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Menopause and osteoporosis:
After menopause, a woman's ovaries stop producing estrogen, a hormone that plays a major, though indirect, role in depositing and maintaining calcium in the bones. For the next five years, there is a dramatic loss in bone mass - generally from 3 percent to 5 percent annually - with a leveling off after 10 to 12 years.
As a result, your bones are far more susceptible to fractures. Most occur in those spots where the spongy, mesh like bone (trabecular) most susceptible to osteoporosis is heavily concentrated: the spine, hips and forearms close to the wrists.
Q: Would increasing calcium in your diet prevent osteoporosis at this point?
Although pharmaceutical companies have for years bombarded consumers with ads suggesting calcium supplements are a cure-all for osteoporosis, many experts say it's not the only answer. Study after study shows little evidence that calcium supplements alone will stop the rapid erosion of bone mineral density in the postmenopausal woman.
Allopathic doctors do prescribe a variety of drugs to treat osteoporosis, but many are fraught with problems. Take fluoride, for example. Although it's been used to increase bone mass by up to 10 percent, new evidence shows that bone treated with fluoride may be inferior. While fluoride does increase bone mass in certain kinds of bone, it apparently doesn't stop fractures.
And while many women benefit from estrogen replacement therapy, estrogen isn't a universal remedy for everybody. For many women, it causes many negative side effects. When taken alone it increases the risk of uterine cancer (when it is combined with the hormone progesterone, however, the risk of uterine cancer is reduced)."