Osteopenia is a specific bone condition when bones are weaker than normal due to decreased bone mineral (calcium and phosphate) density but the situation is not as bad as during osteoporosis. Actually it is pre-osteoporosis when weak bones become prone to fractures.
In very early stages of osteopenia there may be no symptoms. Gradual bone density changes could trigger some symptoms such as neck or low back pain, loss of height, stooped posture and tenderness over long bones.
According to health experts, fractures during osteopenia don’t always cause pain.
Bone density changes are happening while aging (starting in middle age) – bones loose minerals, become weaker with increased risks for breaking. Usually people reach peak bone density at 30-33 – thicker are bones at that age, the longer it takes to develop osteopenia.
Metabolism disturbance or eating disorders could be responsible for damages absorption of vital vitamins and minerals which are important for bone density.
Chemotherapy and radiation often cause bone damages.
Family history is also very important – families with thin members, white or Asian combined with not-healthy lifestyle (absence of sport, smoking, alcohol, fast foods) suffer from osteopenia more often.
Osteopenia is diagnosed using measures of bone mineral density (BMD) – bone density test is the main diagnostic measure. Most accurate test of bone density is dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) scan. This test should be done only in very special groups of people:
Any person with medical condition associated with bone loss (rheumatoid arthritis),
Clients who receive bone loss medications (steroids, anticonvulsants, protease inhibitors, immune-depressants).
Patients with bone loss need drugs that lead to bone strengthening (calcium, vitamin D). Some experts recommend bisphosphonates like raloxifene, calcitonin and hormone replacement therapy for postmenopausal women.
Regular physical activities can also prevent and/or treat low bone density walking, jogging, dancing, swimming, biking and some other exercises which can help to make bones stronger.
Healthy food and healthy lifestyle can help reducing bone loss. Best sources of calcium are milk and other dairy products, green vegetables, and calcium-enriched products. Main source of vitamin D is sunlight.
Abnormal menopause bleeding is one of the most frequent complaints of women after 45-55. At the very early stages of menopause (called “perimenopause”) ovaries start producing less estrogen and progesterone…
Disclaimer: It is strongly recommended to consult your doctor for professional advice. Above mentioned information and recommendations are just general and should be adapted to each person according to personal health indicators and status.