If your doctor told you, you have osteopenia, you may be wondering just what that means? Osteopenia means your bone mineral density (BMD) is lower than normal, but it is not low enough to be classified as osteoporosis, and BMD is the mineral measurement that indicates the strength of your bones. A diagnosis of osteopenia also means you have a greater chance—as time passes—of developing osteoporosis, but it doesn’t mean you are doomed to get it.
Although women are more prone towards osteopenia and osteoporosis than men, men can also get the disease. The following factors lead to osteopenia:
- Eating disorders or metabolism problems where the body either cannot take in or cannot use vitamins and minerals properly
- Exposure to radiation
- Medications—such as steroids or anticonvulsants
Other factors such as a family history of osteoporosis, being thin, being white or Asian, being sedentary, smoking, or drinking soft drinks or excessive amounts of alcohol regularly, also increases your risk. To learn more about what you can do to prevent osteoporosis read Bone Builders to Avoid Osteoporosis, Ways to Avoid Osteoporosis: What To Do and What Not To Do, and Osteopenia, Osteoporosis, and Rheumatoid Arthritis.