1200x630Osteoporosis and Osteopenia

Osteoporosis and Osteopenia

Osteopenia Signs & Symptoms

Many people with osteopenia have no symptoms at all and aren’t aware of their condition. When they do occur, some of the most common osteopenia signs and symptoms include:

  • Suffering from one or more bone fractures or breaks.
  • When a bone break occurs, it’s most likely to affect someone’s hip, ankle, the spine or a wrist.
  • Dealing with bone pains and other aches that affect tissues near the bones, including the joints.
  • Trouble exercising normally due to pains or injuries.

What is Osteoporosis

  • Osteoporosis is defined as “a bone disease that occurs when the body loses too much bone, makes too little bone, or both.”
  • Osteoporosis is generally seen in women over the age of 50, although younger women and men too can develop this condition.
  • It is estimated that about one in two women (50 percent) and up to one in four men (25 percent) over the age of 50 will break a bone at some point due to osteoporosis.
  • When viewed under a microscope, osteoporotic bones visibly contain abnormal tissue structure.
  • Osteoporosis occurs when small holes or weakened areas are formed in the bones that can lead to bone fractures, bone pain and sometimes other complications such as a Dowager’s hump (an abnormal outward curvature of the thoracic vertebrae of the upper back, causing the appearance of a hump).

How does osteoporosis compare to osteopenia?

  • Osteopenia is another condition that’s associated with bone loss and weakened bones, but it’s not as severe as in osteoporosis is.

Here’s how Harvard Medical School explains it:

  • Both conditions are varying degrees of bone loss, as measured by bone mineral density, a marker for how strong a bone is and the risk that it might break. If you think of bone mineral density as a slope, normal would be at the top and osteoporosis at the bottom. Osteopenia, which affects about half of Americans over age 50, would fall somewhere in between.

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