Osteoporosis in Men (cont.)
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Screening for Osteoporosis in Men
Early detection of low bone mass (osteopenia) or osteoporosis is the most important step for prevention and treatment. Even after osteopenia or osteoporosis has occurred, actions can be taken to stop the progression of bone loss. Remember, effective treatment or prevention cannot take place if a man does not know he has osteoporosis or is at risk.
The only way to accurately test the strength and solidness of the bones is with bone mineral density tests also called DEXA scan, which are performed like X-rays and measure the solidness and mass (bone density) of bones. National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends BMD testing for men over age 70, men aged 50-69 with risk factors, X-rays showing fractures or bone loss, fractures over the age of 50, height loss of more than ½ inch in one year or 1 ½ inch from original height.
The doctor will take a medical history, asking questions to identify risk factors. The doctor should conduct a complete physical exam, including measuring height and weight, obtaining X-rays, and testing urine and blood. Inform the doctor at once if a loss of height, change in posture, or sudden back pain is noticed because this can indicate a fracture of the spine (vertebral fracture).
Mythili Seetharaman, MD
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