What happens to bone during the menopause?
Updated: Mar 18, 2019
So what happens to bones as they age, and why is bone density so much more important to women than men?
Bone is a living thing and throughout our lives the body keeps a delicate balance between the making of bone and the loss of bone. Our bones are their strongest between the ages of 30 and 35, but then the body starts to lose more bone than it makes and that's true for both sexes. The menopause, which is caused by reduction in oestrogen, and usually happens in our late forties or early fifties dramatically speeds up bone loss. Even during years leading up to the menopause, called peri-menopause, bone loss increases. Another unfortunate thing that happens to women is that they lose muscle mass faster than men do, and those two factors combine to make women at a much higher risk than men of Osteoporosis, falls and fractures. There are certain risk factors that make some women at even more risk:
Being of Caucasian or Asian heritage.
Being too slim or having dieted on/off throughout her life.
Having been on Steroid medications for long periods of time due to conditions such as asthma.
Having a diet low in Calcium and Vitamin D
Not being exposed to enough sunlight.
Having little or no exercise.
Drinking excess Alcohol.
Early surgical menopause due to hysterectomy and/or ovectomy.