Great Glorious Mane

Osteopenia and Osteoporosis March 07, 2016

Good nutrition and exercise help keep our bones strong, but bones become thinner and weaker as we age. In osteoporosis, bones have become so thin and weak that they break easily - especially bones in the hip, backbone (spine) and wrist.
In the United States, eight million women and two million men already have osteoporosis, and 34 million more people have osteopenia (they have lost enough bone to make them likely to get it). Caucasian and Asian women are most likely to get osteoporosis.

The first sign of osteoporosis is usually loss of height or having a bone break easily. One in two women and one in eight men over age 50 will break a bone because of osteoporosis during their lives.

Bone Density Testing

Bone density describes how solid your bones are. Ordinary x-rays do not show bone loss until a lot of bone is gone. The best way to measure bone density is with a DEXA scan (dual energy x-ray absorptiometry/densitometry), which uses low energy x-rays to scan the spine, hip, and wrist. This test could show that you have normal bone density, or that you have osteopenia or osteoporosis.

The results of your scan are measured against standard scores to determine your risk of fracture. The T-Score compares your bone density to a standard score based on young, healthy adults. A T-score of -2.5 or more usually means some degree of osteoporosis is present. The Z-Score compares your bone density to people of your age, sex and ethnic background. It helps determine whether your bone condition is due simply to aging or to secondary causes such as illness.

Keeping Bones Strong

While men and women of all ages and races can develop osteoporosis, some people have a higher risk for osteopenia or osteoporosis, including:

  • Females
  • Whites/Caucasians
  • Post-menopausal women
  • Older adults
  • People with a small body size
  • Those who eating a diet low in calcium
  • People who are not physically active

You can help prevent weak bones by including calcium and vitamin D in your diet (from foods such as milk products and leafy green vegetables) and getting regular weight-bearing exercise like walking, jogging, stair-climbing, and weight training.

No comments

Add a comment

Email again: