Is it True that Menopause Causes Osteoporosis

by Sharon Hopkins

Osteoporosis is a condition that can have a severe effect on your bones. Osteoporosis can cause demineralization of bones, due to which the bones may become fragile and even brittle. Menopause usually wreaks havoc in the body, having adverse effects on your bones as well. Estrogen levels in the body can often drop rapidly due to menopause, and it has been recently seen that the hormone estrogen has an important role to play in the maintenance of bone health.

When you reach menopause, the estrogen levels in the body drop rapidly. It is the estrogen that keeps the osteoclasts, a demineralization substance, in check. Osteoclasts can cause dissolution of the bone material as soon as the estrogen levels in the blood fall, and you begin to lose bone tissue due to demineralization. In the presence of osteoclasts, a lot of bone material is lost very rapidly. The body is not able to replace this lost bone material to match the pace of the demineralization. When the estrogen levels begin to fall down, there is no other mechanism to regulate the osteoclasts. The osteoclasts continue to dissolve the bones and finally, the bones become very thin and brittle. This means that a slight injury may also break the bones. The brittleness in the bones often causes a kind of arthritis known as gout. Gout in itself is a very painful condition, one which can cause a complete cessation in the mobility of joints.

For quite some time now, estrogen replacement therapy has been put to use to treat gout. However, in the recent past, a new fact has come to light. The decrease in the levels of the hormone progesterone is also associated with the decrease in bone material in menopausal women. Progesterone is associated with another bone creating component known as osteoblasts. When the progesterone decreases in the blood stream, osteoblasts may begin to fail creating the requisite amount of bone tissue that is being lost due to the action of the osteoclasts. Ultimately, this imbalance between the dissolution activity and the bone manufacture activity may cause the bones to become extremely brittle.

In order to stop the bone decay in menopausal women, the estrogen replacement therapy alone cannot be of much assistance. In fact, to maintain the normal healthy bone density, it may become important to treat the women with hormone replacement therapies for both estrogen and progesterone. The functioning of the thyroid gland is also vital in this case, because the thyroid hormones also have a role in maintaining the osteoblastic and osteoclastic activities in the body.

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