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Hormone Replacement Therapy and Healthy Bones: Elise’s Story

One of my patients started on estrogen and progestin as she neared her fiftieth birthday and her periods became few and far between. After Elise went through menopause, a bone density scan showed her Z-score (comparing her to other women her age) was actually positive, and her T-score (comparing her to peak bone density) was just —.3.

In the midst of what would otherwise have been the most rapid bone loss of her life, Elise was sitting pretty thanks to HRT.In this case, I know HRT was largely responsible for Elise’s relatively dense bones because although she took calcium supplements fairly regularly, her diet and exercise habits were otherwise far from ideal.

Her job, in addition to being extremely stressful in general, required constant travel. Because of her schedule, she had long ago given up on the idea of a regular workout. Elise felt she couldn’t really eat right, since so many of her meals came from vending machines or room service or while dashing through the airport;

For all these reasons, Elise had room for improvement. She began taking a range of other supplements along with her calcium, and starting paying attention to what she ate. She couldn’t always get all the calcium and other nutrients she would like (which is where the supplements come in), but found it was just as easy to grab a yogurt as anything else to eat, and began carrying healthier snacks along with her in her travels.

She also committed to a walking program she could do wherever she was, and began making inquiries about gym facilities at the hotels she was destined for.If she sticks to those things, I’ve no doubt that her next bone scan will show her density to be right up there with the densest of 30-year-olds.*134\228\2*

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