Bone Health And Osteopenia-Everything You Need To Know
After a long time, I am back on IWB with this post. In fact last few weeks had been scary as far as health is concerned. My mom underwent double replacement surgery, knee as well as hip and looking after her in that state of health had been really taxing in physical as well as emotional context. Then yesterday I saw a notice on the notice board of our society about a free bone density test camp being organised in the complex, so I thought of making use of this opportunity and go for the test. Well, as I am already under treatment for arthritis so it was understood that I will have a shaky number somewhere. The test report made me understand that I was suffering from Osteopenia and was under the risk of fracture. Let us see what actually is osteopenia.
What is Osteopenia?
When the bone density is lower than normal peak density but not low enough to be called osteoporosis, it is known as Osteopenia. Bone density is a measurement of how strong the bones are. If you are diagnosed with osteopenia, that means there is a risk of osteoporosis.
Causes of Osteopenia
As we age our bones naturally become thinner because when we reach middle age, our existing bone cells are reabsorbed by the body faster than new bone is made. As this change takes place around the 30th year of life when the bones lose minerals, mass, and structure, making them weaker and increasing their risk of breaking.
One thing that is important to know here is that not all people who have osteopenia may face bone loss. Some people just have a lower bone density naturally. Osteopenia may also be the result of some other health conditions or treatments. Women are far more prone to osteopenia and osteoporosis than men because women have comparatively a lower peak bone density which speeds up as hormonal changes take place at the time of menopause. In both men and women, the following things can contribute to osteopenia:
What aggravates Osteopenia?
There are a few things that aggravate Osteopenia among men, as well as women.
- Eating disorders or metabolism issues that cause some problem in the absorption of vitamins and minerals.
- Some medicines and therapies like Chemo and steroids which are used to treat some health conditions like asthma.
- Exposure to radiation.
- Family history of Osteoporosis.
- Physically being thin.
- Being white or Asian.
- Lack of physical activity.
- Drinking, smoking, excessive consumption of colas also increase the risk of osteopenia.
- Osteopenia occurs more frequently in post-menopausal women as a result of the loss of estrogen.
Symptoms of Osteopenia
Interestingly Osteopenia has hardly any visible symptoms and the individual notices no pain. Just that the bones become thinner with risk of breaking bones.
Osteopenia is the early stage of Osteoporosis. Having osteopenia places a person at risk of developing Osteoporosis. A diagnosis of osteopenia is a warning that you must start taking care of your bones and that prevention methods need to be put in place.
What does the T-score tell us?
The result of a Bone density scan for adults over 21 is known as a T-score.
- Moderate Osteopenia is a T-score of -1.5 to -1.9
- Marked Osteopenia is a T-score of -2 to -2.49
- Osteoporosis is a T-score of -2.5 or higher.
After considering all this, I think all of us especially the women must go for bone density test after 30 years of age.
Are you aware of your bone health and Osteopenia?
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