A low bone density is when the bone mass is reduced. Bone density can decrease due to many reasons, such as age, or diseases like osteoporosis and osteopenia. Physiologic bone loss can occur due to decreased bone formation, postmenopausal women have decreased estrogen production can lead to decreased bone density. Diagnosis of bone density can be done with a Bone DEXA whole body scan centre near you. 

    Causes of Low Bone Density

    Different reasons for low bone density

    • Primary bone disorders– Diseases that affect the strength and density of bone directly, are the primary bone disorders, such as osteogenesis imperfecta
    • Secondary low bone density– When bone density is affected due to underlying medical conditions, it is known as a secondary low bone density disease. Examples of secondary low bone density diseases can be
      • Female athletes who do not get periods
      • Anorexia nervosa condition with low estrogen levels
      • Other diseases with low estrogen levels
      • Chronic steroid treatments can cause syndrome like Cushing syndrome.
      • Osteoporosis
      • Osteopenia 
    • Idiopathic low bone density– when bone density is decreased for an unknown reason, it is known as idiopathic low bone density

    Symptoms of Low Bone Density

    Most common diseases causing low bone density are

    • Osteoporosis
    • Osteopenia

    Symptoms of osteoporosis and osteopenia

    Osteoporosis and osteopenia remain symptomless in the majority of cases. Early symptoms of them can be fractures. 

    The most common symptom of osteopenia is decreased/loss of height. After hitting puberty, people starting to lose height than normal can be indicative of underlying bone health conditions. People with osteopenia need bone density tests to get diagnosed for osteoporosis and osteopenia.

    Osteoporosis can make bones fragile and easy to fracture even with the slightest activity such as lifting, coughing, or falling from a standing height.

    Osteoporosis can cause spine collapse representing symptoms as severe back pain, loss of height, and posture changes such as stooping or hunching.

    What are the Risk Factors for Low Bone Density?

    Increased risk of low bone density can be due to 

    • Smoking
    • Excessive alcohol consumption
    • A diet deficient in vitamins and calcium
    • Low physical activity
    • Hormone changes especially after menopause in women
    • Age 
    • Medications like hormone blockers such as glucocorticoids
    • Cancers weakening bones such as multiple myeloma
    • Medication conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, chronic kidney disease, overactive parathyroid, or celiac sprue.
    • Diseases like celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and BMI lower than 18.5
    • Genetics and family history
    • Long-term use of certain medications such as PPI (proton pump inhibitors), anti-epileptic drugs, cancer medication, and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.

    Diagnosis of Low Bone Density

    You can get yourself diagnosed with low bone density with the help of a Bone Scan also known as a Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry scan (DEXA). The scan uses x-rays of low energy that are bombarded on you, helping in the detection of bone density.

    Some additional tests can be done to detect the cause of low bone density such as genetics tests for detecting inherited causes, PET scans or MRI scan can help detect the cancers that might be causing low bone density. 


    To treat conditions causing low bone density and prevention of low bone density  can be done by  

    • Consuming calcium-rich diet
    • Vitamin D supplements 
    • Practicing weight-bearing exercises
    • Taking the appropriate medication suggested by your doctor
    • Avoid smoking and alcohol consumption


    Low bone density often causes repeated fractures. Repeated fractures can considerably interfere with the quality of life. Getting diagnosed can help minimise the complications of low bone density. The best diagnostic centres offers a low-cost Bone DEXA scans with effective and accurate diagnostic approaches. Once you get diagnosed with low bone density, the next step is to take appropriate measures to prevent its further progression.