Bone density is a medical term which refers to the strength of bones. Having low bone mass means you are having low bone density. When your bones are weak there is high risk of fracture. While in most cases the broken bones heal but sometimes they can lead to permanent disability.
Having low bone mass is an indication that you may be having osteopenia or osteoporosis. The disease osteoporosis suggests that your bones have become porous.
Osteopenia is just the beginning stage of osteoporosis. Here the bone has not become porous, but there is loss in bone density.When osteopenia is neglected the bone becomes porous. We all are aware that low bone density is common among elderly individuals, but surprisingly many children also suffer from low bone density. Let us find out why they have it in first place.
What Causes Low Bone Density In Children?
The earliest sign of children having low bone density is frequent fractures on slightest injury. The child may also complain of bone pains, especially in back and in long bones.
- Low bone density due to diseases: Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis is one of the commonest reasons for low bone density. The joints are affected in JRA. Bone density near the joints is low in this disease. Other systemic diseases which trigger low bone density in children are juvenile diabetes, hyperthyroidism, and hyperparathyroidism, anorexia nervosa, kidney disease and malabsorption syndrome.
- Medicines: Many times medicines can be an attributing factor for loss in bone mass. Certain anticonvulsants used in seizures, corticosteroids used for asthma in children, immunosuppressant for autoimmune diseases are all known to cause loss in bone mass when used for a prolonged time.
- Vitamin D deficiency: children having vitamin D deficiency are susceptible for low bone density. Most of the vitamin D is available from sunlight. Children who play indoors most of the time are not exposed to sunlight. They are the ones who are more susceptible to have low bone density.
- Children having low calcium level as a result of low intake of calcium containing food may lead to weak bones. A child in modern days is given colas more than milk and fruit juices. The result is low calcium level in the body.
- Child living a sedentary life, watching television all the time or playing computer games and who does not exercise is prone to become obese. Obesity in children is also a reason for weak bone and low bone mass.
- A child remaining immobilized for a long time due to sickness is at a risk of suffering from low bone density.
Natural Treatment For Low Bone Density In Children
Low bone density in children should be suspected when there are repeated fractures in a child. Bone density tests such as DEXA scan is a special scanning test for detecting low bone mass. It is painless and simple which is similar to an X-ray test.
Diet: Treatment begins by giving healthy nutrition to the child. Calcium and vitamin D are essential for the child. Milk is a good source of calcium. Children should drink a glass of milk at least two times in a day. Other foods which contain good amount of calcium include yogurt, cheese, Kale, spinach, broccoli, tofu, peas, baked beans, fish and almonds.
Exercise: Children should play outdoor games in sun. They should remain active and playing is a good physical exercise. Besides, playing outdoors in sun is also a good source of vitamin D.
Avoid unhealthy food: The child having low bone density should avoid colas and too much of caffeinated drinks. Fast food and packaged foods should also be avoided. This is because they contain too much of salt. All this interfere in absorption of calcium in the bones.