Osteoporosis is an epidemic in the United States.Unfortunately it is thought of as just part of getting older for most women. Currently 25-30% of nursing home residents are living in these facilities due to hip fractures which is the many of fractures due to osteoporosis. Approximately half of women over the age of 50 will suffer a hip fracture due to osteoporosis. Also, less than 50% of these individual recover to how they were prior to.
So what is osteoporosis? Just like skin or hair cells your body is making new bone cells and getting rid of the old ones. As women transition through menopause, they produce less estrogen. Estrogen is responsible for the build-up of new bone cells. With less estrogen,they start making less and their body of breaking down leading to osteoporosis.
Besides the loss of estrogen production there can be other causes of osteoporosis and factors that can make it worse. Some medications are associated with decreasing bone density including, anticonvulsant, steroids, and proton pump inhibitors. If you are taking any of these medications and are concerned with osteoporosis, please consulted with your doctor. Smoking decreases with flow of nutrients to the bones, which can starve them of the calcium they need to prevent osteoporosis.Even though bone loss is a huge health risk for all women, a lot can be done to treat and even prevent osteoporosis. Since loss of estrogen production is the major cause of bone loss, ERT (estrogen replacement therapy) is an effective treatment method. There is one major drawback to ERT, long term exposure to estrogen greatly increase cancer risk, primary breath cancer. Those with a family history of breast cancer should weigh the risks of utilizing this treatment method. There is similar and much safer treatment to ERT. Natural progesterone creams have been proven to be a safe and effective treatment method of osteoporosis. One study of natural progesterone creams resulted in rapid gains of bone density of women ages 38-83.
In the next part of the blog I’ll review natural ways to prevent osteoporosis and natural ways to increase bone production without hormone replacement.