World Osteoporosis Day: What you should know about postmenopausal osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a bone degenerative disease, which can be caused by lack of calcium, vitamin D, estrogen, or poor diet, leading to the risk of fractures. It can occur to anyone at any time.

According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), women are about four times more likely to develop osteoporosis than men. As they reach menopause and the ovaries stop producing estrogen, the disease can develop faster.

Dr Archana Pathak, gynaecologist and obstetrician at CK Birla Hospital, Delhi, says a woman may experience several symptoms before reaching menopause, and premenopausal osteoporosis is one of them. “During premenopausal osteoporosis, the bone mineral density (BMD) becomes less than standard compared to the younger female population,” she says.

Symptoms of postmenopausal osteoporosis

The doctor explains that it is a silent disease and sometimes remains unidentified if you ignore the early signs and symptoms, which are:

* Fractures in bones with a minor injury, bones become fragile.
* Discomfort while walking, climbing stairs, bending, and even while coughing.
* Pain, especially in the lower body areas that affect the spine curve and breathing problems.
* One may also feel tender pain, deformity, arthritis, and difficulties in performing daily life activities.
* Other symptoms may include joint aches, pain or weakness in muscles, and disturbance in balancing the body.


There can be several reasons for women encountering bone-related difficulty or injuries post menopause, but almost half of them are secondary reasons that cause postmenopausal osteoporosis, says Dr Pathak.

One may feel tender pain, deformity, arthritis, and difficulties in performing daily life activities. (Photo: Getty/Thinkstock)

Some common causes are:

– Poor diet
– Excessive consumption of alcohol and tobacco
– Genetically inherited
– Body size (women with thin bones are at greater risk)
– Changes in hormones

Secondary causes

– Diabetes
– Vitamin deficiencies
– Endocrine diseases
– Liver disease
– HIV infection
– Cushing’s disease
– Celiac disease

The treatment

“There are different ways to treat postmenopausal osteoporosis. Women with low BMD (no other risks and causes) should undergo several restrictions without any medications to treat it. Women with BMD, other risk factors, and secondary causes can be treated through medications,” says the doctor, adding that the aim is to “lower the damage of bones and prevent injury or fractures and reduce pain”.

Few remedies that can help cure postmenopausal osteoporosis:

1. Calcium: One of the main causes of bone problems and fractures is lack of calcium. With growing age, it is important to fulfill the calcium supply of the body adequately.

2. Vitamins and nutrients: Deficiencies related to vitamin D, K, magnesium, and intake of other necessary nutrients reduces the risk of fractures and improves muscle strength.

3. Lifestyle: Including healthy habits, diet, and exercises in daily routine can help increase BMD, improve body balance, and improve muscle power.

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