Can Hormone Replacement Therapy Help People With Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a condition where the bone density gradually decreases, and the bones become porous. While some people may develop a stooped posture or suffer from aches and pains, some people may not have any symptoms until they have a bone fracture. Thankfully, there are ways that a person can manage this condition. One therapy avenue is hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Take a look at why hormone fluctuations contribute to osteoporosis and how HRT could help.

How Do Hormones Contribute to Osteoporosis?

The sex hormone estrogen is vital to bone health because it promotes osteoblasts, or cells that produce new bone tissue. As women age and go through menopause, there is a sharp drop in estrogen levels, so they can be more prone to osteoporosis. As men age, they produce less testosterone, which can also contribute to osteoporosis since some testosterone is converted into bone-preserving estrogen. Besides decreases in estrogen and testosterone, a parathyroid hormone imbalance can also contribute to osteoporosis. This hormone is made by glands in the neck and helps to replenish calcium levels. Calcium is a mineral that's associated with healthy bones and teeth.

What Other Risk Factors Come into Play?

If you have a sedentary lifestyle, you are more likely to develop osteoporosis because cells that promote bone growth are "turned off." Simple cardio activities and weight-bearing exercises encourage cells to turnover new bone growth. People who smoke are more prone to osteoporosis because the chemicals in cigarettes inhibit calcium and Vitamin D absorption and the body's ability to use estrogen. Drinking too much diet cola is also a contributing factor, as parathyroid levels are affected by diet cola.  

How Can Hormone Replacement Therapy Help?

Ideally, HRT will correct hormonal imbalances so that a person doesn't lose any bone density. HRT can help to prevent bone loss after menopause and help people reduce the risk of fractures. Besides improving bone density, some people may experience other benefits such as increased energy, improved libido, improved weight management, and a lowered risk of heart disease.

However, one should weigh the pros and cons of HRT with their doctor, as some synthetic HRT protocols could increase the risk of some cancers. It may be beneficial to pursue a bioidentical hormone therapy first over synthetic hormone therapy. Both bioidentical and synthetic hormones are produced in a lab environment, but bioidentical hormones are derived from natural plant sources while synthetic ones are manufactured from chemical compounds.

Reach out to a health and medical provider or clinic like Southern Integrative & Environmental Medical for more info.