What is Osteopenia?



Osteopenia refers to bone mineral density that is lower than normal but not yet at the more severe osteoporosis level.


  • Osteopenia detection serves as a warning sign to optimize nutrition and lifestyle preventing further bone loss progression to osteoporosis and higher fracture risk.
  • DEXA scan bone density T-scores between -1 to -2.5 indicate osteopenia while below -2.5 signifies osteoporosis.
  • Weight bearing and muscle strengthening exercise along with intaking adequate protein, calcium, magnesium and vitamin D helps improve bone density.
  • Medical treatment may involve calcium supplements, prescription bisphosphonates or hormone therapy depending on severity and underlying causes.


  • Implementing plyometrics and deadlifts to boost osteopenic bone density after DEXA results.
  • Taking calcium citrate supplements in addition to dietary calcium from yogurt and leafy greens.

Related Terms

  • Bone mineral density, osteoporosis, DEXA scan, T-score

Common Questions

  • How can you reverse osteopenia? Lift weights, do impact exercise, get sufficient vitamin D, calcium and protein, don’t smoke.
  • What is the difference between osteopenia and osteoporosis? Osteopenia means mild bone loss while osteoporosis indicates more severe loss with higher fracture risks.

Do Not Confuse With

  • Osteoarthritis – Degenerative joint disease not related to mineral bone density.
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