A loss of bone density and strength can ultimately lead to a diagnosis of osteoporosis and the potential of years ahead of morbidity that you wouldn't wish on your worst enemy. Diagnosing osteoporosis must be taken seriously and it must be diagnosed as early as possible so that you can salvage as much bone loss as you can.
There are very high health costs associated with an inaccurate or a missed diagnosis of osteoporosis since this can lead to unnecessary bone loss and additional fractures that could have been prevented.
When you see your physician for an exam and she is trying to determine if you have osteoporosis, and if this is a positive diagnosis, she will also look to determine if you have either primary or secondary osteoporosis.
Primary osteoporosis means the osteoporosis itself is the root of the problem. Secondary osteoporosis means that there is an underlying health condition that is creating the osteoporosis. Some of the causes of secondary osteoporosis can be chronic alcohol use, diabetes, Cushing's disease, lymphoma, multiple myeloma or even Marfan's syndrome. Your healthcare provider must know whether you have primary or secondary osteoporosis since the treatment is different for both.
The gold standard used when diagnosing osteoporosis is the DEXA scan, which disperses very low amounts of radiation. This test takes about 10 minutes to complete and is totally painless. With the DEXA scan the bones in the hip, the spine or the wrist are examined to determine the accurate density of the bone.
Your physician will interpret the results and based on standardized findings will be able to The DEXA scan will be able to establish if you are at a higher risk than others in the norm group to sustain a bone fracture.
Current recommendations suggest that all women over the age of 65, postmenopausal women under the age of 65 who have multiple risk factors, patients who have taken a long-term course of oral corticosteroids, and patients with a hyperparathyroidism should have a DEXA scan to determine bone density and risks.
Diagnosing osteoporosis is a painless and rather simple thing for your health care practitioner to do. Particularly if you are in the risk group, see your healthcare provider for a complete history and physical exam along with any appropriate bone scans, such as the DEXA scan so that you can have a definitive diagnosis of osteoporosis or not. Your health depends on it.
We all want to live healthy and when there is something so simple that you can do about it, take action. There's no pain involved...well, that is unless you choose to ignore your osteoporosis and then you will have to contend the rest of your life with the results of bone fractures that you possible could have avoided.
Make the call! Your health deserves it!
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