If you suffer from Osteoporosis, Customized Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) may be able to help. Keep reading to find out if HRT is the right option for you.
If you suffer from osteoporosis, you are not alone. This prevalent medical condition–characterized by a loss in bone density and resulting bone fractures–affects over 25 million Americans.
Osteoporosis predominantly affects women, but it also affects a large percentage of men too (nearly 2 million in the United States alone).
Customized Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) is one of multiple treatments for osteoporosis, but in order to find out if it is right for you, it’s important to first understand how this common bone disease comes about.
How Does Osteoporosis Develop?
The exact cause of osteoporosis is still unknown, but scientists do know that the bone disease often goes hand-in-hand with the natural hormonal changes associated with aging.
For women, the development of osteoporosis often coincides with menopause (usually around the age of 45 to 55 years old), when a woman’s body experiences a sharp decline in the production of the reproductive hormones (especially estrogen and progesterone) that play a crucial role in bone health.
As a woman approaches menopause (known as perimenopause), this decline in reproductive hormone production results in a steady decrease in bone density. If hormone levels drop too low, osteoporosis may develop.
A common misconception is that only women can develop osteoporosis, but men can too. As men grow older, their reproductive hormones (namely, testosterone, which plays an important role in stimulating bone mineralization) also begin to decline.
If testosterone levels fall too low, men can be at risk of developing osteoporosis.
The hormonal changes associated with aging are not the only factors that can lead to osteoporosis–if you have a family history of osteoporosis, for example, or have a naturally low bone density, you can be at a greater risk of contracting the disease–but hormonal changes are the most common factors.
Because osteoporosis can be hard to detect, it is important to learn the warning signs associated with it.
What are the Symptoms of Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is often called “the silent disease” because it can progress painlessly without any noticeable symptoms. Oftentimes, people do not know they have it until a strain or fall causes a bone fracture when it otherwise would not.
However, there are some warning signs that may indicate you have lower than normal bone density. If you think you may have or are at high risk of having osteoporosis, consider these possible symptoms:
- Receding gums
- Brittle fingernails
- Loss of height (a late-stage symptom)
- Persistent pain in the back, ribs, and abdomen
- Humped back, known as “Dowager’s Hump”
The only way to be certain that you either have or don’t have osteoporosis is to take a specialized bone density test. Testing is painless, noninvasive, and safe.
If you believe you may need one of these tests, consult your doctor to determine the next steps.
Thankfully, if you have osteoporosis there are ways to slow or stop its progression. But it’s important to be proactive.
How to Stop or Slow Osteoporosis Progression
Although there is no known cure for osteoporosis, the following recommendations can help support your bone health:
- Eating a balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals
- Exercising regularly to increase bone strength
- Avoiding smoking and limiting alcohol consumption
- Taking regular bone density baseline tests (every one to three years if you are high-risk)
- Take high quality nutritional supplements to support bone health
How to Treat Osteoporosis
If you have already developed osteoporosis, there are a number of options available to you.
Calcium–and other vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, manganese, folic acid, boron, zinc, strontium, copper, silicon, and vitamins A, B6, C, D, and K–plays an important role in bone formation and maintenance. Taking the appropriate supplement can help you combat the rapid loss in bone density associated with osteoporosis.
At Community Pharmacy, we offer a wide selection of vitamin and mineral supplements so you can regain control of your health. We can work with your doctor or healthcare provider to arrive at the best option for your unique needs.
Customized Hormone Replacement Therapy
Hormone Replacement Therapy–a treatment option available to both men and women–simply works by replacing deficient hormones with new ones; it can also be used to supplement hormones that are lost due to aging or illness, hormones which are especially crucial for good bone health.
Because HRT can counteract a deficiency in the reproductive hormones that contribute to bone density (such as estrogen and progesterone in women, and testosterone in men), it can be a viable treatment option and preventative measure for osteoporosis.
However, some HRT uses synthetic hormones, which the body does not recognize, and which often lead to unwanted side effects.
That is why at Community Pharmacy we utilize customized HRT by compounding hormones that are chemically identical to those that your body naturally produces, thereby lowering the chance of side effects and making HRT a more viable long-term treatment option.
After a thorough evaluation of your signs, symptoms, medical history, and assessment of your current hormone levels, we can work with you and your doctor, or other healthcare provider, to develop a customized plan for replacing your deficient hormones in the most appropriate strength and form.
Then, we can monitor and tweak your therapy as necessary until you achieve a normal hormonal balance and show no signs of symptoms. Customized Hormone Replacement Therapy has improved the quality of life for millions of people, and it may be able to improve yours too.