Disease Prevention in Women - Osteoporosis Prevention

Not ready to share? Read other Patient Comments

What dietary and lifestyle changes have you made to help prevent osteoporosis?

Share your story with others:

MedicineNet appreciates your comment. Your comment may be displayed on the site and will always be published anonymously.Patient Comments FAQs

Enter your Comment

Tell us a bit about your background to make your comments more useful to other MedicineNet users. (Optional)

Screen Name: *

Gender of Patient: Male Female

Age Range of Patient:

I am a: Patient Caregiver

* Screen Name will appear next to the published comment. Please do not include your full name or email address.

By submitting your comment, and other materials (collectively referred to as a "Submission") to MedicineNet, you grant MedicineNet permission to use, copy, transmit, publish, display, edit and modify your Submission in connection with its Web site. MedicineNet will not pay you for your Submission. You represent that you have all rights necessary for MedicineNet to use your Submission as set forth above.

Please keep these guidelines in mind when writing your comment:

  • Please make sure you address the question asked.
  • Due to the overwhelming number of comments received, not all comments will be published.
  • When selecting comments to publish, our staff will choose those that are educational and complement the topic. Please try to stay on topic.
  • Your comment may be edited. We would typically edit comments to make them clearer and more readable. We will remove personal information such as last names, email and web addresses, and other potentially harmful information.
  • We will not notify you if your comment has been published. We suggest that you check back on the topic article regularly.
  • We do not provide medical or healthcare advice, treatment, or diagnosis.

Thank you for participating!

I have read and agree to abide by the MedicineNet Terms and Conditions and the MedicineNet Privacy Policy (required).

To prevent our systems from spam, please complete the following prior to submitting your comment.

Please select the white circle:


Osteoporosis is a condition with progressive loss of bone density leading to bone fractures. Estrogen is important in maintaining bone density. When estrogen levels drop after menopause, bone loss accelerates. Thus osteoporosis is most common among postmenopausal women.

Screening tests

Measurement of bone density using dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) scan

DEXA bone density scanning can:

  • detect osteoporosis before fractures occur
  • predict the risk of future bone fractures
  • Although still controversial, some doctors use bone density to monitor effects of osteoporosis treatments

Who to test and how often

The National Osteoporosis Foundation guidelines state that all postmenopausal women below age 65 who have risk factors for osteoporosis or medical conditions associated with osteoporosis and all women aged 65 and older should consider bone density testing.

High risk factors for osteoporosis include:

  • early menopause or surgical absence of ovaries;
  • family members with osteoporosis and related bone fractures;
  • cigarette smoking and/or heavy alcohol use;
  • over-active thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism), previous or current anorexia nervosa or bulimia;
  • thin stature, light skin;
  • Asian or Northern European descent;
  • any condition associated with poor absorption of calcium or vitamin D;
  • chronic use of oral corticosteroids (such ascortisone and prednisone [Deltasone, Liquid Prep]), excessive thyroid hormone replacement, and phenytoin (Dilantin) or other anti-seizure medications; and

  • problems with missed menstrual periods.

Benefits of early detection

Osteoporosis produces no symptoms until a bone fracture occurs. Bone fracture in osteoporosis can occur with only a minor fall, blow, or even just a twist of the body that ordinarily would not cause an injury.

Prevention and treatment of osteoporosis can decrease the risk of bone fractures.

Prevention measures include:

  • quitting smoking and curtailing alcohol intake;
  • performing regular weight-bearing exercises, including walking, dancing, gardening and other physical activities, and (supervised) muscle strengthening exercises;
  • getting adequate calcium and vitamin D intake;
  • medications may be taken to prevent osteoporosis. The most effective medications for osteoporosis that are approved by the FDA are anti-resorptive agents, which prevent bone breakdown. Examples include alendronate (Fosamax), risedronate (Actonel), raloxifene (Evista), ibandronate (Boniva), calcitonin (Calcimar), and zoledronate (Reclast); and
  • while hormone therapy containing estrogen has been shown to prevent bone loss, increase bone density, and decrease the risk of fractures, HT has also been associated with health risks. Currently, HT is recommended for women for the treatment of menopausal symptoms only at the lowest effective dose for the short-term.
Return to Disease Prevention in Women

See what others are saying

Comment from: GRACE, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 18

Yes, I just received a bone density test and found out that I have osteoporosis in my hips and lower back. I never knew you had to take estrogen during menopause.

Was this comment helpful?Yes


Get the latest health and medical information delivered direct to your inbox!

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors