Osteopenia is defined as bone mineral density that is lower than normal but not low enough to be classified as osteoporosis, although it places you at risk for osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis literally means porous bone in Latin and is considered a disease in which bones become extremely porous, subjecting them to fracture and slow healing.
Bone is a very dynamic tissue and is constantly remodeled throughout our lives. Calcium and other minerals leave bone and are added to bone in a constant way. A variety of factors are involved in the ratio of bone resorption (loss) to bone formation.
Made of collagen, the protein that gives bone its framework, bone requires calcium phosphate, and other minerals for bone formation, and it needs Vitamin D to enable bone formation to occur. In our culture, we tend to lose more bone (resorption) than we replace as we age. With women in particular, there is a profound change in bone density in the 5 to 7 years after menopause. Unfortunately, there are no symptoms of this bone loss until it is serious enough to cause a fracture of a limb or back pain due to compression fractures that create abnormal curves.
About 80% of Americans with osteoporosis are women (44 million) and more than 50% of women over the age of 50 will have an osteoporotic related bone fracture in their lifetime. More than 1.5 million osteoporosis related fractures occur each year.
Risk factors for osteoporosis you can’t control include:
- Small framed, thin women
- Ethnicity – osteoporosis is more common in Caucasians and Asians (Hispanics and African-Americans have lower risk)
Risk factors for osteoporosis that you can manage proactively through diet/proactive testing of vitamin/mineral levels/nutritional supplementation and exercise:
- Type 1 diabetes
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- IBD (inflammatory bowel disease)
- Hormonal disorders
- Peri-menopausal, menopausal and post-menopausal symptoms
- Use of corticosteroids and anti-inflammatory drugs
Risk factors for osteoporosis that you can control/eliminate:
- Inactive lifestyle
- Excess drinking
- Eating disorders (anorexia or bulimia)
Traditional medical treatment for osteopenia involves hormone replacement therapy (raising your risk of breast cancer, blood clots, heart and stroke issues) calcitonin replacement (a hormone that slows bone loss) or a synthetic parathyroid hormone may be prescribed, selective estrogen receptor modulator therapy, anti-resorptive therapy which may increase bone density but creates brittle bone at the expense of your GI health, and at risk of causing jaw bone death. Correction of Vitamin D and calcium deficiencies (while watching for lead content in these products and avoiding prescription Vitamin D2) and walking 3-5 miles a week can improve bone density as can weight bearing exercise. Anabolic therapy is also recommended in traditional medicine if anti-resorptive therapies fail. Bone building foods include milk, yoghurt, cheese, sardines, salmon, tuna, herring, green leafy vegetables, and any foods fortified with calcium and Vitamin D.
Avoid foods that deplete calcium. These include sodium containing foods such as canned soup and processed meat, caffeine and heavy alcohol consumption. The phosphates in soda are also know to leach calcium from your body.
Calcium citrate and lactate supplements and Vitamin D supplements are beneficial. Approximately 70% of Americans are Vitamin D deficient. Vitamin D aids the absorption of calcium and is critical for bone strength.
Take control of your bone health today!
Our Bone Resorption Assay, is a cost effective way to establish if your bone is remodeling well or if you are losing bone PRIOR to every being diagnosed with osteopenia or osteoporosis. Catch and fix bone loss early with the test that is easily repeated as often as 12 weeks to ensure that your nutritional intake is enabling you to lay down good bone.
If you have been diagnosed with osteopenia you can take charge of your situation and even reverse it by doing the Bone Resorption Assay and monitoring for additional bone loss periodically which changing your nutritional requirements.
This test is $150 and can be scheduled with Dr Crosby at (636)928-5588.
Read more about the bone resorption assay at http://www.crosbychiropractic.com/metametrix/Bone-PB.pdf