10/28/2009 - Questions and Answers

What is Osteopenia and What You Need to Know About Osteopenia

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Osteopenia is considered the first stage before osteoporosis. How is it detected? How can osteopeniabe treated?

Question

My Doctor told me that I have Osteopenia . My BDM is 0.397 T - Score : - 1.6 Can you please explain what is osteopenia and what this means?

Answer

What is osteopenia?
Osteoporosis is a loss of bony tissue, resulting in bones that are brittle and liable to break easily (fractures).
Osteopenia is a thinning of the bones, but less than is seen with osteoporosis -- it is the stage before true osteoporosis. However, the treatment is the same, and may perhaps keep the onset of osteoporosis at bay.

How is osteopenia detected and treated?
It is detected by the patient having a bone density scan performed. T score = 0 no treatment is necessary,T score = 1 treatment should be considered if there are several risk factors,T score = 2.5 his signals Osteoporosis. Treatment is strongly recommended to stop further bone loss.

There are three main tasks:1 - Screening by the doctor, 2 - Lifestyle changes by the patient before osteoporosis sets in, 3 - Preventive medication, prescribed by the doctor, taken by the patient.

If you do not get enough calcium in your diet you may be at risk for losing calcium from your bones, making them thinner and weaker. This condition is called osteoporosis. . Lack of calcium and vitamin D in the diet, immobility or lack of exercise, early menopause with loss of the hormone estrogen or excessive thinness, are the usual causes, though endocrine diseases, of which diabetes is one, can also be a cause.
There are ways to treat osteopenia and prevent it from becoming worse.

Life style changes which one can implement is to exercise adequately or go for regular walks, have a nutritious diet and avoid smoking or excessive alcohol intake. Weight-bearing exercises are activities, such as walking, jogging, climbing stairs, floor push-ups and wall push-ups. These exercises can improve your bone strength and are beneficial for osteopenia /osteoporosis patients.

Foods rich in calcium are milk, cheese, yogurt, salmon, sardines, almonds, dark green leafy vegetables and broccoli.

Other treatments consist of Calcium and Vit D supplements bi phosphonates and HRT.

A biphosphonate, Fosamax (Alendronate) is a compound that alters the cycle of bone formation and breakdown in your body. Fosamax increases new bone formation. Like estrogen, Evista reduces bone loss and increases bone density. However, Evista does not have estrogen-like effects on the uterus and breasts, and therefore is unlikely to increase the risk of cancer, as estrogen therapy sometimes can do.

Now that you what osteopenia is, you might want to see our related articles:

Created on: 04/29/2006
Reviewed on: 10/28/2009

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