Breaking down Osteoporosis and Osteopenia: Part II
In last week’s blog post, we started talking about osteoporosis and what it is. This week we’re going to talk about what is osteopenia. If you’re diagnosed with osteopenia, it means you have low bone density but it’s not low enough for you to be diagnosed with osteoporosis. Having osteopenia or low bone density is not a disease but it does mean you may be more susceptible to getting osteoporosis.
In the list below, you’ll see we’ve taken suggestions from the National Osteoporosis Foundation and included our own on methods to protect your bones and treatment for osteopenia.
- Get enough calcium every day. This is important for everyone at all ages. Refer back to our Bone Health for All Ages blog post and learn about the daily intake right for you.
- Get your vitamin D. Adults 50 years old and younger need 400-800 International Units (IU) of vitamin D every day. Adults older than 50 need 800-1,000 IU of vitamin D every day. Ways to get vitamin D include sunlight, multivitamins, supplements and a few foods like the flesh of fatty fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel) and small amounts are found in beef liver, cheese and egg yolks.
- Include exercise as part of your daily routine. Regular exercise, weight bearing and muscle strengthening, keep bones healthy and strong.
- Limit salt and caffeine intake. Too much is not good for your bones.
- Avoid large amounts of alcohol. Heavy drinking weakens bones
- As always, talk to your health care provider about keeping your bones strong
Treatment for osteopenia can vary depending on your individual health and the treatment your primary health care provider believes is the best for you. This short video helps explain more about osteopenia.