What Is Osteopenia: Causes, Symptoms, Excercise and Natural Treatments

Those who have low bone density are said to suffer from osteopenia.

To understand what’s osteopenia you need first to understand what is BMD (Bone Mineral Density).

BMD is a measurement of bone minerals. This measurement estimates the risk of breaking a bone while doing regular activities.

What Is Osteopenia

Osteopenia is not a disease. But it certainly means that your bones are weak. Though not weak enough to be diagnosed with osteoporosis but osteopenia certainly increases your chances to develop osteoporosis, getting fractures and severe bone pain.

Do not worry as right food and exercise can prevent osteopenia.

Swipe down our article to learn what measure you need to take to prevent osteopenia from worsening and prevent osteoporosis.

What Are The Symptoms Of Osteopenia

Losing bone density does not cause any symptom or pain. Some may complain of body aches or joint pain. In most of the cases, people get aware of this condition when they suffer breakage of one or more bones or fractures. Most commonly ankle, spine, wrist or hip is fractured. Some people may also have trouble exercising due to injury or pain.

Osteopenia may lead to poor posture, limits mobility and reduces the range of motion due to pain.  A few signs suggestive of osteopenia are:

  1. Height loss- You may find your body shrinking due to painless spinal fracture in your back.
  2. Brittle nails- Your fingernails break easily and consistently.
  3. Receding gum lines- However this does not always mean you have osteopenia, but as the jaw bone loses its density it may take gum with it.
  4. Decreased Grip-If you have to struggle to hold things extra tight it could be osteopenia.

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What Are The Causes Of Osteopenia

As you get old the risk of developing osteopenia increases. When you are about 35 years old the bone density peaks. After the peak, the body starts breaking down the older bones fast in comparison to building new bones, and you start losing bone density. Females who reaches menopause lose bone more quickly due to hormonal changes in their body. When you lose too much, bone mass decreases enough, and you develop osteopenia.

Discussed below are the osteopenia risk factors:

  • The family history of osteopenia or low BMD.
  • Age above 50 years
  • Menopause before an age of 45
  • Sedentary life and not getting enough exercise
  • Removal of ovaries before reaching menopause
  • Females with small bones (Asian and Caucasian females)
  • A diet lacking vitamin D and calcium
  • Consuming too much caffeine or alcohol
  • Obesity
  • Taking phenytoin or prednisone

Other conditions that may lead to osteopenia are:

  • Bulimia
  • Anorexia
  • Cushing syndrome
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Hyperparathyroidism

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Diagnosis of Osteopenia

Osteopenia slowly approaches and progresses to osteoporosis, and you may not even realize until its late. So, it is recommended by National Osteoporosis Foundation to get BMD tested if you are a women above 65 years of age, after menopause, you have one or more risk factors, and if you have broken bone from regular activities such as vacuuming, standing up or pushing chair.

The most typical way to diagnose BMD is DEXA test called as Dual-Energy X-ray Absorptiometry.


Natural Treatment For Osteopenia

Osteopenia natural treatment aims to address the bone loss causes, increase the density of bone and prevent the progress of osteopenia to osteoporosis. Read the information gathered in this article and plan your choices accordingly.

1. Exercise- For bone health, two types of exercise is suggested. Practice weight weight-bearing exercise such as walking dancing or running. Muscle stretching exercise or resistance exercise will also help. Another exercise that may benefit bone health is balance and posture exercises. But they are not for increasing or maintaining then density.

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2. Diet for osteopenia- For optimal bone health eat a diet rich in proteins (proteins make 50% of the bone’s volume), calcium and vitamin D. To improve bone density include the following food in your diet regimen:

  • Low-fat milk, yogurt, cheese,
  • Green vegetables such as kale, broccoli, spinach.
  • Salmon an sardines.
  • Tofu

It is advised to expose your skin at least 5 minutes 2-3 times to morning sun to get vitamin D. However spending too much too much time in the sun increases the risk of skin cancer.  But, there are also foods rich in vitamin D such as salmon, tuna, cheese, beef liver, and egg. Fortified yogurt, cereals, juices, and milk products are also a good option.

3. Tai Chi exercise- It is a meditative exercise that you can do at home, and it does not require any special equipment. The exercises are known to reduce falls and improve balance thus it prevents fractures. It slows the loss of bones in menopausal women. It is also effective to relieve arthritis pain. There are Tai Chi classes available, and you can learn it.

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4. Revert to healthy habits- If you want your bones to be healthy and strong, quit smoking, Also consume alcohol only in moderation.

5. Cut caffeine and salt- Excess caffeine and salt consumption causes bones to lose calcium.

6. Maintain a healthy weight– Obesity leads to a hormonal change in the body, increases inflammation and damages bone. Maintaining weight will make you stay active in old age.

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7. Green tea- Studies have proved that the consumption of green tea improves the bone density. It stimulates the bone forming activity of cells. Also, it inhibits the bone weakening.

8. Essential oil for osteopenia– You can use rosemary oil, frankincense essential oil, eucalyptus oil, peppermint, lavender, chamomile, basil oil, cedarwood, clove essential oil, and other essential oils. Dilute the oil with a carrier oil and massage over the joints two times in a day. Essential oils relieve pain and make your bone healthy and strong.

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Those who are at the high risk for osteopenia should see a doctor and work towards preventing complications and fractures.

If our bones keep on getting thin and weak over the time and we won’t take the necessary prevention discussed in this article at the time, osteopenia will turn into osteoporosis. The bones will become too thin to break easily. Bones give shape to the body and protects and supports the system and organs. So eat healthily, be regular with exercise and preserve your bones.

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