Immediately Start Selling Why Does Menopause Favor The Appearance Of Osteoarthritis?
Menopause Favor 18 percent of women have osteoarthritis, compared to 9 percent of men,” explains Santiago Palacios, director of the Instituto Palacios de la Mujer in Madrid. In addition, it is known that the disease occurs more frequently in people between 55 and 60 years old and that osteoarthritis of the knee and hand is more common in them. However, “it is very difficult to know how many of those women have osteoarthritis caused or worsened by menopause.”
Although there are no figures, it is true that menopause can favor the appearance of this pathology. Palacios explains that “the hormonal, genetic and social factors (pregnancy, for example) are the three that influence this disease, the hormonal factor being very important when talking about menopause.”
The explanation is that “cartilage, like bone, has estrogen and progesterone receptors. With menopause these estrogens are reduced, so the cartilage is affected. “Estrogens also have a direct relationship with collagen (an important component of joint ligaments), so if one decreases, the other decreases. This is another reason why the joints are affected during menopause.
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Finally, osteoarthritis and osteoporisis are related and, as Palacios points out, “with menopause the risk of osteoporosis increases.Regarding treatment, Palacios highlights that “it is the same in women with and without menopause.” Of course, it should be borne in mind that if women with menopause are treated for hot flashes with hormone replacement therapy, they will also have benefits for the joints. “This therapy prevents osteoarthritis,” says the expert.
Two types of medications are generally used:Fast acting: like pain relievers.Slow-acting: chondro protectors, such as glucosamine.Palacios also suggests other non-pharmacological methods:Physiotherapy.Electrical stimulation.Acupuncture.Phytotherapy.
In addition to these treatments, Palacios offers women with menopause “fight for their quality of life and take better care of themselves.” He emphasizes that excess weight is a risk factor for osteoarthritis and, taking into account that during menopause about 5 kilos are put on weight, the expert urges to take more care of food, exercise and, ultimately, avoid this weight gain.
This is not always easy, because, as Palacios indicates, “in menopause you have to make an extra effort, since with hot flashes you may sleep worse and be in a worse mood, which reduces the desire to exercise.” But he insists that it is important to do so.
Palacios stresses the importance of exercising, although he recognizes that not everything goes. “It has to be a moderate exercise, in which mobility does not lead to crushing.” In other words, he suggests walking, not jogging, since “running makes the knee and hip collide, while walking causes a slip.”