What is it?

Osteopenia means a lower than normal bone density. The amount of mineral in the bones is measured by bone mineral density- and it estimates the chance of breaking a bone from normal activity. Osteopenia increases the chance of developing osteoporosis. Ageing is the primary cause for osteopenia, and in women, it is more common after menopause due to low estrogen levels. Other risk factors may include lack of calcium or vitamin D, smoking, alcohol or caffeine drinking, not getting enough exercise, removal of the ovaries before menopause, eating disorders, Cushing’s syndrome, hyperparathyroidism, hyperthyroidism and a family history of low BMD.

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Additional names

This group contains additional names:
- Osteopenia

Signs & symptoms

Osteopenia does not usually cause any symptoms.

Diagnosis

A bone mineral density test is recommended for women older than 65, or younger in the presence of one or more risk factors. Also, it is recommended for women who broke a bone from normal activity. If the DEXA test result is between -1.0 to -2.5 a diagnosis of osteopenia is made.

Treatment

The treatment focuses on stopping the progression to osteoporosis. It is done by certain types of exercising, calcium, and vitamin D supplements.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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