Cause of Osteopenia: aging
Yes, a cause of Osteopenia is aging. If you are over 35 years of age, you are losing bone each year. Most people, both men and women lose about 1% of bone each year after their mid-thirties. Women in their post menopausal year have a dramaticincrease in bone loss. They lose 4-5% of their bone each year for several years.
But even at a rate of 1% a year, by age 65 even men have lost about 30% of their bone mass. This is why we say that a cause of Osteopenia is aging!
As you know your osteoclasts remove old bone and your osteoblasts build new bone. In children, osteoblasts are usually more active. This is why their bones grow each year.
In the process called resorption , osteoclasts remove old bone and then osteoblasts lay down new bone. This is a slow process. In adults it usually takes about 14 months. (That is why it does little good to have repeat dexa scans too often. Your bones have not had time to build bone.)
After age 35, your osteoblasts usually slow down and so your osteoclasts are removing more bone than the osteoblasts are replacing. That is why a cause of Osteopenia is aging.
For some people Osteopenia appears much more quickly.
Some people develop Osteopenia in their late 30's or 40's even if they do not have one of the other causal conditions. How can this be?
There are several possible causes of bone loss at an earlier age. It could be that you did not develop strong bones during your youth.
- Perhaps you at a diet with little calcium, magnesium, Vitamin E etc.
- Perhaps you did not play out in sunlight and so did not manufactureenough Vitamin D to build strong bones Perhaps you consumed a lot of caffeine in sodas, chocolate etc.
- Perhaps you consumed a lot of phosphorous by drinking soda
- Perhaps you were more sedentary than good bone building requires. If you sat in school all day, watched a lot of television and did not run, jump and romp enough
- Perhaps you dieted during your teen and twenties and lost extra bone at a time you would normally be building bone.
- Perhaps you had an eating disorder
- Perhaps you used steroids or one of the other medications known to interfere with bone building
- Perhaps you exercised so much as to interfere with your hormonal balance. eg. women who skip their periods because too much exercise.
- And if you started off with a Genetic predisposition, such life style choices simply accelerated the pace of the condition.
There could be any number of reasons why you did not build a sufficient bone mineral density during your younger years. And then as the normal drop in bone density begins in your mid-thirties you develop 'thin bones' ( Osteopenia). If you did not have a strong 'bone bank', this drop of 1% a year in bone density, pushes you into Osteopenia long before this would be expected.
If this is a cause of Osteopenia for you, you need to get seriousabout stopping bone loss and building new bone! You have startedthe 'cause of Osteopenia: aging" at a much younger age. If you do not stop bone loss, you could have Osteoporosis in a few years!
One of the things you want to do is to plan some life style changes that can make up for the lacks in your earlier years. You will want to read each page under Osteopenia Treatments . There are many suggestions there. Read each.
Figure out which ones you can start. Talk to your physician and build a plan to overcome the cause of Osteopenia in your life.Remember, others have build new bone. You can too. Do not be discouraged. But do get to work - your bones depend on it.
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