Osteopenia is a medical term that describes the decrease of bone mineral density and indicates bone weakening. Bone density is the measure of minerals in the bones and their strength.
Osteopenia is the condition frequent in the post-menopausal women. It can be caused by normal aging, and associated with the lack of estrogen in older women. The condition can also be worsened by unhealthy lifestyle choices, including: smoking, alcohol abuse, poor nutrition (especially in men) and lack of regular physical activity. Patients suffering from asthma and using glucocorticoid medications, and women athletes can also be affected byosteopenia.
This condition is sometimes known as precursor to osteoporosis. It doesn’t mean that every person will develop osteoporosis, but that untreated osteopenia have osteoporosis consequences. Although osteopenia is more frequent in women, men are also prone to this condition.
Bone weakening is not a condition that causes some symptoms, and some of the patients might not look for medical help. However, if you don’t treat osteopenia it could lead to bone fractures and osteoporosis. There are several different therapy options for patients suffering from this condition.
Medications used to treat osteopenia are bisphosphonates. They incorporate to the bone surface and increase weakened bone density. The most common of these are: Actonel, Alendronate, Boniva, calcitonin, Fosamax, fosteum, oyster calcium, Reclast, and tamoxifen. Problems with these drugs are their side effects and addictive properties.
Natural Choices for Osteopenia
Many osteopenia patients therefore decide to switch to natural treatments, such as change of diet and exercise regime, but also the use of some supplements.
As for the diet, doctors recommend healthy and well balanced menu. Minerals like calcium and magnesium, and vitamins D and K are very important for healthy bones. Always strive to eat plenty of food rich in these nutrients or provide extra vitamins and minerals using supplements.
Physical activity is the great way to prevent osteopenia. Engage in exercises that will improve your coordination and balance, and try walking, jogging or cycling. Doctors say that dancing, aerobics and jumping are also beneficial for osteopenia patients. Regular exercise will strengthen your muscles, increase the density of your bones and prevent bone fractures. Another recommended activity is tai chi, which is an easy but efficient way to preventosteopenia.
As we said, men are less likely to be affected with bone weakening, but the poor nutrition or lack of physical activity may also cause osteopenia. Healthy diet and some regular exercises are proven to be helpful for them, too.