Osteoporosis is a condition that makes the bones brittle and prone to breakage. If diagnosed in a timely manner, this condition can be managed well through treatment. If left unchecked, osteoporosis can cause irreversible damage to the bone, making the condition difficult to manage. Let us see how we can ensure the timely diagnosis of osteoporosis by keeping track of certain factors that help with early detection.
Regular Screening For Osteoporosis
Doctors recommend regular screening to identify the onset of osteoporosis early. This type of screening is recommended mainly for older adults, especially older women aged 65 and above, since women are more prone to develop osteoporosis past menopause due to an excess loss of bone density. Women of all age groups are also advised to go through regular screening if they are prone to factors that can increase the chances of developing the condition at a young age. Though older men are comparatively at a lower risk of developing osteoporosis, those with a family history of the condition are encouraged to do regular screening to help identify symptoms as early as possible.
Medical History And Other Factors
The medical history of the patient as well as hereditary factors play an important role in the onset of osteoporosis. Those who have had previous fractures are prone to developing the condition early. Patients who are taking medications that can lower bone density and those with a family history of osteoporosis are at risk of developing osteoporosis. Lifestyle habits such as smoking, excess use of alcohol, lack of exercise and diet lacking in nutrients are all contributing factors to development of osteoporosis. If you feel that you are exposed to any such risks, you should let your doctor know during the screening. Such information can be crucial in diagnosis and while determining the prognosis.
Physical Exam And Tests
Basic physical examination involving checking your height and weight, looking for changes in posture and the way you walk, and checking the muscle strength are routine in determining whether you are at a risk of developing the condition and whether further tests are needed. Follow up tests include a bone mineral density (BMD) test in specific areas such as the spine and hip. BMD tests can help with diagnosis and prediction of fractures. BMD tests can also help with formulating a good treatment plan based on the specific condition of the patient.
Early detection can be of great help in managing and reversing the effects of osteoporosis. The advantages of a timely diagnosis of osteoporosis far outweigh the slight inconvenience of regular screening and tests.