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Low bone density is a decrease in thickness, or density, in bones. That means the bones become thinner and weaker. It is much more common in women than in men.
It's important to know that low bone density is not a disease. It can happen normally with aging. Having low bone density means that there is a greater risk that you may get osteoporosis. It also means that you are more likely to break a bone than someone who does not have low bone density. But not everyone with low bone density gets osteoporosis or breaks a bone.
Low bone density doesn't cause any symptoms. It's usually found with a type of X-ray called a bone density test. Low bone density means that your bone density result (T-score) is between –1.0 and –2.5.
Things that increase your risk include:
There are things you can do to help prevent osteoporosis. Certain lifestyle changes will help slow the loss of bone density.
Prescription medicines are available for treating low bone density. But these are more often used to treat osteoporosis.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
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Adaptation Date: 5/8/2021
Adapted By: Alberta Health Services
Adaptation Reviewed By: Alberta Health Services
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