Strong Bones: Menopause

Health Watch is a Public Service of the University News Bureau and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics. 

Brittle bones can have a big impact on your health and quality of life as you age. This week on Health Watch, we’ll talk about maintaining strong bones. Menopause often weakens bones, so women need to take special care.

Estrogen is essential for maintaining strong bones, and once menopause begins, ovaries stop producing estrogen. Women can lose up to 10 percent of bone mass within five years of menopause, but doctors at UT Southwestern Medical Center say hormone-replacement therapy isn’t necessarily the answer. To help keep bones strong, women should have their bone density measured to assess fracture risk. They should take calcium and vitamin D supplements and try to eat a diet containing these nutrients. They should also train with weights two to three times a week, for at least 30 minutes each session, and engage in weight-bearing exercise such as walking or jogging. Talk to your doctor about what you need to do to maintain strong bones.      


November 2011

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