Osteopenia is a condition characterised by low bone mineral density, or thinning of the bones. Osteopenia is not as severe as osteoporosis and not everyone who has osteopenia will develop osteoporosis. However, it's an early warning sign that you should be taking action to reduce your risk of developing osteoporosis and fracturing or breaking bones in future.
What is Osteopenia?
What are the signs of Osteopenia?
Osteopenia causes no specific pain or symptoms.
What are the causes of Osteopenia?
Ageing is the most common risk factor for osteopenia. After your bone mass peaks, your body breaks down old bone faster than it builds new bone resulting in lowered bone density. Other common causes of osteopenia include:
Lack of physical activity & weight bearing exercise
High blood sugar
Vitamin/mineral deficiency (vitamin D, K, calcium)
Chronic stress and depression
High alcohol intake
High caffeine intake
How do I know if I have Osteopenia?
To diagnose osteoporosis, your doctor is likely to ask you about your medical and family history and perform a physical exam. Dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (or DEXA) is considered the gold standard technology for assessing bone mineral density. The scan uses X-rays to measure bone density.
To diagnose Osteoporosis, your doctor is likely to prescribe the following tests:
A bone density test