One of the unfortunate side effects of undergoing menopause is your risk of developing osteoporosis increases due to the drop in estrogen production. Osteoporosis is a disease characterized by a reduction in bone density which, in turn, raises a person's risk of fractures and breaks. While it's important to start on postmenopausal osteoporosis treatments as soon as you're diagnosed, reducing your risk of falls is equally critical. Here are two tips for making the necessary adjustments.
Redesign Your Home
You spend a lot of time in your house, so it's essential you take steps to reduce the number of hazards in your home that could cause you to fall. Things that previously seemed safe or harmless can easily become serious threats to your health. For instance, loose rugs can slip underfoot on hardwood floors and lead to an unfortunate tumble to the ground.
There are a number of changes you can make to your home to make it safer to move around:
- Get rid of the aforementioned loose rugs or buy ones with non-slip backing
- Install safety bars in showers and tubs as well as troublesome areas in the home
- Make sure there is adequate lighting inside and outside the home
- Pave walkways
- Clear out clutter
- Fix loose carpeting and damaged floorboards
It's also a good idea to invest in a few pairs of good non-slip shoes and socks and wear then when traveling around your home.
Adjust Your Medication
Another thing you'll want to do is talk to your doctor about switching to medications that don't increase your risk of falling. Some prescription drugs have side effects that negatively impact your balance, perception, and/or ability to physically move around, and making adjustments in the type or dosage can go a long way to reducing your fall risk.
For example, some medications used to treat hypertension can cause a dangerous drop in blood pressure when you stand up, leading to dizziness or loss of consciousness. Changing to a different medication or making lifestyle adjustments (e.g. waiting a few moments after standing before moving around) can help you avoid nasty falls.
Other medications that can increase fall risks include:
- Mood stabilizers
- Opioid painkillers
- Diabetic medications
Talk to your doctor about the side effects of your medications and what changes you can make to protect yourself.
For more tips on preventing falls or information about postmenopausal osteoporosis treatments, contact your healthcare provider.