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Osteopenia Versus Osteoporosis

By Expert Author: Dr Sejal Thakkar

Low bone density occurs when there is low minerals and calcium in the body causing the bones to become brittle and prone to weakness. In this article, we give you information about Osteopenia and osteoporosis.

Osteopenia, to begin with, is the medical disorder that deals with the thinning of your bone mass. While this decrease in bone mass is not usually considered "severe," it is considered a very serious risk factor for the development of osteoporosis.

Osteopenia is the condition where the bone mass begins to thin. This is not considered to be a severe case but rather a risk factor. Normally, Osteopenia leads to osteoporosis and is often an early warning for it. However, very rarely does osteoporosis occur after Osteopenia. Osteoporosis results in an extremely low bone density which results in a high risk for fracture. Osteopenia is normally treated with the same procedure for osteoporosis treatment.


There are several causes for Osteopenia and Osteoporosis which are similar. The following are the causes:
Family history due to genetics have a 50 to 85% chance of suffering from this disorder
Abnormal hormonal levels which include decreased levels of estrogen especially in menopause women.
Excessive smoking and alcohol intake
thin frame;
vast period of immobility;
certain medications which include corticosteroids, antiseizure medications, thyroid medication and epilepsy medications
medical conditions like celiac sprue that lead to complications of malabsorption
Chronic inflammation due to medical conditions like rheumatoid arthritis


Thesymptoms for Osteopenia are almost the same for osteoporosis. A low density bone mass is normally an indication of Osteopenia and osteoporosis. The following scores will indicate the difference:
Score of 2.5 to -1 SD = Normal bone density
Score of -1 to -2.5 = Osteopenia
Score of -2.5 = osteoporosis
The other symptoms of Osteopenia include:
Fracture of the bone where there is no pain in a few cases.


The treatment for Osteopenia is the same as Osteoporosis Treatment. Since the main focus of Osteopenia is bone thinning, the treatment will include more of absorption of bone minerals like calcium and other minerals. Therefore your diet and consumption will include a lot of vitamin D. you will have to take a lot of supplements of vitamin D in the form of dietary intake or even walking in the morning sun. Depending on the score of your BMD, your doctor will prescribe the ideal consumption intake for you on the factors of age, gender and even family history. You should also refrain from excessive smoking and alcohol as this reduces the capability of your body to absorb calcium and vitamin D. cola and caffeinated drinks also reduce and help in the aiding of thinning bones by reducing calcium in them and thus should be avoided. Since Osteopenia is a risk factor for osteoporosis, you will receive a similar treatment to the osteoporosis treatment.

Author Bio:
Dr.Sejal Thakkar, A Spine Consultant at Qi Spine Clinic, She is driven by the goal of achieving excellence in clinical practice by constantly updating her knowledge and has a special interest in movement analysis and done several workshops on Kinetic Control-Movement solutions and osteoporosis treatment.

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