Osteopenia is a condition in which it exists an abnormal bone density. This bone density is not as low as what occurs in the case of osteoporosis.
In other words, osteopenia is a densitometric term that is defined by T-score in bone densitometry.
Also known as dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA, for its acronym in English). It is a test that is used to measure the density of calcium in our bones, so it is often used to diagnose osteoporosis or assess the risk of fractures. This test measures the density of the bones of the hip, spine, and wrist.
In the report there will be a series of statistical data of which two stand out for their importance:
This data indicates the density of calcium that the bone has in relation to the maximum amount that a bone would have in a similar person at a specific time in life:
-If the score is greater than -1 we can consider it as normal.
-When the score is between -1 and -2’5 we say that the person has osteopenia, or bone density less than normal.
-We consider that you suffer from osteoporosis when the score is less than -2’5.
This data indicates the density of calcium that the bone has in relation to the average population of people that corresponds to it according to their age, sex, weight and size.
What is the cause of osteopenia?
This condition may have many possible causes. We can mention the lack of calcium and vitamin D, sedentary lifestyle, not developing a good bone mass during childhood, some medications and genetic factors. The last factor is especially important because caucasian women of a thin constitution are more susceptible to suffer from osteopenia.
The aforementioned factors cause calcium deficit in the bones. The biological route of assimilation and absorption of calcium has many key factors. It depends mainly on vitamin D, but also on magnesium. So, if a person has a diet deficient in some of those elements it can result in osteopenia.
How can I prevent osteopenia?
Correction of body levels of calcium and vitamin D and moderate exercise has the potential to enhance bone density at significant points in the skeleton. There is a huge variety of drugs that specialists prescribe for the treatment of osteopenia and osteoporosis. We can mention hormone replacement therapy or anabolic therapy.
There are several tests that can check the onset of osteopenia. They are a blood test that checks the body’s levels of calcium, phosphorus, and the alkaline phosphatase enzyme, an ultrasound or an x-ray. With proper treatment, this deficiency may be corrected with ease.
In general, if fractures occur, you tend to heal well. Go to periodic check-ups with a specialist and you will be able to prevent many diseases.