Osteoporosis and Menopause: Marla Ahlgrimm Explains the Connection

Marla AhlgrimmMenopause is a time in a woman’s life when things begin to change. These changes are due to hormones and often involve the reproductive system. But according to Marla Ahlgrimm, menopause does not just indicate the end of a woman’s reproductive years. Every system in the body is affected, including the musculoskeletal system.

Q: What is osteoporosis?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Osteoporosis is a term that literally translated is “porous bones.” Essentially, it means that the bones have begun to weaken. While men experience some bone loss, osteoporosis is most closely related to women, and specifically women undergoing menopause.

Q: What causes it?

Marla Ahlgrimm: While experts don’t fully understand why women begin to experience bone density degradation with age, one thing is known: a drop in estrogen, which happens during menopause, contributes directly to lower bone density.

Q: Are certain women more at risk of osteoporosis than others?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Yes. While all women will experience some bone density loss, women who go through menopause early, those who do not have a menstrual period for several months in a row regularly, and women who do not ovulate on a predictable cycle tend to be diagnosed with osteoporosis more than their peers with typical reproductive health.

Q: Is osteoporosis preventable?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Taking calcium or certain medications at the direction of a healthcare provider can help slow the progression of osteoporosis. Further, hormone therapy can help reduce its impact, including lowering the chances of a woman experiencing a spine or hip fracture after menopause.

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