How do i know if i have Osteoporosis?

by Joan

I have been going through the menopause for the past few years and i am wondering if i should be worried about osteoporosis. What tests are available??

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Apr 18, 2012
Testing for Osteoporosis
by: Anonymous

There are several instances where you should ask your doctor to test you. 1) If you are over 65
2) if you have gone through the menopause and have had a fracture 3( if you have been on hormone therapy for more than a few years, if you have or have had anorexia, if you take or have taken steroids.

The best would be to start treatment before you have a fracture but often this is the first time someone knows that they have a problem.

There are several tests available to measure bone mineral density usually testing the ankle but can also test the wrist, hip or spine. Results are compared against the norm for your age, sex, and size to determine what, if any treatment, is needed.

The most common testing method in use today is Dual-Energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DEXA), which can measure the bone density of the spine, hips, or the entire body. The test is simple and takes only a few minutes. It is fairly expensive, however, so usually other methods which test the ankle or wrist only are favored. These are
a)Radiographic Absorptiometry (RA),
b)Single X-ray Absorptiometry (SXA) and
c) Quantitative Ultrasound (QUS). I won't go into these methods here as it all depends on your medical practitioner and what is available in your area.

Conventional x-ray is also sometimes used as a tool for diagnosis, but they have significant limitations, so are usually only used to determine whether or not to send you for further tests.

Bone density testing is recommended for all women over the age of 65, but you may want to be tested earlier if you are postmenopausal or are at risk for other reason. Men should also be screened if they have any risk factors.

Once you are being followed your doctor will probably recommend a scan every two years, both to check for signs of the disease and to check progress if you already have signs of the disease and are being treated.

P. Kumar M.D.

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