/ / Osteopenia - what is it and what are the methods of treatment

Osteopenia - what is it and what are the methods of treatment

Normal functioning of the human bodydirectly depends on the state of the bone system. Reduced bone density leads to their weakening, resulting in fractures. Most often, this pathology is diagnosed in women who are in the post-menopausal period. But sometimes the disease occurs and at a younger age, both in women and men. Reduction of bone density is the main manifestation of such a disease as osteopenia. What it is? Why does it arise? What are the symptoms and treatment? Osteopenia precedes such a serious disease as osteoporosis, so you can not leave out pathology without attention.


Why does the disease of osteopenia develop,today to the end is unknown. Bones become thinner with age. This is a completely natural process. When a person reaches a certain period, old cells of bone tissue are destroyed much faster than new ones are formed. The peak of bone growth is at the age of thirty, then this process is on a decline. With the greatest possible thickness of bone tissue, the probability of osteopenia is significantly reduced.

Also, osteopenia of the bones may occur if the person initially reduces their density.

what is osteopenia?

Factors contributing to the development of this pathology

Osteopenia often develops:

  • among women;

  • with a slim build;

  • people belonging to the European race;

  • in old age;

  • with prolonged use of corticosteroids, gastric and anticonvulsants;

  • when alcohol and smoking are abused;

  • due to unbalanced nutrition (vitamin D deficiency);

  • with a sedentary lifestyle;

  • as a result of the use of carbonated drinks;

  • if the absorption of nutrients in the intestines is impaired;

  • after chemotherapy for malignant tumors;

  • after exposure to ionizing radiation.

In addition, pathology can be hereditary.

osteopenia symptoms

Osteopenia: symptoms of the disease

With the development of this disease do not appear painfulsensation, and the patient often does not know about the problem. Even in the event that a crack appeared, a person may not feel anything until the bone tissue is damaged. After going to the hospital, he will be sent for diagnosis.

Causes of osteopenia of the femoral neck

Osteopenia of the femoral neck is most often diagnosedin old age. Contributes to the development of the disease, a violation of the mineralization of bones. This condition is the main provoking factor of a fracture of the femur. Osteopenia of the femoral neck is difficult to diagnose, therefore, pathology is not treated. In addition, in the elderly, secondary diseases can develop which manifest themselves with various symptoms. Such a sign, as a short-term loss of sensitivity of the skin in the thigh, is often not associated with osteopenia. A low degree of bone density is detected only in case of a fracture of the femoral neck. But, unfortunately, by this time the pathological process acquires a systemic character and is revealed throughout the entire bone system of the body.

A qualified radiologist will clearly distinguish betweenX-ray osteoporosis from normal structure. But osteopenia is not characterized by a significant decrease in the concentration of calcium in the bones, for this reason, the pathology in the picture is not found.

Osteopenia of the lumbar spine

This condition most often develops inresult of lung pathology, internal organ transplantation, use of anticonvulsants and antidepressants, prolonged fasting. Also, osteopenia of the spine (pathology treatment will be described below) may result from intensive bone resorption and imperfect osteogenesis. Thinning of bone tissue in general and the lumbar spine in particular is the physiological process of aging. Osteopenia of the spine, as well as osteopenia of other sites, does not appear.

osteopenia of the lumbar spine

Osteopenia in children

This pathology is observed in about 50%deeply premature babies. Develops ailment due to insufficient content of minerals (phosphorus and calcium) in the body during pregnancy. The majority of these substances are given to the fetus in the last trimester, and its bones grow faster. A premature baby, accordingly, is practically deprived of these essential elements. Such a baby from birth should receive significantly more phosphorus and calcium.

Also, the growth of the support device depends on the active movements of the fetus in the third trimester. The premature baby is weak enough, moves very little, the strength of the bones is therefore reduced.

Mother's milk is the substance necessary forintensive growth of bones, contains in insufficient quantity. Therefore, you should add minerals either to breast milk or to a specialized formula until the baby's weight is 3.5 kg. The necessary daily dose of vitamin D is determined by the doctor, as a rule, it is 800 units. In addition, physical activity (massage) contributes to the strengthening of bones and growth.

symptoms and treatment of osteopenia


We talked about such a disease as osteopenia, thatit is this and why it develops, they found out. And how to diagnose this pathology? To determine osteopenia, it is necessary to measure bone mineral density (BMD) in the spine, femurs and sometimes in the hands. Z-score as a result of the test shows the difference in BMD of the patient with an average of people of the same sex and age. To date, the most informative and accurate method is densitometry or dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DERA). This procedure allows you to detect loss of bone mass from 2% per year. Standard X-ray examination in this case is not informative enough and it does not allow to detect the loss of such an amount of bone mass or small changes in bone density, therefore this method does not allow confirming or refuting the diagnosis of "osteopenia".

Symptoms of pathology are found most often inelderly people, when the bone density is more than 2. In this case, the patient shows changes in the lumbar spine. Radiography will help to detect deformation. In the pictures, in addition to specific vertebral disorders, there will be a marked decrease in their density.

Densitometric diagnosis has the following criteria:

  • norm at a density of less than 1;

  • osteopenia at a density of 1 to 2.5;

  • osteoporosis at a density above 2.5.

osteopenia of the spine

Who is recommended for osteopenia?

A BMD test is highly recommended for the following:

  • Women after 50 years of age (during menopause) and men after 70 years of age.

  • Persons of both sexes from the age of 50, if there are prerequisites for the development of osteoporosis.

  • If there were cases of fracture of bones after 50 years.

  • Persons of both sexes with prolonged use of drugs that contribute to a reduction in bone mass.

  • If osteopenia is already diagnosed, regardless of sex and age, regular examinations should be carried out.

The treatment of weak mineralization of bones

Therapy of such a pathology as osteopenia (what is itsuch, has been described above), is to prevent its further development. To strengthen bones, experts recommend that they reconsider their way of life and abandon bad habits. In addition, it is necessary to exclude the use of poor-quality food and provide the body with a full motor activity.

Diet for osteopenia

If osteopenia is diagnosed, treatment, beforein total, is to maintain a balanced diet. Every day you need to eat fruits, greens, vegetables. It is very important to include milk and dairy products (kefir, cottage cheese, fermented milk, yogurt) in the menu. Increase the density of bones will help and magnesium, which contains beans, vegetables, cereals.

You should know that caffeine and salt contribute toloss of calcium. In order to improve the health of bones, it is recommended to drink beverages that do not contain caffeine, and to limit the amount of salt in the finished products.

Do not forget about the importance of the presence of vitamin D in the body. In the skin, it is formed under the influence of ultraviolet, so in sunny weather, you need to walk longer.



With such a disease as osteopenia, treatment may include taking medications.

The most common drugs:

  • "Calcitriol."

  • "Calcitonin."

  • "Teriparatide."

  • "Raloxifene."

  • bisphosphonates.

The agent "Calcitriol" is a preparationvitamin D. This substance in the drug is contained in a high concentration, so the drug is released on prescription. When using this medication, you need to keep the calcium level under control.

Calcitomin is a thyroid hormone,regulating in the body the exchange of calcium. With a deficiency of this hormone, resorption begins to predominate over osteogenesis. In this case, the medicine "Calcitonin", obtained from sea salmon, is used. The structure of this substance is similar to the human hormone.

The use of the medication "Teriparatide" is prescribed by an endocrinologist. This drug refers to stimulants of anabolic metabolism. His overabundance can provoke a resorptive effect.

The drug "Raloxifene" has an estrogenic effect that inhibits bone resorption. Under the influence of the drug, the mass of bone tissue increases and the loss of calcium through the urinary system decreases.

Bisphosphonates are also aimed at preventingbone resorption. Medications related to this group do not contribute to osteogenesis, they only prevent the destruction of bones. If bisphosphonates are used regularly, osteoclasts (cells that destroy bone tissue) can not perform their function. Therefore, such medicines can only be used for a short time. In the course of experimental studies it was found that with prolonged blocking of bone resorption, cancerous transformation of bone cells develops, which can threaten the patient's life.

Physical activity

Effective control of osteopenia involvescompulsory sport activities. Excellent choice - swimming or brisk walking. It is also recommended to go to the gym. In the elderly, walks in the open air are useful, daily and for several hours. Young people are recommended morning jogging and regular gymnastics.

osteopenia treatment

Preventive measures

Prevention of osteopenia is similar to treatmentactivities. First of all, it's a healthy lifestyle. It is very important to ensure sufficient intake of vitamin D and calcium in the body, the diet should be balanced and diverse. It is highly desirable to give up smoking and reduce to a minimum the use of alcoholic beverages. From a youth to watch over a condition of the health and to carry out actions on strengthening of a bone tissue.

It is never too late to change the habitual way of life to improve one's self-esteem. If you follow the above recommendations, the ailments will bypass you.


After reading this article, you learned about the reasonssuch a disease as osteopenia, what it is and what methods of treatment exist. We hope that the information will be useful to you. Take care of yourself and be well!

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