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
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.
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
“FDGB” is a common occurrence in the Emergency Department setting. The first question is: How common and varied is FGDB? The second question is: Exactly what is FDGB? Our emergency room secrets include the story behind that code. You see, in medicine we use mnemonics, abbreviations, and medical slang like … Read More
Osteopenia isn’t as serious as osteoporosis—see our posts defining bone loss test scores of osteoporosis -2.5 or osteoporosis -3.0. But it’s also not easy to detect; there aren’t any obvious osteopenia symptoms. Certain factors, however, can make you vulnerable to osteopenia, meaning that it's important to preserve your bone density. … Read More
We typically think of muscular dystrophy as a singular disease. But, per the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, it's more complex than that: “The muscular dystrophies (MD) are a group of more than 30 genetic diseases characterized by progressive weakness and degeneration of the skeletal muscles that control … Read More
A DEXA scan (also written as DXA scan) is what health professionals call dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. A test that measures the strength of your bones as you age, a DEXA scan is necessary for certain individuals because the body manufactures bone less efficiently as we get older. Research suggests that … Read More
According to the World Health Organization, osteoporosis poses a greater disease threat than that of hypertension (high blood pressure) and breast cancer. Yet, the factors behind what causes osteoporosis rarely get the attention they deserve. Nonetheless, deterioration of the bones and increased risk of fractures is a huge health threat in the … Read More
You’re well aware of how important it is to get regular physical activity to keep yourself in good health and reduce your risk of disease. But if you’re like many people and think “exercise” means walking, jogging, or other activities that get the heart pumping, you’re overlooking something important. When … Read More
What do cherries, apricots and mangoes have in common? Beside being delicious and healthy, all three are members of the stone fruit family. Stone fruits are part of the Prunus genus, which shares a similar characteristic—a very large and hard seed, or “stone.” They’re generally abundant during the months of May through … Read More