“Ask Your Doctor with Dr. Kasi – How to Combat Osteopenia & Sarcopenia?”

1.) What is Osteopenia & Sarcopenia?

Osteopenia is the loss of bone mineral density that weakens bone , which is more commonly seen with increasing age and especially in women.

Sarcopenia is the loss of muscle mass and strength , which becomes more common with age.

2.) What is the most common cause for Osteopenia & Sarcopenia?

1)Ageing – most common cause , with ageing the strength and density of the musculoskeletal system reduces

2)Sedentary lifestyle – One of the most effective ways to delay osteopenia and sarcopenia is to have an active lifestyle.

3)Metabolic dysfunction (abnormalities in the calcium and vit D metabolism). Most commonly it could be an inborn error of metabolism.

4)Chronic inflammation & autoimmune Diseases.

5) Comorbidities.

6) Genetics.

3) What is the difference between osteopenia and osteoporosis? 

Osteopenia isn’t as severe as osteoporosis – it is a mid stage before a bone progresses to osteoporosis.


4) How do we diagnose osteoporosis in early stages ? 

Osteopenia is mostly asymptomatic, but to check the progess to osteoporosis a DEXA scan can be done.

5.) What age should you get a bone density test?

Younger women, and men ages 50-70 y/o, should consider the test if they have high risk factors of serious bone loss like:

1) Very low vitamin D levels

2) Low body weight

3) Constant corticosteroid usage of 3/ more months

4) Heavy drinking and smoking

6.) Can you reverse Sarcopenia?

Although some sarcopenias are a natural consequence of aging, others are preventable. Muscle loss can be reduced, the key to that is a healthy diet and resistance training.

1) Adequate protein –

Anywhere in between 0.8-2 gm / kg body weight of protein is needed inorder to repair and heal the muscle tissue depending upon the activity level.

Especially the focus should be on getting adequate amount of leucine, its a key amino acid for muscle protein synthesis. Rich sources of leucine are fish , whey protein, meat, eggs, soy protein isolate

2) Vitamin D  – 

Even though adequate sun exposure concerts the pre vit D in the skin to vit D here are some foods that can provide vit D, usually the DRI ( dietary reference intake ) goes down with age for several nutrients except vit D: Salmons , canned tunas, egg yolks, mushrooms, and fortified foods.

3) Omega 3 fatty acids – 

They help by fighting inflammation and reducing the inflammatory markers in the blood such a CRP, TNF alpha, interleukin 6

For more info – https://www.instagram.com/p/CAajT6TnKw5/?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y=

7) Can osteopenia be prevented from advancing to osteoporosis? 

Loss of bone density can be reversed by medical therapies that may slow down/ maintain or increase the bone density.

Non medical therapies/dietary and life style management includes eating a diet that is packed with nutrients and diverse – this is important for overall well being.

Nutrients to inculcate: 

1) calcium
2) vitamin D

Habits to avoid 

1) Smoking
2) Drinking
3) Caffeine rich foods as they can effect the calcium metabolism

Most importantly, a training routine:

1) To improve the bone density
2) Balance & coordination
3) strength and flexibility