Gwyneth Paltrow’s announcement that she has osteopenia, a possible precursor to the bone-thinning disease osteoporosis — conditions usually found in older women — has some wondering if her extreme diet and exercise regimen is to blame.
In her online newsletter GOOP , Paltrow, who is 37, revealed that she was diagnosed with the early stages of osteopenia after suffering a leg fracture.
“I suffered a pretty severe tibial plateau fracture a few years ago (requiring surgery) which lead the orthopaedic surgeon to give me a bone scan, at which point it was discovered I had the beginning stages of osteopenia,” she wrote in a recent post.
Osteopenia is the term used for bone density that falls somewhere between less than normal and osteoporosis. People with osteopenia have a greater chance of developing osteporosis, a bone disease which leads to an increased risk of fractures. Both ailments are more common in post-menopausal and elderly women.
For pre-menopausal women diagnosed with osteopenia or lower bone mass, the causes can vary between genetics, eating disorders, crazy diets, excessive exercise or conditions that affect calcium intake for women, according to Dr. Stephen Honig, director of the Osteoporosis Center at New York University Hospital for Joint Diseases.
Calcium is crucial for good bone health. And vitamin D aids in the absorption of calcium. “It’s always good to have good calcium and vitamin D intake and exercise judiciously,” Honig told ABCNews.com. Some have speculated that Paltrow’s lifestyle could be to blame for her diagnosis. In her newsletter, Paltrow said doctors tested her levels of vitamin D, “which turned out to be the lowest they had ever seen (not a good thing).” “I went on a prescription strength level of vitamin D and was told to…spend a bit of time in the sun!” she said.