Treatment of Osteoporosis (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
Osteoporosis Screening and Diagnosis
The Importance of Early Diagnosis
Early detection of low bone mass (osteopenia) or osteoporosis is the most important step for treatment to be effective. If osteopenia or osteoporosis is diagnosed, a person can take action to stop the progression of bone loss. Knowing the risk factors for osteoporosis in order to begin effective prevention or treatment is important.
Certain factors, such as female sex, family history of osteoporosis, small body size, and an inactive lifestyle, are associated with an increased risk of developing osteoporosis. Take the one-minute osteoporosis risk test from the International Osteoporosis Foundation to find out more. If any of these risk factors or other signs of osteoporosis exist, the doctor may recommend measuring bone mass. Because the most common sites of fractures due to osteoporosis are the spine, wrist, and/or hip, bone mineral density (BMD) tests often measure the solidness and mass of bone (bone density) at those sites, as well as in the heel or hand. Bone mineral density tests are performed like X-rays. They are painless, noninvasive, and safe.
Bone mineral density test results are helpful to do the following:
Methods of Diagnosis
Several tests are available to assess bone density. These tests are not painful, and they are noninvasive (meaning that they do not involve surgery). The most common types of tests are listed below:
Howard R Smith, MD
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