Osteopenia Ayurvedic Treatment

Weakness or thinning of bones is known as osteopenia, but the weakness is not severe to break the bone which happens in osteoporosis. Usually, this occurs after the age of 50. Imbalance between the formation of destruction of bone cells reduces its density. Genetics plays a major role and is common among women after menopause. Common causes are reduced dietary calcium supplement, malabsorption, lack of exercise, eating disorders (eg: anorexia), overactive thyroid, celiac disease, medications like steroid, chemotherapy etc. 

Osteopenia Signs and Symptoms

In most cases, there may not be any signs or symptoms. Usually, it is detected during random bone density studies. Some people may experience bone pain, weakness of the affected bone etc. 

Osteopenia Ayurvedic Analysis

Asthi dhatukshaya (weakening of bone tissue) is the condition in which the thickness of asthi (bones) reduces. Asthikshaya causes bone pain, and brittle hair, teeth and nail. Aggravation of vata causes emaciation, weakness, fondness towards heat etc. Weakness of asthidhatu can be caused by increased medo dhatu (fat tissue)- the precursor of asthi as per Ayurveda.  

Osteopenia Causative Factors (Ayurveda)

Asthi is the seat of vata. Aggravation of vata causes asthidhatu kshaya, and asthidhatu kshaya in turn aggravates vata in asthi. Over physical activity, sedentary habit, excess intake of dry/ cold/ pungent/ bitter food, lack of proper nutrition etc are the major causes of asthidhatu kashaya as well as aggravation of vata. Sedentary habit, increased intake of heavy to digest/ oily/ sweet food leads to medovruddhi (increased fat tissue) which results in asthikshaya. Srotorodha (blockage of channels) is the reason for under-development of asthi from medas

Possible Complications of Osteopenia Disease

Untreated or chronic osteopenia leads to osteoporosis. 

Other systemic diseases and precautions to be taken

Rule out osteoporosis and osteomalacia (nutritional deficiency) before planning treatment for osteopenia. Consider other factors such as obesity, diabetes, bone cancer etc too prior to treatment. 

Osteopenia Disease Management with Ayurveda Treatment

The management is focused on removing srotorodha, pacification of vata and nourishing asthi dhatu. Internal medications are provided along with therapies such as snehana (internal/ external/ both administration of lipid formulation), swedana (eg: kizhi), nasya (nasal administration of medicines), vasthi (enema with suitable drugs), lepana (external application of medicines) etc. 


The person with asthikshaya should include more cereals, green vegetables, pulses, milk, nuts, small fishes, egg etc in diet. Reduce the consumption of very hot/ spicy/ light/ dry food. 


Those who lived a sedentary life must indulge in moderate exercise daily. Avoid over-exertion. Pranayama, yoga etc are also beneficial. 

Osteopenia Preventive Aspects in Ayurveda

  • Follow healthy dietary habit- include adequate amount of calcium and vit D in food. 
  • Avoid sedentary lifestyle.
  • Expose to mild-moderate sunlight.
  • Maintain a healthy body weight.
  • Quit smoking
  • Limit the consumption of alcohol. 

Importance of Diet

Diet can increase or decrease the quality of bone tissue. Dietary supplements of vitamin D and calcium are essential for bone health. Choose the right food with the help of physician.


Those suffering from osteopenia should indulge in mild-moderate exercise, eat healthy food, expose to sunlight on a regular basis, maintain healthy weight, quit smoking and limit alcohol consumption. Reduce the intake of oily/ heavy to digest/ sweet/ dry food items. Drink enough water.

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