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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    How can oestrogen levels affect bone density in women?

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  • Arlene is a registered practising dietitian, with a private practice in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney, and has built a strong business over the last ... View Profile

    Oestrogen is a female hormone that plays an important role in the health of women. One of its benefits is that it protects your bones and helps keep them strong and healthy.

    When oestrogen levels drop, many women lose bone density. Teens and young women who often miss their periods usually have low oestrogen levels. As a result, their bones may not be strong For midlife women, the drop in oestrogen that happens with menopause can lead to rapid bone loss.
    Arriving at Menopause:
    The word menopause come from the Greek word for ‘month’ and ‘end’. It mens the end of monthly periods. Some people call it the ‘change of life’. For most women, it is a natural change that takes place during their life. As a woman nears menopause, her monthly periods become less regular and can be heavy or light, or both at different times.  In others, it can take two years or longer. The time of change leading up to menopause is called perimenopause.
    Menopause happens when your ovaries stop making oestrogen. A woman reaches menopause when her periods stop completely for a year. The average age of menopause if 51 years, but some women have their last period in their 40s and others in their 50s. If you have your ovaries removed by surgery, menopause happens instantly Either way it happens, menopause leads to a decrease in oestrogen.
    Women in their 40s are more likely to break a wrist than men at this age. This may be a sign of bone loss starting even before a woman reaches menopause. Bone loss can speed up when oestrogen levels begin to decline during perimenopause During the early after menopause, the risk of breakng bones in the spine increases in women. For many women, a rapid loss of bone takes place during the five to seven years after menopause. Women can lose up to 20% of their bone density during this time. After that, bone loss tends to take place more slowly.

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