Osteopenia - Causes

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If known, what is the cause of your osteopenia?

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What causes osteopenia?

Osteopenia has multiple causes. Common causes and risk factors include

  • genetics (familial predisposition to osteopenia or osteoporosis, a family history of early bone loss, and other genetic disorders);
  • hormonal causes, including decreased estrogen (such as in women after menopause) or testosterone;
  • smoking;
  • excess alcohol;
  • thin frame;
  • immobility;
  • certain medications (such as corticosteroids, including prednisone) and antiseizure medications;
  • malabsorption due to conditions (such as celiac sprue);
  • and chronic inflammation due to medical conditions (such as rheumatoid arthritis).
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See what others are saying

Comment from: bj, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: February 12

My bone scan over 10 years ago was good. This recent scan was made because I was diagnosed with hyperparathyroidism disease. This condition takes calcium out of your bones. Your calcium blood count is normal at 9 and anything above indicates the disease, which can only be cured by surgical removal of one or more of the glands that have tumors. My bone scan indicated some osteopenia.

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Comment from: Snowlady, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 02

I was on Depo-Provera (a quarterly birth control shot) for over 5 years. My doctor told me Depo-Provera would zap my bones but I never knew how badly. Plus, he never mentioned that one shouldn't be on Depo-Provera for more than a few years. It wasn't until my hips started hurting when I sit for long periods and they would 'pop' like cracking knuckles that I thought there must be something wrong. My regular doctor thought it might be arthritis. A second doctor thought otherwise and sent me for a bone scan. Boy, was I shocked! Osteopenia, or borderline osteoporosis.

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