For many women, menopause is a turning point in bone strength. Over time, it can lead to developmen...
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For many women, menopause is a turning point in bone strength. Over time, it can lead to development of osteoporosis and increased risk for fractures. Osteoporosis results from an imbalance in bone remodeling. Removal - also called resorption - outpaces formation of new bone. Before menopause, there is a relative balance between the removal of old bone by cells called osteoclasts and the formation of new bone by cells called osteoblasts. This is a complex and constant process. When estrogen levels decline, osteoclasts become overactive. They remove bone faster than it can be replaced. Over time, this can lead to thinning and weakening of bone that may put you at risk for fracture. The diagnosis of osteoporosis can in part be based on a bone density scan and the result is shown as a T-score. A T-score of less than or equal to negative 2.5 defines osteoporosis and the lower the score, the higher the risk of fracture can be. Many other factors also contribute to risk of fracture. Some of these include: A prior osteoporotic fracture; Family history of hip fracture; Cigarette smoking; and Excess consumption of alcohol. It is important for women to be aware of the risks associated with osteoporosis after menopause. Your doctor can help to estimate your risk of fracture and steps you can take to reduce this risk.