Osteopenia or Osteoporosis are Both Bone Diseases
Osteopenia or Osteoporosis are very closely related. They both refer to varying degrees of bone loss. Osteopenia is often referred to as the first stage of Osteoporosis. Osteopenia is an indication that your bone density is less than average and increases your risk for Osteoporosis. If you were to measure bone density on a timeline, strong bones would be on one end of the line, Osteoporosis would be the other end, and Osteopenia is somewhere in the
middle. The only way to determine where you are on this timeline is through a bone density test, which determines the mineral content of your bones. Your bones are at the highest density when you are in your 30s (if you are relatively healthy). As you begin to age, your bones naturally start to weaken. How fast and how much they weaken depends on how strong they were when you were in your 30s. Osteopenia happens when your body breaks down old bone material quicker than it can build new bone material, causing your bones to become weak. They refer to this as losing bone density or bone mass. Osteoporosis occurs when your bones have become fragile, easily fracture and are slow to recover from injury. While one may think they are destined to get Osteoporosis, the two diseases are a lot farther apart than they appear on a timeline, which allows a long period to reverse, manage and prevent Osteoporosis. Everyone’s bones weaken as they age, and if you are genetically prone to bone disease, you are more likely to have either form of bone loss. Women tend to lose more bone than men (especially after menopause, due to hormonal changes). Some medical conditions can increase the likelihood of having this disease such as untreated celiac disease, thyroid diseases, chemotherapy, certain medications and eating disorders, such as anorexia and bulimia. A diet that is low in bone producing foods (Calcium, Vitamin K, Boron, Magnesium, Vitamin D) and unhealthy food choices such as a high intake of soda pop, can leach calcium from the bones. A lack of exercise, which helps to increase bone density, can also leave you at risk.
It is Never Too Late to Increase Bone Density
Consider Osteopenia a wake-up call to make changes to your diet and lifestyle and to ensure you achieve proper nutrient consumption and absorption. Provide your body with bone-building nutrients like Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium, Vitamins K, Boron and Vitamin D. If you are at risk, increasing your calcium through foods and supplementation is imperative to prevent further bone loss. Ninety-nine percent of the calcium in your body is stored in your bones and teeth and is the mineral that is most responsible for making them strong and hard. The other 1% is used for blood clotting and muscle
contraction. Your body does not make calcium and thus relies on dietary intake to protect your bones. Calcium is found in dairy and dark green and leafy vegetables. The recommended option, if you are at risk, is to take a calcium supplement. Don’t stress too much about your supplemental choice; keep it simple. Look for calcium supplements that have additional minerals. Natural Factors Calcium & Magnesium Citrate with D3 Plus Potassium, Zinc & Manganese is a good option because it contains a more absorbable form of Calcium and the added minerals that support calcium absorption into the bones, where it is needed. We also suggest taking magnesium citrate. Not only is magnesium essential for absorption and metabolism of calcium, it helps stimulate the thyroid’s production of “calcitonin,” which is a hormone that helps preserve bone. Magnesium is also required to help convert Vitamin D into the active form required for absorption. And vitamin D is required to help move calcium from your blood into your bones. Natural Factors has a great new chewable magnesium supplement that makes it easier to get extra magnesium before bed. The requirements of Vitamin D also increase as you age, and when used as a preventative solution for Osteoporosis. Pending how much vitamin D you get in your diet every day and if you are taking a supplement that has Vitamin D in it already, consider an added vitamin D as part of your preventative plan. Making small changes towards your bone health, especially if you are in the risk categories mentioned above, can make the difference between Osteopenia progressing to Osteoporosis.
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