How to Manage Bone Loss During Perimenopause


Bone loss. Rapid bone loss, evidenced by a urine test result over 6.5, or bone density significantly below normal range, as indicated by a DEXA, could indicate osteoporosis. Options for managing bone loss include:

  • Natural progesterone therapy. When combined with a regimen that includes magnesium, calcium, vitamin D, and ascorbic acid (vitamin C), natural progesterone appears to have properties that can turn around bone loss. This is a very noninvasive first step. Because progesterone, estrogen, and testosterone all work in concert to prevent bone breakdown and promote new bone formation, these hormones are sometimes used together in an HRT regimen aimed at preventing osteoporosis. When the primary goal is to reduce bone loss, I usually begin with progesterone only and evaluate the results before adding other hormones.

Perimenopause

  • Calcitonin, an “antiresorptive” agent. Recent research shows that calcitonin taken with calcium provides better bone protection than calcitonin alone. Calcitonin is a very expensive drug, and it may produce side effects such as nausea, flushing, or a skin rash.
  • Fosamax, a no hormonal drug used to arrest bone loss. The long-term effects of Fosamax have not yet been studied.
  • Possible future drug treatments for osteoporosis include:
  • Ipriflavone, a soy derivative used in Italy and Japan although not yet in the United States.
  • A new category of medications called SERMs, or selective estrogen receptor modulators. It appears that SERMs may have the ability to provide estrogen like protection of the heart and bones, yet block estrogen’s effects in the breasts and uterus. Sometimes referred to as “designer estrogens,” SERMs such as raloxifene, droloxifene, and idoxifene are coming under closer scrutiny by researchers who are investigating possible alternatives to HRT. Raloxifene has been approved by the FDA for prevention of osteoporosis. SERMs are not without side effects of their own, however. They may increase hot flashes and elevate the risk of developing blood clots in the legs. The term “designer estrogen” is good sound bite, but we’re a long way from having all the clinical data on SERMs.

In looking at therapies to reduce perimenopausal symptoms, lower cholesterol, or improve bone strength, it’s important to guard against the mentality that we can just swallow a pill to “fix” a certain situation, whether that pill is an herb, a vitamin, or a potent drug. I view anything we put into our bodies as a way of complementing or even bolstering the effects of our own self-care. Medication doesn’t absolve us of responsibility toward ourselves, if anything, we need to increase our resolve to take better care of ourselves so we can use medication for the shortest time possible.

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  4. How to Treat Menopause
  5. How to Carve Bone

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About the Author: Andrew Reinert is a health care professional who loves to share different tips on health and personal care. He is a regular contributor to MegaHowTo and lives in Canada.

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