Can Menopausal Symptoms Reveal Bone Health?
A new study published in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism suggests that women with certain menopausal symptoms have lower bone density and higher fracture risk.
Menopause signals the life stage when all women face a greater risk of osteoporosis. During this time, the ovaries stop producing hormones, menstrual periods stop, and the body begins to break down old bone tissue faster than it can be replaced. Because this bone breakdown happens more rapidly in postmenopausal women, their bones become structurally weaker and more likely to break than the bones of younger women. However, bone health after menopause varies from woman to woman.
A study published this month (January 2015), in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, involved 23,573 participants from 40 clinical centers across the country. Participants were women between the ages of 50 and 79. The study tracked them for 8 years, on average. Women were asked about their menopausal symptoms during an initial visit, and then monitored for fractures during the follow-up period. It was the first large study to specifically study the relationship between menopausal symptoms and bone health.
An analysis of the data found a connection between the following menopausal symptoms and a higher risk of hip fracture during the follow-up period:
- Moderate or severe hot flashes during menopause.
- Night sweats during menopause.
Women with these menopausal symptoms also had lower bone mass density at the neck and spine during the 8-year follow-up period.
More research is needed to understand the connection between menopausal symptoms and osteoporosis risks. In the meantime, women who experience hot flashes and night sweats can help protect their bones by following the following healthy habits:
- Avoid smoking.
- Drink alcohol moderately or not at all.
- Exercise regularly.
- Plan a diet that includes sufficient calcium and vitamin D.
- Consult your physician about monitoring bone density.
Until we better understand the relationship between menopausal symptoms and bone health, following a bone-healthy lifestyle is a good way to practice preventative bone care.
Summit + The Power House helps you meet your fitness goals
Summit Orthopedics partners with performance experts from The Power House to bring comprehensive, highly-tailored fitness services to you. Whether you are a first-timer in the gym or a competitive athlete, our coaches and trainers have all the tools, resources, and expertise to create programs that fit your needs and help you achieve your performance goals. Everyone is welcome, you don’t need to be a patient of Summit to take advantage of these offerings.
Start your journey towards your health and fitness goals today. Schedule a free consultation at the HealthEast Sports Center location online, or call (651) 968-5766. Find the group fitness class that works with your schedule. Visit The Power House Facebook page to learn all about the events we offer to safely promote good health throughout your life.
More resources for you
Learn more about why children are at risk for a buckle fracture.
Dr. Beacom offers Team USA swimmer’s shoulder protocol to local athletes with shoulder injuries.
Learn about why jammed finger injuries require immediate treatment.