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Menopause puts women's bones at risk

July 29, 2011 at 11:20 PM   |   Comments

DALLAS, July 29 (UPI) -- Estrogen replacement therapy is not the treatment of choice for osteoporosis and women should check with their physician first, U.S. experts say.

Researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center's Mineral Metabolism Clinic say estrogen is necessary to prevent bone loss and when women go into menopause, their ovaries stop producing the hormone.

On average, women lose as much as 10 percent of their bone mass in the first five years after menopause. A woman may not know she has osteoporosis until weakened bones cause painful fractures, usually in the back or hips, the bone experts say.

The Mineral Metabolism Clinic suggest women:

-- Have bone mineral density measured to assess the degree of bone mineral loss and fracture risk.

-- Take calcium and vitamin D.

-- Train with weights two to three times a week, for 30 minutes each time.

-- Engage in weight-bearing activities such as brisk walking or jogging.

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