The Difference Between Osteopenia and Osteoporosis

Fosamax LawsuitWhen an individual experiences a lower-than-normal bone mineral density (BMD), osteoporosis is not usually the cause. It can also be due to osteopenia. Right now, osteoporosis is much talked about. This may due to a recent Fosamax lawsuit filed in Illinois.

Osteopenia is considered by the medical industry as a precursor to osteoporosis. However, an osteopenia diagnosis does not always result to osteoporosis. The normal cause of osteopenia is old age. As one grows older, the bones become thinner. However, circumstances, like menopausal phase, eating disorders/metabolism problems, chemotherapy/steroid medicines, and radiation exposure may also contribute on its development. One of the sad facts of this condition is that it does not display symptoms. Changes and pains are not present but there is a higher risk of bones breaking.

Osteoporosis is one of the most common type of bone disease. It is a medical condition characterized by thinning of the bone tissues and losing bone density overtime. It occurs when the body cannot form new bone or too much old bone is reabsorbed by the body.  The many reasons why this kind of medical condition may happen include:

  •     Estrogen drop among women and testosterone drop among me
  •     Chronic rheumatoid arthritis, chronic kidney disease, eating disorder
  •     Taking corticosteroid medications every day for more than three months and taking some anti    seizure drug
  •    Hyperparathyroidism
  •    Vitamin D deficiency

Just like osteopenia, osteoporosis displays no symptoms except when the disease is on its late stage. These symptoms include:

  •     Bone pain or tenderness
  •     Fractures with little or no trauma
  •     Loss of height (as much as 6 inches) over time
  •     Low back pain due to fractures of the spinal bones
  •     Neck pain due to fractures of the spinal bones
  •     Stooped posture or kyphosis, also called a “dowager’s hump

Bone mineral density is vital for osteopenia and osteoporosis. This actually refers to the amount of mineral matter per square centimeter of the bones and can be determined through a bone mineral density test. A result of -1.0 bone mineral density test or higher is expected on individuals with normal bone density. For people with osteopenia, it is between -1.0 and -2.5. Meanwhile, people with osteoporosis is expected to display results of -2.5 and lower.

It is very crucial that one knows his/her BMD score especially when osteopenia and osteoporosis run in the family. Furthermore, with the right information, we can avoid these conditions and even the filing of a Fosamax lawsuit.


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