Bone density or bone mineral density refers to the concentration of calcium and other essential minerals in the bones. The assessment is made using a special form of X ray or CT scan. Reduction in bone mass is a normal part of the aging process. Reduced bone density makes the bone less dense and porous and thereby making them more prone to damage or breaking easily.
Causes Of Low Bone Density
Low bone density is associated with osteoporosis which is common especially among the elderly population, though it is more frequently observed in females compared to males. Some of the common causes for low bone density include,
- Deficiency of important minerals like calcium, phosphorus and magnesium, which are essential for bone health. The deficiency can arise from inadequate intake of supplements or foods containing these minerals.
- Hormonal changes observed during menopause and andropause are also linked with poor absorption of these essential minerals and loss of bone mass.
- Certain genetic conditions associated with poor ability to absorb calcium can also lower the bone density.
- Bone density may naturally reduce especially following a major surgery or pregnancy.
Signs And Symptoms Of Low Bone Density
Bone mineral density is calculated using the T score which indicates that less than one standard deviation is considered normal, while 1-2.5 standard deviations are considered as ostopenia. Bone density lower than 2.5 standard deviation is classified as osteoporosis. The signs and symptoms associated with low bone density may depend upon the severity,
- During the initial stages, the patient may complain of bone pain especially around the pelvic region. This is indicative of reduced supply of calcium to the body and is easily reversible by taking calcium supplements.
- Subsequently, loss of vertebral bone height may be observed. This may be characterized by scoliosis and is more frequently observed in the elderly.
- Easy proneness to fracture or breaking of bones is another common symptom.
How To Fix Low Bone Density?
Here are some tips to help increase bone density naturally,
- Increase the intake of green leafy vegetables, low fat milk and yoghurt, lean meat, soy milk and jaggery. These foods are loaded with calcium and provide the body with important supply of the micronutrient.
- Add magnesium supplements to your diet. Magnesium is a micronutrient which plays a vital role in improving the absorption of calcium by the body.
- Exposure to sunlight is vital, as it helps in synthesis of Vitamin D, which is crucial to improve the uptake of dietary calcium by the bones. Exposure to early morning sunlight is recommended, as it is low in ultra-violet radiations. Expose your body to sunlight after applying almond oil on the skin, which is considered to improve the synthesis of Vitamin D. Alternatively include vitamin D supplements in your diet.
- Experts suggest that simple weight bearing exercises such as rapid walking or weight training in the form of lifting weights or using weight machines can help improve bone strength. However, it is essential to consult your physician before doing this, as severity of the condition may impact your ability to perform these exercises.