Osteopenia is a type of bone condition characterized by extremely low bone density. Although it is less worrisome compared to osteoporosis, women should understand that they are related diseases. Osteopenia is in fact a forerunner to osteoporosis which is a much greater concern. Normally, a person’s bone density should fall on the normal scale which is −1.0 and −2.5. But when you have lower bone density, particularly between -1 and -2.5, you may be diagnosed with osteopenia. If your bone density, on the other hand, is -2.5 and below, then you have an osteoporosis.
There are a number of ways to increase bone density and cure osteopenia and these include the easiest and most basic: exercise. Apart from moving your body in order to keep your bones active, you also need to learn about the importance of your nutrition. A diet rich in Vitamin D and Calcium, in particular, is a must.
But because medications are the fastest acting solution in most diseases these days, people consider opting for them so as to have immediate cure. The question is, will it be safe to depend on drug therapy?
The Controversial Drug for Osteopenia
Generally, drugs are safe. That’s as far as everyone knows. A drug won’t be legally sold in pharmacies and drug stores if they are not approved by the Food and Drug Administration or FDA. But what if not all drugs are safe?
In the year 1995, Merck officials were able to come up with an Osteoporosis medication known as Fosamax. This drug was approved by the FDA. Initially, Fosamax didn’t quite live up to expectations due to some diagnostic problems that were encountered. That year, the only means to know if a person has bone density problems is to depend on expensive clinical equipment. And because this type of screening is quite pricey, only few women are being diagnosed. This gave way to Merck officials to spread a campaign about the use of “peripheral machines”. According to Mercks, peripheral machines are efficient and what’s even great is that they are less expensive compared to the usual screening machine. Their campaign resulted to a greater number of diagnosed cases of osteoporosis. Of course, it eventually led to greater sales on their Fosamax medication.
Mercks did not, however, point out the secret that peripheral machines do not reveal the real condition of the spine and the hips. Therefore, there is no 100% accuracy when it comes to screening the bones. Several years ago, studies find out that this drug, along with other bisphosphonate drugs, increase risk of femur fractures that are located below the hip joint. But of course FDA officials stated that there is no evidence that proves that these drugs do harm to the femur.
Should You Trust Drug Therapy then?
This can be a bit tricky for everyone, especially those women who are diagnosed with either osteopenia or osteoporosis. Everyone depends on a much efficient and faster cure these days especially when medications are proven to be really doing their job. It is quite difficult to trust which one is safe and which one isn’t. One thing that you need to remember though, is to do a bit of research when it comes to the drugs that you are about to take. Make a list of possible risks and dangers that you can encounter from them. What are the things you need to know before taking them? Are there side effects that you need to know when taking them? And if there are unpleasant effects, are they normally expected? And if these side effects bother you, what are the things that you need to do? Should you stop and contact your caregiver? It is a matter of gathering the right information and of course, communicating with your physician regarding the treatment that you are about to consider. However, if you choose to not delve into drug therapy, you can look for suggestions about key nutrients that are offer optimal bone health here. Sometimes it is better to initially treat yourself with natural methods before diving into drug therapy especially if osteopenia can be managed with exercise and proper nutrition alone.