What is osteopenia and how does it affect you?

Osteopenia and its effects on our bones

Many of us are familiar with osteoporosis, a condition where our bones become weak and brittle.

There is a condition known as osteopenia. If you are unfamiliar with it, think of it as a mid-point between having healthy bones and osteoporosis.

This happens when our body gets rid of more bone than it is creating.

"Most people of course don't just have osteopenia," says Dr. Larry Sellers, with Internal Medicine and Pediatrics at Mercy Medical Center. "They have high blood pressure and they have chronic kidney disease."

Those factors play into how slow or fast bone deteriorates. Osteopenia is more likely in women, due to women having a lower bone mass than men.

Calcium is vital in keeping bones healthy, but Dr. Larry Sellers has another task to add.

"But when it comes to osteopenia, physical activity, particularly weight bearing and resistance activity, is really important for maintaining strength of those bones," says Dr. Sellers.

In addition to the exercise, prescriptions may be used to treat osteopenia.

"Some medications are better than others at protecting the bone," says Dr. Sellers. "Most doctors would prefer to use less expensive medication that affect the breakdown of bone for convenience because they can be taken orally and for cost."

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