Skip to content

Osteoporosis Health Center

Select An Article

Know Your Osteoporosis Blood Test Markers

    Font Size

    No matter which osteoporosis drug your doctor chooses for you, it's helpful to know as much as possible about how the disease has affected you. One way to tell is to ask about your "markers."

    When you're being treated for osteoporosis, your doctor orders a blood or urine test. This reveals several markers -- levels of different enzymes, proteins, and other substances circulating in the body -- that provide clues about your disease and the progress of your treatment.

    Recommended Related to Osteoporosis

    The Truth About Vitamin D: What Kind of Vitamin D is Best?

    What kind of vitamin D is best? The recommended form of vitamin D is vitamin D3 or cholecalciferol. This is the natural form of vitamin D that your body makes from sunlight. Supplements are made from the fat of lambs' wool. However, a clinical study reported in 2008 suggested that vitamin D2 works as well as vitamin D3. Many supplements contain vitamin D as vitamin D2 or calciferol. It's derived from irradiated fungus. Because this is not the form of vitamin D naturally made by your body, WebMD...

    Read the The Truth About Vitamin D: What Kind of Vitamin D is Best? article > >

    Some of these measures include:

    • Bone-specific alkaline phosphatase (Bone ALP or BALP). This is an estimate of the rate of bone formation over your entire skeleton. Bone formation may sound like a good thing, but depending on the circumstances, too much can be bad. People with osteoporosis generally have BALP levels that are up to three times normal.
    • Osteocalcin. This is another marker of bone formation.
    • Urinary N-telopeptide of type I collagen, or uNTX. This is a marker of bone resorption, or loss of bone.
    • Vitamin D levels. This measure assesses whether you have a deficiency of vitamin D, which is essential for your body's absorption of calcium. You can be taking plenty of calcium, but if you don't have enough vitamin D, it won't be efficiently absorbed by your body.

     

    WebMD Feature

    Next Article:

    Today on WebMD

    Women working out and walking with weights
    Reduce bone loss and build stronger muscles.
    Chinese cabbage
    Calcium-rich foods to add to your diet.
     
    woman stretching
    Get the facts on osteoporosis.
    Porous bone
    Causes, symptoms, risk factors, and treatment.
     
    Lactose Intolerance
    Article
    Woman holding plate of brocolli
    Article
     
    Dairy products
    Tool
    Superfood for Bones
    Slideshow
     
    Screening Tests for Women
    Slideshow
    exercise endometrial cancer
    Article
     
    hand holding medicine
    Article
    Working Out With Osteoporosis
    Video