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How does perimenopause affect my bones?

The decrease in estrogen production during perimenopause affects your bones. Estrogen is important for building new bone. When you produce less estrogen, you are at risk for osteoporosis, a condition characterized by thin, brittle bones that break easily. If you have a family history of osteoporosis, you are at greater risk. Regular weight-bearing exercise, such as brisk walking, helps to maintain bone strength. A diet high in calcium and vitamin D, along with supplements, also help maintain bone strength.

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Perimenopause affects bones because a woman has less protection from estrogen as she begins its decline. Estrogen is a multi-tasking hormone and among its many duties is to help strengthen bone mineral density by keeping the normal bone building and breakdown process in balance. Without estrogen bone breakdown outpaces bone building and the bones can become porous, thin and break more easily. If loss of bone density continues unchecked, it can lead to postmenopausal osteoporosis.
The hormone estrogen helps maintain bone density, so as you begin to produce less estrogen during perimenopause, you’re at greater risk for bone loss and future osteoporosis.

Taking calcium and vitamin D supplements can help restore some of this calcium loss, and so can eating foods containing calcium.

Weight-bearing exercise can also help strengthen your bones and reduce bone loss.

If you are taking low-dose birth control pills containing estrogen for birth control or perimenopause symptoms, that may also help slow down bone loss.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.