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Osteoporosis is a disease that results in the decrease in density of bone tissue and the resultant increased fragility of the bone. Women should be aware of this illness at all ages but especially after menopause.

At all ages it is important to have balanced nutrition and an adequate Calcium intake. It is also important to be physically active and as well conditioned as possible with activities that involve large muscle groups of the lower limbs and back. Regular and frequent participation in activities such as swimming and dancing is excellent.

At menopause women lose the positive benefits of the hormone estrogen. This combined with an increasingly sedentary lifestyle increases the risk of osteoporosis dramatically after the age of 50. For suitable patients (i.e. those fully informed about the cardiac risks and seriously distressed by estrogen deficits) hormone replacement therapy can be instituted and re-evaluated frequently. Women should also ensure an intake of at least 1.0 grams of elemental Calcium a day as well as adequate Vitamin D (1000 IU per day).

Bone Density studies are used to quantify the degree of osteoporosis and osteopenia. The test should be used judiciously to initiate or monitor treatment beyond the standard calcium and vitamin D supplementation.

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