Gynaecologist Dr Sonal Kumta On Prevention & Treatment Of Postmenopausal Osteoporosis

πŸ“· Menopause brings along a whole host of issues like hot flashes, fatigue, night sweats and more. But one postmenopausal problem that arises due to a combination of hormones and calcium deficiency is osteoporosis. Women who suffer from this condition are at a higher risk of bone injuries and fractures. Given the relationship between ageing and calcium deficiency, women in their 40s and 50s are at a heightened risk of postmenopausal osteoporosis.

1. Why are women, especially postmenopausal women, more prone to calcium deficiency?

The female hormone estrogen plays an important role in calcium metabolism. Estrogen inhibits osteoclast activity (bone degrading cells) by reducing their number. It also helps to retain calcium in the body by promoting enzymes that create cholecalciferol (activated vitamin D). Vitamin D helps in calcium absorption from the intestines. After menopause or removal of ovaries, the level of estrogen reduces, making women more prone to calcium deficiency.

2. What are the symptoms of calcium deficiency in women?

Calcium deficiency may manifest in several symptoms: – Muscle aches, cramps and spasms may be the earliest symptoms, more severe deficiency may cause numbness and tingling in hands and feet. – Extreme fatigue, lethargy, lack of energy, lack of focus and confusion may occur. It may lead to Insomnia and sleepiness too. – Nail and skin symptoms. Calcium deficiency can cause nails to become dry, broken and brittle. It can also contribute to Alopecia (hair fall in patches). – It can cause Osteopenia and Osteoporosis with decreases Bone Mineral Density and increases the risk of fractures.

3. What is osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a skeletal disease which occurs due to weakening and loss of architecture of the bones. In women of age below 30 years, the amount of bone loss equals new bone formation and bone mineral density is restored. In post-menopausal women of age above 50 years, new bone formation is reduced, causing weak, brittle, and porous bones. There is a decrease in Bone Mineral Density.

4. Who is at risk for osteoporosis & how does it affect your body?

– Women are at higher risk as compared to men – Asian women are more prone to Osteoporosis as compared to other races – Heredity with history of parents or grandparents with osteoporosis/osteoporotic fracture – History of fracture with minimal fall and impact – Consuming medications like steroids – History of Cancer

5. What are the signs and symptoms of osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is often called a β€˜silent killer’ as it may occur without any symptoms. It may also cause: – Bone aches – Loss of height – Back pains – Stooped posture Osteoporosis can cause easy fractures especially of the wrist, spine, and hip bone in elderly women. Often these fractures cause loss of mobility, poor quality of life and can cause other complications like pneumonia, cardiac and thrombotic events, leading eventually to death.