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What is the best treatment for osteopenia?

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Quick Answer

The best treatment for osteopenia involves healthy lifestyle changes, including regular exercise and a balanced diet with plenty of vitamin D and calcium and minimal salt and caffeine, recommends WebMD. Using weights, dancing, climbing stairs and walking are good weight-bearing exercises. Smoking and drinking are not advisable, as these vices contribute to bone loss and disrupt calcium balance. Medications and hormone replacement therapy may also help treat osteopenia.

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Osteopenia is a condition in which the bone density is below normal but not low enough for an osteoporosis diagnosis, explains WebMD. Weight-bearing exercises strengthen the bones and delay bone loss. Eating lots of foods rich in vitamin D and calcium also builds strong bones. Excellent sources of calcium include tofu, sardines, salmon, green vegetables and dairy products, while food sources of vitamin D include grains, milk, cheese, beef liver, and fish such as tuna and mackerel. Getting sun exposure outside is a good way to obtain vitamin D.

Patients with osteopenia should reduce salt and caffeine intake, as these are bad for bone health, notes WebMD. Doctors also suggest moderate alcohol consumption of only one glass daily for women and two glasses daily for men.

For patients with broken bones, physicians may prescribe bisphosphonates, which delay bone breakdown and maintain or slightly improve bone density, reports WebMD. Another possible treatment is the daily administration of parathyroid hormone, which stimulates bone growth. Hormone replacement therapy and Evista are other medication options.

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