Bone mass reduction as the name implies is the term associated with reduction in bone mass. In this bone mineral density is reduced due to alteration in the variety and quantity of various proteins and minerals. Bone mass reduction leads to severe medical problems including Osteoporosis and Ostopenia. The commonest cause of bone mass reduction in females is menopause and low level of estrogen while testosterone deficiency in males.
Bone mass density (BMD) is not physical density (mass/volume) but it is measured by a technique called Densitometry. Densitometry is a painless procedure and involves low radiation exposure. Usually BMD is calculated over lumber spine and the upper part of the hip but if they are not accessible then forearm may be scanned. Value of normal bone mineral density is calculated around 1500 kg/m3.
There is a direct association between bone mass reduction and bone fractures. If there will be more bone mass reduction, there will be more chances of bone fractures. Elderly people are especially prone to fractures in case of falls which may handicap them or even lead to death depending upon the severity of the incident. Bone mass reduction must be identified at an early age so that pre-cautionary measures may be taken to lessen the damage.
Osteoporosis is usually the most common disease associated with bone mass reduction and according to latest research BMD effects 55% of the Americans above 50 years of age while about 80% of these are women. Osteoporosis is responsible for million of fractures every year mostly involving hips, wrist and lumber vertebrae in women while in men rib fractures are common. Incapacitating acute and chronic pain along-with fractures in the elderly is often due to osteoporosis and can lead to severe disability and early mortality.
Second most common condition related with bone mass reduction is Ostopenia; is also the reduction in bone mass but it is not as severe as Osteoporosis. Having osteopenia means there is a greater risk that you will have decrease bone mineral density which ultimately will lead to osteoporosis. Patients with osteopenia have less dense bones and often show no symptoms.
Females of 65+ age and males above 70 years should consider testing themselves periodically for reduction in bone mass. Methods to prevent bone mass reduction include change in lifestyle, healthy diet and regular exercise. Moreover, looking at the severity of the condition certain medicines can also be used after prescription of the doctor. Although bone degradation is delayed by exercise and balanced diet, individuals already diagnosed with osteopenia or osteoporosis should discuss with a physiotherapist or physician to make an exercise plan to prevent fractures.
Nutrition based on vitamin D can help making the bones strong; Calcium is another ingredient which can make the bones live longer. Moreover, if you are older than 30, it’s still not too late to make these lifestyle changes. A balanced diet and regular exercise will slow the speed of reduction in bone mass density, delay osteopenia, and delay or prevent osteoporosis.