Osteopenia vs Osteoporosis – What is the difference ?

There is misconception among many people that Osteopenia and Osteoporosis are one and the same. While very few know that although both of them are related to bones, they are actually two different concepts. Let us find out what is the difference between these two.

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Osteopenia is a condition used to describe the state of bones which are not as strong as they should be, but that does not mean that the person is suffering from Osteoporosis. Osteoporosis on the other hand refers to a condition where the person’s bones are so weak that they experience a fracture with just a minor fall. They are referred to as fragile bone disease. Osteopenia is generally seen in people who are above 50 years of age, whereas, osteoporosis is found in people who have deficiency in Vitamin D, calcium, magnesium and other minerals. The adverse condition of osteoporosis can lead to humpback, loss of height, stooped posture and sometimes severe pain in the bones.

The main factor which can determine the differences between Osteopenia and Osteoporosis is the Bone Mineral Density. Bone Mineral Density is done to measure the level of calcium in the bones. It is a normal test and can be done using non-invasive and painless procedures  on spine, finger, wrist, hip or heel.

Both osteopenia and osteoporosis can be caused due to various factors such as hereditary, unusual lifestyles like excessive dieting, or extreme exercising. Women have greater risk in developing osteopenia or osteoporosis than men and it grows more with age when most people lose .5% of bone mass every year. Osteopenia and Osteoporosis can be prevented if balanced diet with lot of Vitamin D is included in the diet. Conducting regular exercises and avoiding smoking helps a lot to reduce the chances of any kind bone deformities.

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