The number of women on the face of the earth reached an all-time high of 3.6 billion. All of them will have to eventually reach the stage of menopause, and that means big shifts in the hormones. The average age for menopause is around 50-55, depending on where you live and the race you belong to. A woman is officially said to achieve menopause when she has undergone a whole year without a period.
The time leading up to menopause is called perimenopause, which is a transitional stage wherein the levels of the female sex hormone, estrogen and progesterone are much like the waves of the sea- they fluctuate. This leads to hot flashes, effects on the mood, night sweats and irregular periods. Sounds like quite a mouthful, but it is what it is.
What Risk This Carries For Osteoporosis Occurring
The estrogen receptors are present in the synovium of joints, and the fall in the estrogen levels lead to stiffness in the joints and pain.
Osteoporosis is one of the common forms of musculoskeletal disease that affects men and women, mostly into late adulthood. The wear and tear of the joints are more prevalent in women, especially those who are above the age of 50 years.
Women at the age of 40 and above- in the perimenopause stage- will start to feel stiffness in the joints and knees, and it will take a while for the joint to loosen up in the morning right out of bed. The statistics only go to prove the point further- close to 25% of the women in the ages of 45 and above, are usually affected by joint stiffness in their knees, necks and hands. Close to 50% of the women will have joint pain related issues as a result of menopause.
Hormone replacement therapy can also be used in the alleviation of symptoms, which only go to cement the connection between waning estrogen levels and osteoporosis.
The Final Word
It is very common to see joint pain and stiffness especially during the transition in and out of the menopause stage. It goes to prove that menopause in women can have a significant impact and is one of the important osteoporosis risk factors. Keeping in touch with your doctor, and finding remedies to mitigate the pain and eventual difficulties that arise out of aging, is a must. Early treatment can help in considerably reducing the burden that you will have to bear later down the road, so act fast and more importantly- act early!