Are You At Risk For Postmenopausal Osteoporosis? What Can You Do To Protect Yourself?

Posted on: 6 April 2017

One misconception about osteoporosis is that your risk of developing it decreases after menopause. In reality, you are at a higher risk of developing the condition due to the increase in bone loss that results from decreased estrogen levels. If you are postmenopausal, here is what you need to know about osteoporosis and your potential of developing it.  

What Are the Risk Factors?

Although any postmenopausal woman can develop osteoporosis, there are some risk factors that could increase your risk of developing it. For instance, if you have a family history of the condition on your maternal side, you are more likely to develop osteoporosis than someone who does not have a history of it. Other risk factors can include: 

  • Experiencing early menopause 

  • Being Caucasian or Asian 

  • Having a vitamin D or calcium deficiency 

  • Being over the age of 65 

Your risk also increases if you suffer a fracture after you have started menopause. Even if you have one or more risk factors, there is no guarantee that you will develop postmenopausal osteoporosis. There are preventative measures you can take to decrease your risk.  

What Can You Do to Prevent Osteoporosis?

One of the first steps you can take is to talk to your doctor. He or she can take a bone density test to determine if there are any early indications that you have osteoporosis. The doctor can also prescribe medication, such as a bisphosphonates, to help strengthen your bone and increase the density.  

Changes to your current health regimen can also help lower your risk of developing the condition. For instance, you can increase your calcium and/or vitamin D intake if you have a deficiency. Your doctor can help determine the ideal intake for you.  

In addition to this, you need to focus on eating a healthy diet. Foods such as dairy products and leafy green vegetables are rich in calcium. Try to cut down on your intake of sodium because it can reduce the calcium in your body.  

If you have experienced any bone loss, your doctor will likely tell you to severely limit alcohol consumption. Alcohol can lead to an acceleration of the progress of the condition. If you are already showing signs of bone loss, this is especially important.  

Your doctor can help you pinpoint other ways you can lower your risk of suffering from bone loss after menopause. Keep up with your annual appointments so that your doctor can assess your risk and conduct periodic bone density tests to monitor your bone health.