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How do doctors diagnose osteoporosis?

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They'll usually take a full medical history, and order tests, like a bone density test. Your doctor will also:

  • Look at your age, whether you have gone through menopause, or broken a bone as an adult, your family history, and your day-to-day habits.
  • Ask about which medications you take.
  • Measure you to see if you have lost height. The doctor will inspect your spine. If it abnormally curves forward, that could be a sign that you've already had spinal fractures due to osteoporosis.

From: Osteoporosis: An Overview WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

National Institutes of Health: "The Surgeon General’s Report on Bone Health and Osteoporosis: What It Means to You."

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons: "Low Back Pain" and "Osteoporosis and Spinal Fractures."

Chad Deal, MD, head, Center for Osteoporosis and Metabolic Bone Disease, Cleveland Clinic. Deal reports serving as an advisor, consultant or speaker for Amgen and Lilly, which make osteoporosis drugs.

National Osteoporosis Foundation: "About Osteoporosis: Moving Safely;" "Calcium/Vitamin D," "What Is Osteoporosis," "Recovering from Broken Bones;" "Factors to Consider When Choosing a Treatment;" "About Osteoporosis: Bone Health Basics;" "Why Healthy Living is Important;" "Factors That Put You At Risk;" "Vitamin D and Bone Health; "Diagnosing Osteoporosis;" and "Fast Facts."

Sherri Betz, PT, physical therapist, Santa Cruz, Ca.; chair, American Physical Therapy Association Bone Health Special Interest Group.

Lenchik, L. , October 2004. American Journal of Roentgenology

National Institutes of Health: ''Osteoporosis Handout on Health."

American Society for Surgery of the Hand: "Wrist Fractures."

News release, FDA.  

Reviewed by David Zelman on May 28, 2019

SOURCES:

National Institutes of Health: "The Surgeon General’s Report on Bone Health and Osteoporosis: What It Means to You."

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons: "Low Back Pain" and "Osteoporosis and Spinal Fractures."

Chad Deal, MD, head, Center for Osteoporosis and Metabolic Bone Disease, Cleveland Clinic. Deal reports serving as an advisor, consultant or speaker for Amgen and Lilly, which make osteoporosis drugs.

National Osteoporosis Foundation: "About Osteoporosis: Moving Safely;" "Calcium/Vitamin D," "What Is Osteoporosis," "Recovering from Broken Bones;" "Factors to Consider When Choosing a Treatment;" "About Osteoporosis: Bone Health Basics;" "Why Healthy Living is Important;" "Factors That Put You At Risk;" "Vitamin D and Bone Health; "Diagnosing Osteoporosis;" and "Fast Facts."

Sherri Betz, PT, physical therapist, Santa Cruz, Ca.; chair, American Physical Therapy Association Bone Health Special Interest Group.

Lenchik, L. , October 2004. American Journal of Roentgenology

National Institutes of Health: ''Osteoporosis Handout on Health."

American Society for Surgery of the Hand: "Wrist Fractures."

News release, FDA.  

Reviewed by David Zelman on May 28, 2019

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