Be alert against Osteopenia or Loss of Bone Mineral Density

OsteopeniaPeople are aware about Osteoporosis, or fragile bones. But not many know about Osteopenia, which means loss of bone mineral density. Mostly because there are no visible symptoms or pain for osteopenia.

It is a gradual process where the level of mineral in the bones come down, thus affecting the strength and density of the bone. It is the beginning stages of osteoporosis. During osteopenia, the bone mineral density will be lower than the normal levels, but not low enough to be treated as osteoporosis.

But timely detection and arresting of osteopenia is essential for stopping the condition from aggravating to osteoporosis. One sure way is to get a bone mineral density test doe every few years once the person crosses the mark of 35 years. It is also found that, just like in osteoporosis, women are more vulnerable to osteopenia than men. Osteopenia is caused by a combination of factors.

Cause for Osteopenia

The main cause of osteopenia is age, which brings down the bone mineral density. As age advances, the bones star to lose mineral, mass and structure. These make the bones weaker and hence more prone to fracture.

At the same time, many lifestyle factors speed up the process of degeneration of bone. These includes eating disorders, metabolic issues, family history, body nature, lack of adequate exercise for body, smoking, regular consumption of aerated liquid and excessive intake of alcohol along with other medical situations like chemotherapy and exposure to radiation.

While there are little control over facts like body nature and family history, a majority of cases are caused by unhealthy lifestyles and habits. The advancement of osteopenia can be checked to a great extent by simple changes in lifestyle and dietary pattern.

How to check Osteopenia

More Calcium: Calcium is one of the key building components for bones. So increasing the intake of calcium will help in restoring the normal bone density. The advisable intake of calcium for people aged between 19 and 50 years is 1,000 mg of calcium a day, which is 1,200 mg for women. Organic dairy products, fish species like sardines, dark green vegetables and dried fruits are rich sources of calcium. Calcium supplements are to be taken only in consultation with a doctor.

More Vitamin D: Another major component of bone strength is Vitamin D. The he recommended quantity of Vitamin D is 2,000 IU daily for adults. This can be had from food products like eggs, salmon, sardines, swordfish and fortified foods like cereal and orange juice. Interestingly, a main source for Vitamin D is sun light. The presence of Vitamin D in body can be increased by an exposure of 10 to 15 minutes of early morning sun.

More Exercise: Regular exercise and physical activities will keep the bones active and can arrest the degeneration of the bones considerably. Sedentary lifestyle is found to be the most common cause of osteopenia and osteoporosis in modern society. Simple measures like walking, cycling or dancing and light-weight bearing exercises can help to fight back osteopenia.

Less Smoking, Caffeine: Smoking can bring down the bone density, causing osteoporotic fractures of the hips, lumbar spine and forearms. Same is the case with caffeine. Bringing down the intake of both will have a positive impact on bones.

More Vitamin K: Recent studies point that more Vitamin K intake can help bone density, especially in young girls. Food material like sprouts, green vegetable, fermented dairy products etc are rich in Vitamin K.

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