- How common is osteoporosis? Almost half of women older than 50 years will experience a fracture related to osteoporosis in their lifetimes. These fractures often resulting in significant symptoms and impairment of function and quality of life. Hip fractures may require surgery, a rehab stay or long-term nursing home. Osteoporosis is substantially underdiagnosed and undertreated. Ask your physician if a bone density (DEXA) test is right for you.
- Estrogen deficiency at menopause is the primary cause of bone loss leading to osteoporosis.
- Even with good nutrition and regular physical activity, osteoporosis progresses with advancing age unless treated. There is no cure for osteoporosis so life-long management is required once the diagnosis has been made.
- Hormone therapy is the most appropriate choice to prevent bone loss at the time of menopause for healthy women, particularly those who have menopause symptoms.
- Bone mineral density measured while on treatment correlates with the patient’s current risk of fracture, providing justification for the use of the T-score at the hip as an appropriate clinical target. Therapy should be reviewed after each bone density test.
- Although antiremodeling drugs such as bisphosphonates and denosumab are the drugs chosen to treat most patients with osteoporosis, a new paradigm of beginning treatment with a bone-building agent, followed by an antiremodeling agent, is recommended for women at very high risk of fracture. Talk to your doctor about what may be right for you.
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