I received a comment on my post Words you do not want to hear « Savanvleck’s Weblog and just felt like this deserved a full answer.
My Osteopenia was actually caused by a para-thyroid gland gone wild. It was robbing my body of calcium. The tests I went through for this were really interesting. You have not lived until you have had to carry around a gallon jar of your own urine.
One possible problem with me is that they could only find three of my four para-thyroid glands and so I do not know if I still have one, in hiding and malfunctioning. (That test involved nuclear testing. I love it when I have to walk alone down a long concrete hallway and be treated by a guy wearing lead clothing.) When they went in to take the para-thyroid out they also removed half my thyroid (it was hard as a rock – gee, did they do that with the testing?). All I know is, doctors see me coming and they start checking the want adds for a summer home.
That said, I just started exercising a couple of years ago and did so for nine months and then because I became tired, exhausted beyond belief, I quit. Without insurance, it took two years to diagnose and finally get emergency surgery on my heart. Then, without insurance, I was never given heart rehab, which most people get. So, it has taken me two years post surgery to get back on the treadmill.
I may not be the best example to use as a guide and I would not want to see you stop exercising because I am not Osteopenia free. I have recently gotten insurance and had a new dexa-scan and am still diagnosed with Osteopenia. But, I have only been exercising this time since February 2nd, 2009.
I do take Calcium with D twice a day; I do the treadmill three days a week and weights three days a week. But, I am not up to real vigorous running or weights yet. I am eating a lot better and have now lost thirteen pounds. So far, I have not broken a bone, and I know that I feel a lot better. They say that the exercise will help your bones. I do not know whether exercise will reverse Osteopenia or not. But, even if it just stops it from getting worse, it is worth it.
This is kind of like the bursitis in my shoulders. I woke up one morning and my shoulder was frozen. With exercise, I am nearly back to full range of motion, but I will always have bursitis and always need to exercise it.
So, keep up the good work. You are going to feel so much better for it.