Osteoporosis is a condition that can be brought on by the hormonal imbalances that the aging process brings. It weakens the skeletal system over time by thinning the body’s bone density. Your loved one won’t likely know that they have this condition (or realize its severity) until a bone density scan turns up issues — and that’s usually after a minor or major injury has already taken place. One of the most difficult issues with this disease is that there are really no symptoms — until a bone breaks. It’s a sneaky diagnosis that can silently steal your loved one’s comfort (and threaten their beloved independence).
Osteoporosis and hormones are inevitably linked. Bone density decreases after one’s 20s, and decreases can also be spurred on by menopause. According to MenopauseNow.com, “If you or someone you love is at a stage in their life where hormone levels are erratic or plummeting, it is essential you take quick action to check bone density levels. Because of the lack of signs and symptoms, failure to get tested for osteoporosis can lead to painful injury. By balancing hormone levels, eating a balanced diet, and avoiding triggers, you can protect your bones.” While there is no cure for osteoporosis, osteoporosis and hormones can be managed and bone loss can even be halted.
Gender, Aging, and Past Lifestyle
What factors increase the chances that your loved one could be suffering with osteoporosis?
- He or she is or has been a cigarette smoker or a heavy drinker.
- He or she already has a thyroid condition which affects hormones regulating their endocrine system. (And, thyroid medication may increase the likelihood of osteoporosis.)
- Gender: The majority of osteoporosis patients are women (about 70 percent). While losing estrogen enhances the risk of losing bone density in women, aging men have to consider their changing hormones, too. Falling testosterone levels can also lead to fragile bones.
- Ethnicity: Caucasian and Asian women are more likely to get osteoporosis.
Hormone Replacement Therapy
The good news is that osteoporosis can be managed, and further damage can even be prevented. Hormone replacement therapy offers a mild protective solution, so it may be an option to help decrease bone loss and lessen menopause symptoms. Unfortunately, hormone-replacement therapy is a double-edged sword, carrying its own serious risks over time like increased instances of blood clots, heart disease, and cancer.
Preventing or Managing Osteoporosis
Beyond hormone-replacement therapy, osteoporosis can be managed in a myriad of ways. These preventative measures can assist with managing osteoporosis and hormones:
- Dietary changes: Eat foods to help increase calcium, Vitamin D, and magnesium.
- Perform weight-bearing exercises on a regular basis and abstain from any high impact, vigorous workouts.
- Quit smoking and/or drinking too much alcohol.
- Practice stress management.
- Wear proper footwear to reduce trips and falls.
- Prevent injuries by fall-proofing your loved one’s home.
- Talk to your loved one’s medical team about supplements and/or prescription medications.
Osteoporosis doesn’t have to steal your loved one’s joy – nor independence. Health Solutions Plus says: “Do not forget, you are in control of your hormones and bone health. As long as good balance is maintained, chances of acquiring osteoporosis decrease. Keep away from stress and ensure that hormone imbalance is diagnosed and treated by your doctor. If you feel that there is something wrong, get in touch with the doctor immediately.”
When your loved one needs extra help with osteoporosis and hormones to stay in their own home, give A Peaceful Way Home Care a call. We can offer that crucial peace of mind needed through assistance with many non-medical services like light housekeeping, managing medications, and transport to medical appointments.