Osteoporosis & HRT

What is Osteoporosis and When HRT is Considered a Viable Treatment Option.

How Is Osteoporosis Diagnosed?

Your physician may start by measuring your height to see if you’ve gotten shorter. The bones of the spine are often the first ones affected by the condition so it’s important to take note if your measurements show you to be shorter over time.

Your doctor may then recommend a test to measure your bone density. The most commonly recommended test is a DEXA scan which is used to measure bone density and diagnose bone loss and osteoporosis at an early stage. Another test is called the Quantitative computed tomography scan which uses higher levels of radiation. Additionally, ultrasound can be used to test the heel of your foot to also detect early signs of osteoporosis. Finally, your doctor might take blood or urine samples and test them to see if you have another disease causing bone loss.

Why is HRT prescribed to Osteoporosis patients?

After menopause, your hormone levels decrease. This causes bones to lose strength. HRT treats osteoporosis by increasing your levels of estrogen & progesterone to reduce bone loss. HRT doesn’t reduce the pain caused by broken bones. HRT is prescribed for osteoporosis to help strengthen your bones and reduce your risk of breaking a bone. It is available in bioidentical cream and tablet forms to treat osteoporosis.

Who should take HRT?

HRT is prescribed to both perimenopausal and post menopausal patients. If you are between 50 and 60 with a high risk of breaking a bone you may also be prescribed HRT and particularly if you have menopausal symptoms that need treatment.

Does exercise help with Osteoporosis?

Exercise is a key way to keep bones strong. The two main forms of exercise are important and benefit patients with Osteoporosis:

  1. Weight-bearing exercise that place a stress on bones. Examples include running, walking, tennis, ballet, stair-climbing, and aerobics. 
  2. Muscle-strengthening exercises, such as weight lifting and water resistance training.

How to Eat for Bone Health

Foods that are naturally rich in calcium are beneficial to osteoporosis patients. Avoiding foods with a lot of the mineral phosphorus, as this can promote bone loss. Avoid red meats, soft drinks, and foods with phosphate food additives. Drinking alcohol and caffeine in excess may also reduce the amount of calcium your body absorbs. Women through age 50 should get 1,000 milligrams of calcium each day. Older women need 1200 milligrams a day. For men, the recommended amount of calcium is 1,000 milligrams per day between the ages of 25 to 70 and 1,200 milligrams per day from age 71 and up. Finally, your body needs vitamin D to absorb calcium and move it into and out of bones. Adults ages 19-70 need 600 i.u. per day and those 71 and older need 800 i.u. per day.