“Low bone density” simply means your bones are a little less ‘solid’ than they should be, compared to normal. (“Normal” is defined as how your bones were at their peak density, when you were about 30 years old.)

“Osteopenia” is the term used to describe this ‘less-than-normal’ bone mass.

As time passes, and more bone mass is removed, another term is used – osteoporosis.

“Osteoporosis” means “porous bones.”

Osteopenia is commonly called a disease. It can be a secondary result of another condition, such as the uncommon hormonal imbalance caused by Cushings disease.

Osteopenia, or low bone density, isn’t really a disease, though; it is a condition our body creates as it responds and adapts to some other imbalance, usually something to do with our nutrition.

The most common causes of low bone density are:

We know, for example, that common everyday habits can cause health problems. A well-known example, disputed for decades, is that smoking tobacco creates lung problems.

The creation of low bone density, leading eventually to osteopenia and osteoporosis, is another example. The causes of low bone density are being disputed right now the same as tobacco used to be.

In the case of losing bone mass, drinking beverages that contain phosphoric acid is a major cause of losing bone mass. Common soft drinks such as Pepsi® and Coke®, and countless others contain this ingredient, even some innocent-looking green-tea beverages contain it.

High-protein diets, especially the popular low-carb programs such as Atkins can contribute to the loss of bone density. It seems the high concentration of protein in these diets causes calcium to leave the bone in order to offset the high acid level of the protein eaten.

Most of the time, however, bone loss can be reversed with simple changes.

Low bone density affects the entire skeletal system. All the bones in the body are affected by osteoporosis, but the bones that most often break are the wrists, the hips, and the spinal bones (vertebra).

Given enough time, these conditions will remove material from bone faster than it can be replaced.

Eventually, if conditions are allowed to continue, the mild bone loss of osteopenia becomes the more bone loss of osteoporosis.

These simple daily habits make bones thinner and weaker over time.

In later stages, bones can become fragile and brittle. Sufficiently brittle and fragile that fractures can occur during ordinary movements like bending, lifting, and walking. Falling becomes especially dangerous. Reaching out with the hand to catch yourself from a fall can cause wrist fractures. Sometimes the hip will break while taking a step, and then the person falls because the hip broke.

These fractures can be painful, and forced bed-rest is usually required during the healing process. Bed-rest actually causes additional bone loss at a faster rate.

There is no treatment for ongoing bone loss in most cases, but that doesn’t mean it is a permanent condition. Better than any treatment, bone loss can be reversed, often with a few simple changes in daily habits.

A megadose of calcium is definitely not the answer. Calcium supplements may do more harm than good, and they are likely not doing very much to preserve your bones.

We know that calcium is one important material in bone – it plays a key role. But calcium supplements don’t work quite the way we would expect.

Current research is showing us the problem isn’t with getting too little calcium, it lies with losing too much.

By drinking water instead of soft drinks, the body can rebuild bone, because it is no longer losing bone.

By eating more vegetables and less meat, at least smaller portions, the rate of bone loss can normalize, and measurable bone density can increase, without drugs.

Improved bone density can be measured sometimes in less than a year after making these simple dietary changes.

No dangerous drugs, no injections. Removing the cause (soft drinks and high protein diets) and allowing the body to function normally is often enough to rebuild bone. We have seen this happen often enough that we have come to expect it.

Add a little exercise, and you have a recipe for restoring bone density and strength in a safe, natural fashion.

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