Osteoporosis is the gradual deterioration of bone, resulting in the danger of breaks and fractures. Under normal conditions, the “bone turnover” rate is balanced. This means that the amount of bone loss would equal the amount of bone gained.
What Does Hormones Have to Do With Osteoporosis?
According to The Hormone Foundation, not enough or way too much hormones can escalate osteoporosis or osteopenia (a more moderate decline of bone density). Of course, there’s menopause where less estrogen (a hormone) is being produced. Estrogen acts as a defense for bones. Additionally, if an individual suffers from any hormonal disease, such as Cushing Syndrome, where too much of the hormone cortisol is being produced, osteoporosis may develop. Finally, diseases like hyperthyroidism, diabetes and hyperprolactinemia (the overproduction of the hormone prolactin) are conditions where hormones affect osteoporosis as well.
Please consider the risk factors below (as indicated by The Hormone Foundation) and begin to take preventive steps, especially after consulting with your physician and having a DEXA bone mineral density test done.
If you are advanced in age
Have a family history of osteoporosis
Have a thin or small frame
Have completed menopause
Are Caucasian or Asian
Have had a fracture as an adult
Have a parent with a hip fracture
Experience amenorrhea (missing menstrual periods)
Suffer from anorexia nervosa
Have an inactive lifestyle
Have a diet low in calcium or vitamin D
Take certain anti-seizure medications or thyroid hormones or steroids
Have certain hormonal conditions
Prevention and Treatment
For prevention, individuals need a well-balanced diet with calcium-rich foods and exercise. With some individuals, however, calcium supplements are needed. To determine the right amount of calcium intake, check with your physician because too much can cause kidney stones. After your physician recommends the right amount of calcium supplements, the next step would be to get the right amount of vitamin D. Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium. We all know that standing in the sun helps with the natural production of vitamin D, but this may not be enough for some. Once again, supplements can be taken. Consult with your physician for the right amount to avoid taking too much.
Even with all that, some may still have to take special medications to treat osteoporosis. Each person – depending on family history and personal medical history is different. You and your medical team can work up a doable health plan for your needs.
Resources: The Hormone Foundation
Dita Faulkner is a freelance writer living in the southern US. She loves good movies, interesting books and kind people.
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