Osteopenia is a physiological condition characterized by low bone density leading to bone weakening and an increased risk of fractures. About 34 million people in the United States alone are diagnosed with osteopenia, out of which about 80% are women.
Osteopenia and osteoporosis are inter-related medical conditions. In osteopenia, bone loss is not as severe as in osteoporosis. Therefore, individuals diagnosed with osteopenia are at greater risk of having fractures compared to individuals with normal bone density, yet they are at lower risk of having fractures compared to individuals diagnosed with osteoporosis.
DEXA (Dual-Energy X-ray Absorptiometry) scan can distinguish between healthy bone, osteopenia or osteoporosis by measuring bone mineral density (BMD). This test provides a T-score, which represents the subject’s bone status compared to the bone density of a healthy young adult. A T-score equal to or higher than (-1) is considered to be normal. If the T-score is less than (-1) but higher than (-2.5), the subject is considered to be suffering from osteopenia, and if the T-score is less than (-2.5), then the subject is defined as having osteoporosis
Many fractures caused by osteopenia or osteoporosis, such as hip fracture or vertebral fracture (fracture in the spine), are accompanied by intense pain. However, some fractures, particularly vertebral fractures of the spine, can be painless. Therefore, the diagnosis of subjects with osteopenia or osteoporosis can be very difficult, unless the subject undergoes a DEXA scan. It is however, important to note that if a patient with a fracture has been diagnosed with osteopenia based on a DEXA scan, the patient is then defined as having osteoporosis.
The goal of treatment is to prevent or slow down the progression of osteopenia and osteoporosis and to increase bone density and strength. A healthy lifestyle will also significantly reduce the risk of deterioration of the bones. A lifestyle that excludes smoking and excessive alcohol consumption and that includes exercise and a balanced diet with enough calcium and vitamin D and/or a dietary supplement, is of major importance to your bone health.
REBUILD YOUR FUTURE
If you have one or more of the risk factors for osteoporosis, it is important to talk about it with your physician.
If your daily diet does not provide the amount of calcium recommended by the Ministry of Health, the osteoporosis process may begin earlier than expected. For the prevention of osteoporosis, it is recommended to add DENSITYTM – the new generation of calcium supplement with double absorption, to your daily diet.
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