What Causes Osteopenia?


The bones play a very important role in the body. They are the human machine that basically do most of the mechanical works such as moving, maintaining a posture, and protecting the delicate organs in the body. When bones have irregularities however, say for example, a reduction of their mass, the body’s daily performance also minimizes.

When the bones’ mass reduces its volume, you may be diagnosed of Osteopenia. Osteopenia is known as the forerunner to osteoporosis which means that it’s less health-threating. However, it is still a condition that everyone should be concerned about.

What are the factors that will lead you to developing Osteopenia?

  1. Post-menopause

Women who belong to the post-menopausal phase are greatly at risk for a number of health conditions including Osteopenia. It is because of the fact that as women get older, their estrogen level which maintains bone mass and acts as a protection against bone conditions decreases. Thus, osteopenia eventually develops.

  1. Genetics

A person may be at risk for becoming osteopenic when she has naturally thin bones that run through the family and generations. This is because thin bones basically lead to bone density loss and in worse cases, they may lead to Osteoporosis. If a person has a father, mother, aunt, grandmother, or any close relative whom she share the same body type that is prone to osteopenia or osteoporosis, then she may also likely develop this condition. Same goes when a person also has a family history of Ospteopenia or Osteporosis.

  1. Lifestyle

Lifestyle is one of the major causes of Osteopenia. When you have an unhealthy lifestyle, apparently you will be more at risk to serious bones conditions. One example of an unhealthy lifestyle that most people tend to disregard is lack of exercise. It is a common knowledge that a person needs to indulge in daily exercises in order to gain healthy benefits which include maintaining healthy bones. One of the best examples of a good exercise is walking at a moderate pace for several minutes or an hour every day. This kind of exercise encourages more bone mineral density. So if a person lacks simple exercises as this, the bones’ ability to stay strong diminishes.

Another unhealthy lifestyle that may lead to the development of Osteopenia is excessive alcohol consumption. Alcohol has negative effects to the bones. If you consume too much alcohol every day, the stomach will not absorb enough calcium and Vitamin D (two essential vitamins for bone health) because alcohol hinders the process. This of course, may lead the person to be at risk for bone diseases.

Smoking is another unhealthy habit that a person needs to avoid. Studies show that this smoking prevents bone mass development which of course results to unhealthy bones. According to Primal Kaur, MD, an osteoporosis specialist at Temple University Health System in Philadelphia, “Nicotine and toxins in cigarettes affect bone health from many angles.” It is because Nicotine disrupts the natural cycle of bone health, making it impossible for the body to form new healthy bone tissues.

More importantly, a person should also pay attention to diet as unhealthy diet is also one of the major causes of Osteopenia. Excessive consumption of coffee, soda drinks, processed foods, and salty foods are considered risk factors. A person needs to eat foods that are loaded with calcium and Vitamin D every day in order to avoid bone loss.

Drugs and medical conditions may also play a role in developing Osteopenia. People with conditions such as Celiac disease, cancer, diabetes, Crohn’s disease, cerebral palsy, arthritis, and several others are known to develop Osteopenia as well as those who are taking Glucocorticoids for a very long time.

In conclusion, it is best for everyone to be reminded every day about the risk factors mentioned above in order to prevent Osteopenia. For elderly women who cannot simply control the possibility of developing this condition due to their post-menopausal phase, early assessment and diagnosis can be the best possible management for it so as they could invest on the right treatment and supplements. Having this kind of bone condition is not an easy situation so it is important to know if you are at risk for it. Remember that prevention is always better than cure.

Posted in Diseases, Osteopenia.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.