How Is Thinning of the Bones Treated?
Thinning of the Bones or Osteopenia is a condition where the bone density levels are not up to the optimal range, but are not as worse as in case of osteoporosis.1 Thinning of the Bones or Osteopenia can be referred to as the primary stage of osteoporosis. Since osteopenia is an indication of thinning bones, it is extremely important that it be treated as soon as detected, so as to avoid being the victim of the bigger problem of osteoporosis. Even the simplest of steps can help manage Thinning of the Bones or Osteopenia well; and therefore the treatment of this condition becomes a mix of home remedies, supplements and in severe cases, medications.
How is Thinning of the Bones Treated?
Some common treatments of Thinning of the Bones or Osteopenia include the following:
Exercise to Treat Thinning of the Bones or Osteopenia: The primary treatment of Thinning of the Bones or Osteopenia includes regular exercise.2 It is only through exercise and any form of apt physical stress that the density of the bone can be altered. The most highly recommended forms of exercises which are suggested in case of osteopenia include weight bearing exercises. Weight bearing exercises make your body weight work against gravity to help you gain better bone density and stimulate better bone formation all of which helps in treating osteopenia. Some simple weight bearing exercises include brisk walking, jogging, hopping, jumping rope, dancing and hiking. It is essential that the exercises be weight bearing in nature as the non-weight bearing exercises like cycling and swimming do not have the same impact on the bones. One or two sessions of strength training per week are also highly recommended. Other than the weight bearing exercises, a practice of balancing techniques like yoga and Tai Chi have also shown considerable improvement in patients with Thinning of the Bones or Osteopenia.
Treat Osteopenia with Calcium Rich Diet: When it comes to the diet, calcium is an extremely important component, which needs to be maintained in the body for healthy bones. Since Thinning of the Bones or Osteopenia is the condition of weakening bones, it is best if the consumption of calcium in the diet is increased which would further supplement the bone strength. Some common sources of calcium are: milk and other dairy products and green vegetables. Products rich in vitamin D are also suggested to be included in the diet since it is through vitamin D that the calcium in the blood gets absorbed by the body. Some common sources of vitamin D include eggs, fish like salmon, sardines, swordfish and fish oils too. In addition to the diet, the body gets vitamin D from the sunlight too. Hence sitting out in the sun is also suggested. These inclusions in the diet are sure to show immense betterment in treating Thinning of the Bones or Osteopenia in patients.
Cutting Out On Smoking: Smoking is one habit that causes the bones to lose mass and become brittle in nature. Therefore, if you are a smoker, quitting smoking is among the primary treatments recommended for Thinning of the Bones or Osteopenia. Osteopenia is a cause of decreasing bone density and for a smoker, quitting is of great aid towards curing him of osteopenia or thinning bones.
Decreasing The Consumption Of Alcohol: Like smoking, drinking is also one of the habits that cause osteopenia or thinning of bones.3 Though if done in a controlled manner, alcohol consumption does not pose a great threat to the bones. But the continuous consumption of alcohol or frequent episodes of binge drinking can cause major harm to the bones and the other body parts as well. So, when talking of treating Thinning of the Bones or Osteopenia, quitting drinking or limiting its use to a very little quantity works as a treatment for drinkers.
Other Lifestyle Changes for Treating Thinning of the Bones: Other than the changes mentioned above, there are other lifestyle regimens that need to be rectified in order to treat Thinning of the Bones or Osteopenia. Some common lifestyle changes for treating osteopenia are: avoiding caffeine, avoiding aerated beverages and making more use of the muscles and bones in daily chores, like not using hands to get up from a chair or preferring stairs instead of elevators.
Supplements to Treat Thinning of the Bones or Osteopenia: To aid the changes that have been mentioned above, the general physician might recommend you to take supplements for calcium and vitamin D. With such supplementation, bone density can be stabilized so that any fracture risk is minimized. The goal of the diet is to reach a minimum of 1200 milligrams of calcium a day and 800 international units (IU) of vitamin D for treatment of Thinning of the Bones or Osteopenia. If the same levels are not reached through the diet, a patient of osteopenia is recommended to take the supplements.
Other Medications for Treating Thinning of the Bones or Osteopenia: Medicines other than simple supplements are also used in certain cases where the bone recession is at a high rate in Osteopenia. These medications may include ibandronate (boniva), raloxifene (evista), risedronate (actonel, atelvia), zoledronic acid (reclast, zometa) and alendronate (fosamax.)