Osteopenia is a medical condition characterized by a low bone density. It is related to osteoporosis, but without as much bone loss. People who have ostepenia have are very likely to eventually get osteoporosis if they don’t take steps to prevent it.
So what causes ostepenia? The answer to this question isn’t fully known, but some things are known to contribute to the development of it. These include smoking, diet and a sedentary lifestyle.
Heredity is also involved – if members of your family have had ostepenia or osteoporosis you are at risk too. Caucasian women have the greatest risk of developing it and African American women have the lowest risk. Petite, small boned women are at greater risk too. Low levels of calcium and vitamin D in the diet can also contribute to it.
You can have your bones tested for ostepenia by having a dexa scan to measure your bone mineral density. Will your insurance pay for it? I don’t know. If you are over 65 or post-menopausal it most likely will. If you are someone like me – high risk, but younger, I don’t know. I haven’t contacted my insurance company to find out. I’ve heard it can cost less than $250 to have the dexa scan done, so if you can afford to spend that much then you could have it done even without health insurance paying for it.
So what if you have the scan and find out that you do have ostepenia? Treatment includes things like diet modification, increasing physical activity – especially weight bearing exercise, and prescription medications. If you are diagnosed with ostepenia you should talk to your doctor about all your options.
You can learn more about ostepenia at this site: http://www.osteopenia3.com/osteopenia.html.
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