IN THIS ARTICLE
When to Seek Medical Care for Osteoporosis
If you are past menopause and have constant pain in areas such as the neck or lower back, consult your doctor for further evaluation. If you are at risk for developing osteoporosis (see risk factors above), also consult your doctor for a medical assessment and bone density screening.
Go to the hospital if you feel severe pain in your muscles or bones that limits your ability to function. Go to the hospital's emergency department if you have sustained trauma or suspect fractures of your spine, hip, or wrist.
Osteoporosis Exams and Tests
The doctor will usually begin with a careful history to determine if you have osteoporosis or if you may be at risk for the disease. You will be asked a variety of questions regarding lifestyle and other conditions that you may have. The doctor will also ask if you have a family history of osteoporosis or a history of previous broken bones. Often blood tests are used to measure calcium, phosphorus, vitamin D, testosterone, and thyroid and kidney function.
Based on a medical examination, the doctor may recommend a specialized test called a bone mineral density test that can measure bone density in various sites of the body. A bone mineral density test can detect osteoporosis before a fracture occurs and can predict future fractures. A bone mineral density test can also monitor the effects of treatment if the tests are performed a year or more apart and may help determine the rate of bone loss.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/9/2015
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE
Must Read Articles Related to Osteoporosis
Patient Comments & Reviews
The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Osteoporosis:
Osteoporosis - Symptoms
The symptoms of osteoporosis can vary greatly from patient to patient. What were your symptoms at the onset of your disease?
Osteoporosis - Treatment
Please describe how you're treating your osteoporosis.
- Early Care for Your Premature Baby
- What to Eat When You Have Cancer
- When to Take More Pain Medication