What is osteoporosis? Think of it this way: Healthy bones are in a state of continuous breakdown and rebuilding. This process, called remodeling, is performed by specialized cells called osteoclasts, which resorb (break down) old bone, and osteoblasts, which form new bone. In young adults, remodeling happens in a balanced … 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.
The heel of the foot is sometimes called the "hindfoot," and people understandably think of it first as a bone, also called the calcaneus. But there are actually many different types of tissue that make up the heel. Disorders of any of these tissues and the structures they form can … Read More
What is Calcium and What Does it Do? Calcium, the most abundant mineral in the human body, is best known for its important role in bone health and protection from osteoporosis. However, in addition to its key role in imparting strength to bones and teeth, calcium plays a critical role … Read More
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
Many women and men diagnosed with osteoporosis are immediately prescribed prescription drugs which, they discover sooner or later, can have difficult-to-tolerate side effects as well as frightening long-term risks. Can osteoporosis be reversed? This realization leads many individuals with osteoporosis to ask, "Can osteoporosis be reversed without drugs?" Unfortunately, there … Read More
You probably know there’s more to bone health and natural osteoporosis treatment than calcium and vitamin D. Do you know about the vital importance of vitamin K for healthy bones? Vitamin K, which is especially abundant in green leafy vegetables like kale, is essential for maintaining bone strength and plays … Read More
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
We all know that 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 … Read More
Osteoporosis Exercises: A Proven Exercise Program Involving Strength Training for Building Bone Density
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
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