Osteopenia is when the bones are weaker than normal, but not so weak that they break easily, which is the hallmark of osteoporosis. As usual, a person’s bones are densest when they are about 30 years old . When osteopenia appears, it is usually around the age of 50. The exact age depends on how strong they were during their youth.
Diet, exercise, and sometimes medication can help keep bones dense and strong for decades. So, with a healthy and active life you can avoid osteopenia in the future , and that this will gradually become osteoporosis.
- 1 Which people are at risk for osteopenia?
- 2 What are the medical causes of osteopenia?
- 1 How is osteopenia diagnosed?
- 3 Is lifestyle an important factor?
Which people are at risk for osteopenia?
osteopenia occurs when the body loses more bone than it creates . If a person’s bones were strong during their youth, they may never develop this condition. On the other hand, if your bones were normally somewhat brittle, you may develop osteopenia before the age of 50.
Some people are genetically susceptible to it and have a family history of this condition. It is also more likely to appear in women than in men. Women have less bone mass than men. Also, women live longer, which means their cunts get older, and they generally don’t get as much calcium as men.
What are the medical causes of osteopenia?
Calcium is key to maintaining healthy bones. Hormonal changes that occur during menopause increase the chance of osteopenia for women, and men with low testosterone levels are also more likely to have it . Another common possibility is that you have a medical condition or treatment that can trigger the condition.
Eating disorders , such as anorexia and bulimia, can deprive the body of the nutrients needed to keep bones strong. but there are other causes, such as those we describe below :
- untreated celiac disease . People with this condition can damage their small intestine by eating foods that contain gluten.
- an overactive thyroid gland . Too much thyroid medication can also play a role.
- Chemotherapy . Exposure to radiation can have a negative effect on bone density.
- Certain medicines . Medications such as steroids and anti-seizure medications can also adversely affect bones.
How is osteopenia diagnosed?
Osteopenia usually has no symptoms. This makes it difficult to diagnose unless you have a bone density test . The test is painless and quick. It is carried out with X-rays, this test is recommended in the following cases:
- You are a woman 65 years or older
- You are a postmenopausal woman age 50 or older
- You are a man over 65 with risk factors
- You are a woman of normal age have menopause and you have a high chance of breaking bones due to the presence of other risk factors
- You are a woman who has already gone through menopause, you are under 65 years old and you have other risk factors
- If you break a bone after the age of 50 without a significant accident, known as a fragility fracture
Is lifestyle an important factor?
Poor diet, lack of exercise and unhealthy habits can contribute to this condition. So the following points must be taken into account :
- Not having adequate levels of calcium or vitamin D
- Not enough exercise, especially strength training
- Smoking is harmful
- Drinking too much alcohol increases health problems, including those with bones.
With this in mind, if you think you are at risk of developing this condition, talk to your doctor. It is never too early to take preventive measures for osteopenia . Your doctor can advise you on an exercise plan suitable for your physical condition. In addition, it will also advise you on the foods that cannot be missing in your daily diet.
But even if you already have osteopenia, it is never too late to prevent it from developing into osteoporosis . Here are some tips for healthy living:
- Get enough calcium and vitamin D. Walk in the sun for about 15 minutes a day, and eat dairy products, spinach, eggs, oily fish such as salmon and sardines, cereals or beans. These foods are essential for our bones and are probably the most important for keeping our bones healthy.
- weight lifting . You can do regular exercises with weights to prevent or delay osteopenia. Don’t forget to check with your doctor before starting an exercise program.
- Lifestyle changes . That is, eliminate unhealthy habits such as smoking, and reduce the consumption of carbonated drinks and alcohol.