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Menopause & Arthritis - Feel It In Your Bones!

From the Menopause and Hormones Articles List

Women with arthritis during menopauseAre my aching bones related to menopause?

Dem Bones, dem bones, dem achin' bones.
The thigh bone's connected to the hip bone.
The hip bone's connected to the backbone.

So -- Is your hip bone connected to menopause?

If you’ve developed achy joints, you may be wondering if your pain is related to menopause.

Making the connection: Joint inflammation and low estrogen

Arthritis - simply put - is inflammation of the joints.

Menopause is a result of diminishing levels of estrogen -- or a complete lack of estrogen if your ovaries were removed.

One of the benefits of estrogen is its ability to act as an anti-inflammatory agent. When estrogen levels decrease, you may experience an increase in inflammation -- and in this case, inflammation of the joints. Joints that had been soothed by normal estrogen levels can now become inflamed and painful. Welcome to menopausal arthritis.

More benefits of estrogen for your bones

Estrogen plays a role in how your body uses fluids. When levels drop, you can become dehydrated and then develop painful joints. But how? Your joints are the areas were two bones meet. Between the bones and within your joints, there’s fluid filled cartilage, allowing them to move easily against each other. If you are dehydrated, there’s not enough fluid for the cartilage to have the texture and shape it needs, causing friction between your touching bones.

Estrogen also contributes to how strong your bones are. If they become weak and brittle from no or low estrogen, you could develop some joint aches and pains.

While a lack of estrogen may not directly cause joint pain, indirectly it does. So if you find you creak and groan from aching joints each morning, it's time to talk to your doctor about hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and consider its benefits as it relates to your bone (and joint) health.

If estrogen isn't an option

HRT isn't right for everyone, but there are other options out there--and some of them complement HRT as well. Over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) or supplements like glucosamine may help, so talk to your doctor about which option is best for you. You also need to stay active, so engage in some regular strength training, light aerobics, or aquatic exercises. Massage or acupuncture are great alternatives as well. Depending on your symptoms, you can use hot or cold compresses to help ease stiffness and swelling. Finally, if you are carrying around some extra pounds, work with your doctor to find a diet plan to help you lose weight. And as with many other health issues, avoid excessive alcohol, and stop smoking.

This content was written by staff of HysterSisters.com by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support.

05-13-2016 - 12:22 PM


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