3 Ways Low Estrogen Levels Can Hurt Your Bones
Bone pain is a common complaint of both men and women, and can be caused by many different things. One of the most common causes of bone pain is arthritis, and can affect both men and women equally.
Advancing age, playing sports, nutritional deficits, and infections can also cause bone pain. While usually not serious, bone pain that fails to resolve after conservative treatments such as analgesic use, proper nutrition, infection resolution, and proper nutritional intake, should be evaluated by your chiropractor and primary physician.
Alterations in hormonal levels can also wreak havoc with your bones, especially if you are a woman. Here are three ways low estrogen levels can hurt your bones and what you can do about them:
If you are in menopause or taking medications to lower your circulating estrogen levels, you may be at a heightened risk for developing a degenerative bone disease. One of the most common degenerative bone disorders in women is osteoporosis, and is often the result of decreased estrogen levels.
Estrogen helps keep your bones strong and dense, and when levels decrease, your bones can become thin and brittle. While osteoporosis is more common in women, men are not immune to it. Osteoporosis typically affects the spine, but it can also cause pain and weakness in your neck, hips, knees, and ankles.
Estrogen replacement therapy can help prevent further bone destruction but it does little to repair existing damage. Taking calcium and vitamin D supplements may also help keep your bones strong.
If you wear dentures and have low estrogen levels, you may notice that they do not fit anymore. Declining estrogen levels can lead to the destruction of your jaw bone, and this can cause changes in the shape and size of your jaws. If your dentures become loose, or if you have problems eating or speaking, see your dentist.
Ill-fitting dentures can also cause mouth sores as a result of constant friction. If oral sores are not recognized and addressed quickly, you may develop a severe infection. Destruction of your jaw bone can also cause referred neck and spinal pain. If you develop this type of discomfort, make an appointment with your chiropractor who may recommend therapeutic massage or spinal manipulation therapy.
Because low estrogen levels can cause brittle bone disease, you may be at a higher risk for fractures. While the risk for fracture is greater if you fall, spontaneous fractures can occur in people whose bones have lost significant amounts of density.
If you are at risk for a bone fracture because of declining hormonal levels, talk to your chiropractic physician about ways to strengthen the surrounding structures of your bones such as your muscles and tendons. When the structures that help support your bones are strong, you may be less likely to injure yourself if you fall.
If you have low estrogen levels because of menopause or otherwise, work with both your chiropractor and primary physician. When both of these disciplines are involved in your care, you are less likely to suffer the consequences of degenerative bone disorders.