Osteopenia – Osteoporosis Symptoms and Treatment
Osteopenia refers to bone density that is lower than normal peak density but not low enough to be classified as osteoporosis. Bone density is a measurement of how dense and strong the bones are. If your bone density is low compared to normal peak density, you are said to have osteopenia. Having osteopenia means there is a greater risk that, as time passes, you may develop bone density that is very low compared to normal, known as osteoporosis.
What causes osteopenia.
Bones naturally become thinner as people grow older because, beginning in middle age, existing bone cells are reabsorbed by the body faster than new bone is made. As this occurs, the bones lose minerals, heaviness (mass), and structure, making them weaker and increasing their risk of breaking. All people begin losing bone mass after they reach peak bone density at about 30 years of age. The thicker your bones are at about age 30, the longer it takes to develop osteopenia or osteoporosis.
There typically are no symptoms in the early stages of bone loss. But once bones have been weakened by osteoporosis, you may have signs and symptoms that include:
Back pain, caused by a fractured or collapsed vertebra
Loss of height over time
A stooped posture
A bone fracture that occurs much more easily than expected
When to see a doctor
You may want to talk to your doctor about osteoporosis if you went through early menopause, took corticosteroids for several months at a time, or either of your parents had hip fractures.
What Causes Osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis is a bone disease that causes upper and lower back pain, impaired mobility and an elevated risk of fracture.