The Use of Hormone Therapy in the Treatment of Osteoporosis
What is osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is generally an age-related disease that is associated with menopause and andropause, times in our lives that we lose sex hormones. Our main sex hormones estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone all decline during menopause and andropause. Bone, a living, growing tissue, is made mostly of a protein known as collagen, that is woven into a flexible frame work which includes the minerals calcium phosphate and calcium carbonate that give the frame work strength and hardness, is added rapidly during childhood and teenage years. Peak bone mass or bone density is reached around age 30. Bone loss in women occurs fastest during and after menopause because the production of the hormone estrogen wanes. Estrogen is important because it works with osteoblasts, the cells responsible for forming bone. As estrogen levels decrease, the amount of new bone formed decreases. Soon, less bone is being made than bone that is being lost and this leads to low bone density, conditions known as osteopenia and osteoporosis.
Who suffers from osteoporosis?
According to the World Health Organization, osteoporosis is the second world health care issue after cardiovascular disease. Women are more at risk for osteoporosis than men especially Caucasian and Asian women. People with smaller body frames-smaller, thinner types who have less body mass-are more at risk. People who have a family history of osteoporosis are also more likely to suffer from this loss of bone. Other factors that can contribute to bone loss are a sedentary lifestyle, use of tobacco, an excessive use of tobacco, low calcium intake, and a history of eating disorders. However, simple aging is the major culprit causing bone loss in all groups and can affect both men and women. It’s impossible to stop the aging process, but it’s not impossible to slow down aging’s toll on the body.
What are the basic types of hormone therapy for osteoporosis?
Systemic hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is estrogen that is introduced to the body via pill, topical creams and gels, patches, and rings. These forms of estrogen have shown great benefit in reducing the effects of low- hormone levels in women who are menopausal and post-menopausal in relation to osteoporosis. Testosterone replacement therapy can benefit men with osteoporosis since an age-related decline in the hormone may be associated with increased risk of osteoporosis.
What are the benefits of hormone therapy for osteoporosis?
Hormone therapy has been proven to slow and prevent bone loss and help reduce fractures in post-menopausal women. Taking estrogen can even help rebuild bone that has been lost. Studies have shown that hormone replacement therapy in post-menopausal women continues to help grow and strengthen bone for up to two years after HRT has been stopped. Working to maintain strong bones enables you to enjoy all that life has to offer.
What are the risks of hormone therapy for osteoporosis?
There are risks associated with HRT. These risks depend on your independent health history and family history, when you started HRT, what type of hormones you are taking and their respective dosage, and how long you have been taking hormones. Because of the many risk factors to consider, it is easy to see why you need to be under a doctor’s care and guidance before you start on the path of HRT for osteoporosis. A good medical practitioner will continually evaluate the risks vs the benefits for you as a patient on an individual basis.
What else can I do to protect my bones from osteoporosis?
There are good health habits to follow that will also help protect your bones. Weight-bearing exercises and physical activity help strengthen bones and reduce the chance of bone fractures. Look for activities that improve your balance and posture. The more you stay active and fit as you age, the less likely you are to fall and break a bone. Good nutrition is important. Eat a healthy diet that includes plenty of calcium and vitamin D. Vitamin D and calcium may be prescribed or recommended by your medical practitioner. Quit any and all tobacco products and drink alcohol in moderation. One drink a day for healthy women, and only two drinks a day for healthy men.
How can Androgenix help?
If you are worried about osteoporosis or have any other questions about your health, call our office and set up a consult with one of our medical staff at Androgenix. Unfortunately, there is no one best treatment for osteoporosis that works for everyone. You and your doctor will come up with a plan that is most likely to help you. You may try different approaches at once that include various medications and lifestyle changes such as, modifications to your diet and exercise. If the doctor recommends HRT, you will be given a complete physical examination and have blood work done. Our staff of caring healthcare practitioners will help, not only, diagnose and develop an appropriate treatment plan for you, but we will monitor your treatment for safety and effectiveness on a regular basis. Androgenix is here to support you in your journey for a better, healthier and happier you. Every person who enters our doors is treated as an individual deserving of care and respect. We can help you feel and look better. Give us a call today.
Unless as otherwise stated, individual results may vary depending on many factors. Not all patients “feel” or achieve the same results.
- Hormone therapy: Is it right for you? – Mayo Clinic
- Osteoporosis Hormone Replacement Therapy Risks & Side Effects (emedicinehealth.com)
- Osteoporosis treatment: Medications can help – Mayo Clinic
- Osteoporosis Treatments and Relief (questionsanswered.net)
*Unless otherwise stated, individual results may vary depending on many factors not all patients “feel” or achieve the same results.