Osteoporosis is a debilitating condition that can put people at serious risk of traumatic fractures on the smallest of falls. Statistics show that women are more prone to this bone disease than men. To understand why this is the case, the team of OnlyMyHealth spoke to Dr Vikrant Gosavi, Consultant – Endocrinology, Manipal Hospitals, Pune.
Why Is Osteoporosis More Common In Females?
According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Medicine Research, osteoporosis is four times more common in females than in males. This is because of the decreased levels of estrogen once menopause hits, shared Dr Gosavi.
He said, “Estrogen is essential for bone health. Even in men, the testosterone is converted to estrogen which then aids in bone development. Unfortunately for women, the level of these hormones sharply declines once menopause starts, putting them at a heightened risk of osteoporosis.”
In men on the other hand, testosterone does not start declining before the age of 70-75 years, while the usual age for menopause onset is 45-50.
“Once menopause begins, significant bone loss happens within three to four years. In some women, this rate of loss of bone can be rapid due to additional presence of risk factors,” explained Dr Gosavi.
Osteoporosis Screening Test
“Almost nobody knows about the guidelines for timely osteoporosis screening. The general public should know when you should screen yourself for osteoporosis,” recommended Dr Gosavi.
Listing the risk factors that should motivate you to get screened for osteoporosis, he shared:
- All women above the age of 65
- History of fracture
- History of low trauma fracture,
- Steroid use
- History of a major fracture in mother or father,
- Long-standing history of cigarette or alcohol
- Any type of arthritis
- Poor gut health
- Liver issue.
- Losing almost 1.5 inches of height
According to the Office on Women’s Health, to diagnose osteoporosis, your doctor will ideally do a test to measure your bone density, to see how strong or weak your bones are. This test is usually done with a special type of X-ray for bones that requires a very low level of radiation.
Dr Gosavi concluded that if you have any of the risk factors for osteoporosis after menopause then you should get yourself screened. However, if you are above the age of 65 years, then you should seek osteoporosis screening regularly, no questions asked!