postmenopausal osteoporosis and arthritis

Golden Years, Stronger Bones

Postmenopausal osteoporosis and arthritis are two common conditions that affect women after menopause. With the decline in estrogen levels that happens to a woman’s body during this time, bones become more fragile, leading to osteoporosis, while arthritis can cause joint pain and stiffness. Evenity is a monoclonal antibody drug commonly used to treat osteoporosis in postmenopausal women at high risk of fracture. Understanding the signs of menopause, lifestyle changes and treatment options can significantly impact the quality of life for postmenopausal women.

Signs of Menopause

Common signs of menopause include:

Hot Flashes

Hot flashes are a sudden feeling of heat in the upper part or all of your body in which your face and neck may become flushed and red blotches may appear on your chest, back and arms. Heavy sweating, flushing and cold shivering can follow.

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Night Sweats

Severe hot flashes that occur during sleep. Night sweats can often impact your sleep and wake you up in the middle of the night.

Bladder Control

Bladder control, or incontinence, is a common symptom of menopause. You may have a sudden urge to urinate, or urine may leak during exercise, sneezing or laughing. In more serious cases, this can lead to bladder infections.

Vaginal Dryness and Decreased Libido

Decreased moisture and elasticity in the vaginal tissues can occur, causing discomfort during intercourse. A decreased interest in sexual activity might also happen. Some people also feel less interested in having sex because of their vaginal dryness.

Mood Swings

Emotional fluctuations are common in menopause, including irritability, depression and anxiety.

Sleep Disturbances

You may experience difficulty falling or staying asleep.

Memory Problems

Cognitive issues, such as forgetfulness or difficulty concentrating, are common experiences of menopause.

Menopause typically occurs between the ages of 45 and 55, marking the end of a woman's reproductive years. It is diagnosed after 12 consecutive months without a menstrual period.

Every single one of these symptoms is manageable. You should speak to your doctor about how to best manage them. This article will discuss the different options available in managing and treating your symptoms.

Drinks to Avoid for Bone Health

  • Caffeinated beverages: Excessive caffeine can interfere with calcium absorption. Limit intake of coffee, tea and energy drinks.
  • Sugary soft drinks: Sugary drinks are high in sugar and phosphoric acid, which can lead to decreased bone density.
  • Alcohol: Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to bone loss and increase the risk of fractures. In addition, it can impact hormone levels, which can affect bone health. With less estrogen, the body is less able to produce new, healthy bone tissue.
  • High-sodium drinks: Beverages with high salt content can cause calcium loss through urine.

Bone Loss in Menopause

Bone loss accelerates during menopause due to the decline in estrogen, a hormone that helps protect bones. On average, women lose up to 10% of their bone mass in the first five years after menopause.

Osteoporosis is often called a "silent disease" because it progresses without symptoms until a fracture occurs. Risk factors for osteoporosis include:

  • Age: Increased risk with advancing age.
  • Family history: Genetic predisposition to osteoporosis.
  • Low body weight: Higher risk in women with lower body weight.
  • Previous fractures: History of fractures after age 50.

Arthritis and Hormones

Arthritis refers to pain, swelling and stiffness in a joint or joints. Various kinds of arthritis affect the body in different ways. Many women with inflammatory arthritis report flares in their symptoms when they have their period. Hormones such as estrogen may influence the immune system, as pain perception relates to estrogen. In studies, women have reported higher pain when their estrogen levels were low.

Treatment Options

Menopause isn’t something that requires treatment, as it’s not a condition or ailment; rather, it’s about relieving symptoms or managing the chronic conditions that might come along with aging. Some of the most common treatments include:

Non-Hormonal Medications

Antidepressants, such as SSRIs and SNRIs, can help manage hot flashes and mood swings. Another popular treatment is Evenity, a monoclonal antibody drug used to treat osteoporosis in postmenopausal women at high risk of fracture. It works by increasing bone formation and decreasing bone resorption, which helps strengthen bones and reduce the risk of fractures.

Lifestyle Changes

Regular exercise, a balanced diet, adequate sleep and stress management techniques can mitigate menopause symptoms

Hormone Replacement Therapy

HRT, or hormone replacement therapy. HRT helps treat symptoms by replacing the hormones that your body isn’t making enough of. A rise in these hormones can provide significant relief from symptoms. HRT can also help with bone loss and osteoporosis by artificially creating estrogen.

Vaginal Moisturizers and Lubricants

Over-the-counter products can alleviate vaginal dryness.