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: hot rod, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: December 09

Not unusual at my age but I believe the cause is dietary and not enough weight-bearing exercises. At age 20 I became allergic to most dairy products. This includes milk, eggs, cottage cheese eaten directly. Indirectly I can eat eggs if mixed with a food, not French toast which is direct, but pie, cake, etc. I can still enjoy cheese in small quantities. I have had degenerating disks since I was 30, which limits a lot of exercises because of sciatic pain. I can exercise on a resistance training machine, but not as long as I should be. At 50 I had a hysterectomy and hormonal change can contribute.

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Comment from: Reba, 13-18 Male (Caregiver) Published: February 20

My son has been taking valproic acid for seizures for the past 15 years. Unfortunately, it wasn"t until he suffered a hip fracture last year that we discovered he has osteopenia. My mother instinct tells me it"s from taking the medication for epilepsy because he used to jump out of his crib and fall a lot and he never suffered a broken bone until last year (and it was a short fall from one step up). He also fractured his finger last year getting off the swing. He has a rare syndrome called 4P. We should have started supplements from the start with the Depakene (valproic acid), calcium, vitamin D, folic acid, etc.

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