Osteopenia is the term used to define an abnormal bone density that is not as low as that experienced in osteoporosis.
The causes of the onset of osteopenia are several and diverse. Among them is the lack of calcium and vitamin D, sedentary lifestyle, not developing a good bone mass of children, some medications and genetic factors. In fact, this last factor is especially significant: Caucasian women of thin constitution frequently suffer from osteopenia.
All these causes result in a calcium deficit in the bones. The biological route of assimilation of calcium has several involved factors, since, in order for the ingested calcium to be absorbed it needs to be accompanied by vitamin D. Furthermore, the fixation of this mineral in the bones depends on magnesium, so a diet deficient in some of these elements can also derive in this condition.
As in all diseases, adequate prevention is the best guarantee of cure, so early detection is the most effective tool. The diagnosis that works best is the measurement of bone density, a common test that measures this parameter is the dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA, for its acronym in English). This test measures the density of the bones of the hip, spine, and wrist.
A correction of body levels of calcium and vitamin D and moderate exercise can improve bone density at significant points in the skeleton. There is a wide variety of drugs that are recommended for the treatment of osteopenia and osteoporosis, including hormone replacement therapy or anabolic therapy.
There are several tests that can corroborate the appearance of this condition such as a blood test that checks the body's levels of calcium, phosphorus, and the alkaline phosphatase enzyme, an ultrasound or an x-ray. With proper treatment, this deficiency can be easily corrected. As a rule, if fractures occur, you tend to heal well. Go to periodic check-ups with a doctor and you will be able to prevent many ailments.