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Interesting Things You May Not Know About Osteopenia and What to do About it 

Osteopenia is a precursor to osteoporosis that causes your bones to become weak and more likely to be broken. This article shares some interesting facts about osteopenia and what to do about it, including prevention and treatment.

Woman Dances on the Sand

Osteopenia is a condition where the bone density is lower than normal. It can be caused by gradual bone loss or a decrease in the amount of bone in our body.

Osteopenia can affect people of all ages, but it becomes more prevalent in women after menopause. Causes of osteopenia can including genetics, lifestyle factors including smoking or drinking too much alcohol, malabsorption conditions like coeliac disease, and hormonal changes. 

Osteopenia can lead to osteoporosis which affects the bones and causes them to become brittle. The good news is that many things you can do that are proven effective for treating and preventing this condition from happening.

So let's look at them now.

6 Ways to Improve Bone Density for a Healthy and Strong Bones

Many people are worried about their bone health and the risk of osteoporosis. But there are ways to increase bone density that are pretty easy to implement.

1. Exercise Regularly

A regular gentle exercise routine is an excellent way to prevent osteopenia as it helps strengthen your muscles and bones.

2. Consume Calcium-rich Foods like Milk and Yogurt

Calcium is essential for bone health and muscle contraction. One way to reduce the risk of osteopenia is by consuming plenty of calcium-rich foods like milk, yogurt, or cheese or fortified alternatives like soy milk. Aim for three good serves each day. If you don't feel like you're eating enough of these foods, have a chat with your dietitan to make a plan that works for you. 

Glass of milk on a bench with green juice being poured in

3. Eat More Vegetables and Fruits

Fruit and vegetables can provide you with additional calcium and other nutrients that help your bones stay healthy.

4. Get Enough Vitamin D 

The most important thing you can do to prevent osteoporosis is to get enough Vitamin D. This will help you maintain bone density, but it will also help you avoid many other health problems.

Although vitamin D is available in some foods that we eat, The richest source of Vitamin D comes from exposure to sunlight outdoors. The amount of the sun we get each day will vary based on the climate we live. There may be times when supplements can help bridge any gap, so have a chat about this with your General Practitioner or Dietitian at your next visit.  

5. Reduce your Alcohol Intake

Excessive alcohol consumption is a known culprit for the development of osteopenia and osteoporosis. It has been shown to cause bone loss, leading to an increased risk for fractures. It also increases the risk of other health conditions like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and breast cancer.

To reduce your alcohol intake, try to swap it out with more water, gentle exercise, and good sleep. 

6. Avoid Smoking or Using E-cigarettes 

The risk of osteoporosis increases with age, and smoking cessation can help reduce the risk of osteopenia.

Do I Need to Cut Back on Caffeine?  

Some people believe that drinking coffee increase the risk of developing osteopenia, but this isn't entirely true. Caffeine in regular amounts does not appear increase the risk of osteopenia or osteoporosis when consuming enough calcium rich foods. That's great news for coffee-lovers! 


Image Credit: Brodie Vissers, Trae Nguyen


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