Women’s Health: Bones and Joints

When it comes to women’s health, the health of bones and joints is an important subject to discuss. Osteoporosis, characterized by the development of soft or week bones, is a condition that’s very commonly experienced by women. While also seen in men, one out of every four women will be affected by osteoporosis later in their life.
Normally, old bone cells are constantly replaced by new bone cells. This is referred to as bone remodeling, and it ensures the maintenance of bone strength. Calcium and vitamin D play an important role in the whole process and keep the bones healthy. Bones start to lose strength when there is an imbalance in their remodeling. Overtime with age and in the presence of certain other risk factors (like a family history of hip fracture, the use of medications that affect bone strength, and the presence of disorders associated with osteoporosis), bones become weaker and more brittle. If undiagnosed and untreated, osteoporosis raises the risk of falls and fractures.

Risk Factors
One of the major risk factors for the development of osteoporosis in women is the onset of menopause. Estrogen plays a significant role in maintaining bone health. Around menopause, however, the amount of estrogen produced by the body decreases, and this can lead to bone loss. There are two factors that contribute to the development of osteoporosis- bone density at menopause and the speed of bone loss after menopause. Individuals with more bone density prior to menopause will less likely progress to osteoporosis. Additionally, the speed of bone loss varies and during the first 5 to 7 years of menopause, women may lose up to 20 percent of their bone density. Therefore, we recommend women have their bone density measured periodically to prevent unnecessary bone loss. Speak to our pharmacists at Guildview Pharmacy for a piece of advice on the use of bone-strengthening therapy if you are in or nearing menopause.

Foods, Medications and Supplements
Incorporating calcium and vitamin D in the diet helps in maintaining and improving bone health. Calcium can be obtained from a number of sources such as milk, yogurt, cheese, broccoli, cabbage, and soybean, etc. Additionally, calcium can also be taken as a supplement to ensure adequate intake. Vitamin D is made by the body when exposed to sunlight mainly, but you can also obtain it through food sources such as salmon, tuna, and mushrooms and vitamin D fortified foods.
If you want more information on osteoporosis or about the adequate intake of calcium and vitamin D, speak to our pharmacists at Guildview pharmacy. You may book a free consultation by calling us or simply dropping by at the pharmacy.

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