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Dry Mouth May Be Linked to Osteoporosis

Dry Mouth May Be Linked to Osteoporosis

What do low estrogen, low calcium, dry throat and dry mouth have in common? At first it doesn’t seem like a lot. But a recent study published in the journal Menopause showed that women in menopause who have a dry mouth are at increased risk of low calcium and osteoporosis (brittle bones).

Here is what the study showed. First the doctors made sure the women didn’t have a medical reason for a dry mouth such as one of the following:

  • Medication (an antihistamine, diuretic or medicine for urinary incontinence)
  • Conditions such as Sjogren’s syndrome (includes dry eyes and dry mouth)
  • Damage to the  salivary glands from surgery, medical treatment or radiation
  • Excessive sweating
  • Smoking
  • Nerve damage from head and neck injury or surgery
  • Dehydration from excessive exercise, fever, burns or diarrhea

Then they tested the saliva. Women who had none of the reasons above for a dry mouth or dry throat had higher amounts of calcium and also higher amounts of the adrenal hormone cortisol and parathyroid hormone in their saliva. These two hormones become higher in menopause with low estrogen. Women who did not have a dry mouth had normal levels of calcium, cortisol and parathyroid hormone in their saliva.

Here is why it matters to you. The women who had mouth symptoms were also very likely to have brittle bones. So here’s what to do. If you are in menopause and answer “yes” to three or more of the questions below, talk with your doctor or dentist and see if you need a bone density test to find out if you have osteoporosis or brittle bones. There are many medications to treat thin bones or brittle bones to help you prevent breaking your hip.

Dry Mouth Questionnaire

  • Does your mouth feel dry when eating a meal?
  • Do you have difficulty swallowing any foods?
  • Do you need to sip liquids to aid in swallowing dry foods?
  • Does the amount of saliva in your mouth seem to be reduced most of the time?
  • Does your mouth feel dry at night or on awakening?
  • Does your mouth feel dry during the daytime?
  • Do you chew gum or use candy to relieve oral dryness?
  • Do you usually wake up thirsty at night?
  • Do you have problems in tasting food?
  • Does your tongue burn?

On another note, in an earlier blog post I wrote about the stress and excitement of the troops coming home for Christmas and included a new Christmas song for military families called Daddy’s Coming Home. Here is a link in case you didn’t see it before or want another look and listen.

Related:
10 Warning Signs Your Bones Are Thinning
Why Am I Always Thirsty?
Bioidentical Estrogens Are Safe, Right?

Read more: Health, Aging, Christmas, Healthy Aging, Menopause, Osteoporosis, Stay Well With Dr. Seibel, Women's Health, , , , , ,

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Dr. Mache Seibel

Women's health expert and guest speaker Dr. Mache Seibel addresses consumers' critical needs from weight control to HRTmenopause and beyond. He served on the Harvard Medical School faculty for 19 years and is founder of My Menopause Magazine on the Apple Newsstand (http://bit.ly/MyMenoMag). Download the Free App and first Free issue. He works with companies and organizations to bring exciting educational content to consumers. Visit his award-winning website DoctorSeibel.com to sign up for his free monthly newsletter.

37 comments

+ add your own
1:45PM PDT on Mar 19, 2013

ty

5:14AM PDT on Sep 21, 2012

scary

11:32AM PDT on Aug 21, 2012

good to know

8:03AM PDT on Jul 19, 2012

good to know

7:32AM PDT on May 13, 2012

good to know

5:14PM PST on Jan 5, 2012

Or from smoking too much...?

6:18AM PST on Dec 28, 2011

Useful info.

9:46AM PST on Dec 27, 2011

thanks

a way to possibly help increase bone density along with diet is "soul mind body medicine"

on page 295 of "soul mind body medicine" book by zhi gang sha MD is a specific soul mind body medicine technique for low bone density. Its not the only thing to do to help.

it may sound funny, but MD Larry Dossey wrote on the back of this book that Dr Sha is.

"healer" and "a gift to the human race"

5:44AM PST on Dec 16, 2011

Well I must have super strong bones...

1:47AM PST on Dec 16, 2011

thanks for the article.

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