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What Exams and Tests Do Health-Care Professionals Use to Diagnose Osteoporosis?
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. The diagnosis of osteoporosis or osteopenia can be made based on the results of these tests. Osteopenia is lower-than-normal bone density not severe enough to be classified as osteoporosis and is considered by many experts to be a precursor to osteoporosis. 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 4/27/2016
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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.
Osteoporosis - Share Your Experience
Do you or a relative have osteoporosis? Please share your experience.
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