Osteoporosis is an insidious illness that sneaks up on you. Studies suggest that about 50 percent of women over the age of 50 will suffer a fracture related to bone loss. And each year, approximately 80,000 men have a hip fracture. That’s why it’s so critical to undergo bone density … Read More
Osteopenia is a close relative of the bone-weakening disease, osteoporosis. It, too, is bone mineral density that is lower than normal, but it?s not low enough to qualify for a diagnosis of osteoporosis. If you have osteopenia, it?s important to strengthen your bones, because you are at greater risk for osteoporosis and bone fractures in the future.
Your risk for osteopenia increases as you age, because bones begin to break down faster as you get older. In women, the rate of bone loss speeds up dramatically after menopause because the body no longer produces the hormone estrogen, which helps build bones. Other risk factors include a family history of osteoporosis and a slim body frame. You may also be more prone to thinning bones if you?ve had an eating disorder like anorexia, you received radiation or chemotherapy to treat cancer, or you took steroid medicine to treat an autoimmune disorder such as rheumatoid arthritis.
Osteopenia doesn?t cause any symptoms. You might not realize you have weak bones until the condition progresses and you develop a fracture. Your doctor can diagnose osteopenia and osteoporosis with a bone density test, called a dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scan. This test compares the mineral content, or density, of your bones against those of a younger person of your gender. The result is reported as a T-score. A T-score of between -1.0 and -2.5 means you have osteopenia. A score of -2.5 or lower means you have osteoporosis.
If your bone density is low, your doctor will recommend that you start doing more weight-bearing exercises, such as walking or dancing. Nutritional interventions include getting more calcium and vitamin D, and limiting caffeine and alcohol. Bone-building medicines such as alendronate (Fosamax), risedronate (Actonel), or raloxifene (Evista) may also be an option.
Vitamin D Deficiency Symptoms Vitamin D deficiency symptoms have been linked to numerous health problems, including heart disease, depression, and even cancer. Here are 10 signs you're not getting enough vitamin D: Depression or anxiety Bone softening (low bone density) or fractures Fatigue and generalized weakness Muscle cramps and weakness … Read More
Osteoporosis poses a disease threat that is greater than that of both hypertension (high blood pressure) and breast cancer, according to the World Health Organization. Yet this insidious and debilitating bone disease rarely gets the attention it deserves. Nonetheless, deterioration of the bones and increased risk of fractures is a … Read More
We know that calcium is crucial to bone health, but it can't do its job without magnesium. Without magnesium, the body cannot: Adequately absorb calcium Stimulate calcitonin, a hormone that draws calcium from the blood and tissues back into the bones. Suppress parathyroid, another hormone that breaks down bone Convert … Read More
The room is spinning but you’re simply standing still. The dizziness and spinning associated with vertigo can be completely debilitating, oftentimes leading to nausea and vomiting. But what causes vertigo, and how can you fix it? Studies show that benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) is associated with osteoporosis and poor … Read More
For women 50 and older, the chances of experiencing a bone fracture are astonishingly high at 50 percent. And while any fracture is serious when it occurs late in life, a broken hip is particularly serious and occurs in 7% of women after menopause. There is no doubt that breaking … Read More
If you have a family member with osteoporosis symptoms, you’ve probably noticed what I’ve seen in my own family—a gradual decline of posture, or developing a hunchback spine with age. After spending some time with my 80-year-old mom recently, I went to give her a hug and a kiss goodbye … Read More
We know we need vitamin D: It contributes to healthy muscles and bones and also plays a role in our mental well-being. In fact, new research from The Irish Longitudinal Study on Aging (TILDA) at Trinity associates vitamin D deficiency with a substantially increased risk of depression—more than 75 percent—over … Read More
Have you been told you need to exercise for your bone health, but are confused about what are the best osteoporosis exercises? Are you wondering if walking is enough to build your bone density? Maybe you’ve heard that you need to do weight-bearing osteoporosis exercises, but you’re not sure what … Read More
Exercise is on any short list of “essential actions” to treat or even reverse osteopenia or osteoporosis. But why is that the case? And what kind of osteopenia and osteoporosis exercises are best? Some recent research is beginning to answer those questions. Bone is made mostly of collagen and is living, … Read More