Osteopenia Diagnosis: Is it a Cause for Alarm… or Just a Wake Up Call?

Shocked and scared is a typical reaction to this pre-osteoporosis diagnosis. It happens often as one in two people over age 50 in the U.S. will get an osteopenia diagnosis or the full blown osteoporosis diagnosis.[1] Understanding the true risks and what to do about it may make this misunderstood diagnosis the best thing to ever happen to you.

Osteopenia is a condition where a person’s bone mineral density is lower than normal. It is considered by many doctors to be a precursor to osteoporosis, that more serious condition where you’ve lost so much bone that your risk for fractures is significantly higher. But osteopenia does not have to lead to osteoporosis. In fact, osteopenia is completely reversible if you supply your bones with the proper nutrients and follow some common sense natural healing steps. So if your “red flag” was a recent bone density test that came back showing osteopenia, consider that a blessing in disguise if it motivates you to take action now to preserve your bones in the long run.

Consider the Source of the Osteopenia Diagnosis

It helps to understand where the osteopenia diagnosis came from in the first place. It was a World Health Organization (W.H.O.) panel financed by the pharmaceutical industry that in 1994 defined normal female bone mass as that of an average 30-year-old woman. Because bone naturally deteriorates with age, anyone much older than 40 is frequently able to qualify for a diagnosis of osteopenia. But, that doesn’t mean that it should be ignored. It is an indication that some abnormal thinning of your bones has already begun although it is not a serious threat at the present time. But what would be serious is if you did nothing to stop the progression of your bone loss and as a result you later developed the full blown osteoporosis that does have serious bone fracture and disability risks.

A Useful Wake Up Call

Let’s not forget that the full blown osteoporosis is a serious disease that can have devastating consequences on your health and quality of life. So it is not to be ignored; and the osteopenia diagnosis is the first warning shot over the bow. So do you just sit there and do nothing or do you begin to prepare for the oncoming attack? Fortunately, osteopenia responds very well to natural healing protocols. However, it’s important to remember that your body didn’t develop osteopenia overnight so recovery from it will take some time. But that’s the good thing about an osteopenia diagnosis – it gives you some time.  The sooner you start, the sooner your body will begin to rebuild healthy bone. And most often, it will not be just one pill or even one strategy that brings the results you desire. It will be a combination of strategies which allows them to work synergistically.


[1] National Osteoporosis Foundation

Originally published in 2012, this blog has been updated.

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Tom Vick

Tom P. Vick founded Natural Health Advisory Institute and operated it for nearly 10 years before its 2016 sale to Belvoir Media Group. He launched NHA after moving to Dallas … Read More

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  • Most of these articles, this one included, leave out one very serious risk factor. That factor is having to take an aromatase inhibitor to lower our risk of a breast cancer recurrence. Thinning of the bones is the major side effect of taking one of these drugs. My first bone density scan showed that my hip bones and spine were in the normal range. This was taken a few weeks before starting on an aromatase inhibitor. Two years later I fell into the osteopenia range. Now I’m on a twice yearly injection of Prolia, which was not mentioned in this article. I was already doing the recommended things to keep my bones healthy and had been for years.

    I think the information about aromatase inhibitors needs to be included in every article about osteopenia and osteoporosis.

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