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http://fabulously40.com/images/nonono.gifThe big "O" brings to mind mood music, our favorite lover, and moans of ecstasy. For those in menopause and postmenopause, the new "big O" can also bring to mind osteopenia or osteoporosis. You are probably familiar with osteoporosis, but may never have heard of osteopenia. Yet, according to the latest figures released by the National Osteoporosis Foundation, 43 million Americans over 50 have osteopenia!

Osteopenia means low bone mass that places you at increased risk for osteoporosis and broken bones. When it comes to your bones, being dense is a good thing. However, Dr. Diane Schneider, author of The Complete Book of Bone Health, explains, "A diagnosis of osteopenia doesn't necessarily mean you'll develop osteoporosis. Osteopenia is not a disease, either."

Detecting osteopenia

So how do you gauge your bone density? There is a test for most everything and bone density is no exception. Bone density is determined via a bone scan or bone mineral density (BMD) test. The most common – and most accurate – test is a dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scan. Try saying that real fast! The bones in the spine, hip and sometimes the forearm are those most commonly tested.

If you're worried about radiation, have no fears. A DXA scan uses low-dose X-rays. According to the National Institutes of Health, you receive more radiation from a chest x-ray.

To scan or not to scan, that is the question.

Are you a candidate for a bone scan? The National Osteoporosis Foundation suggests that you should consider it if you can answer "yes" to these two questions:

  • Are you a postmenopausal woman or man age 50 or older?

  • Have you recently broken a bone?



The test itself only takes about 10 minutes, so you can't use "I've got no time" as an excuse. However, not all insurance plans cover bone scans, so be sure to check with your carrier first. The average cost of a DXA scan of the spine and hip is $140.

Your T-score and what it means

The T-score is the result of the scan (and we're not talking golf). The [Link Removed] explains that your T-score compares your bone density with that of a healthy young adult of your sex.

According to the criteria established by the World Health Organization, here's what your T-score means:












-1 & abovenormal
Between -1 to -2.5osteopenia or low bone density
-2.5 & lowerosteoporosis



If you have a T-score of -1, you have twice the risk for bone [Link Removed] (1000 mg/day), and vitamin D (800 mg/day). Weight-bearing exercises are usually those where your feet (not your tatas) touch the ground, such as running and walking. Strive for at least 30 minutes a day.

Heavy drinking can increase your risk of osteoporosis, so, ladies, you've got to lay off the bottle... in moderation. One alcoholic drink a day for women and two a day for men is considered moderate.

It goes without saying, but we'll say it anyway – you shouldn't smoke. Period.

Osteopenia has been overmedicated in the past. Now that fracture risk is assessed, those with low fracture risk do not benefit from medicine, but those with high risk, as defined by the National Osteoporosis Foundation, do.

If you've been diagnosed with osteopenia, consult with your physician to determine the best course of action.

Keep the "O" in the bedroom; keep it out of your bones!
Suffering in silence is OUT! Reaching out is IN!






























Shmirshky, Your links have been removed, please consider upgrading to premium membership.




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