Symptoms and diagnosis of osteoporosis

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Osteoporosis is a silent disease. People can get awareness, until they suffer from fractured wrist, hip or spine. Most prominent symptoms of osteoporosis are:

osteoporosis_symptom2

  • Bone pain
  • Abdominal pain
  • Height loss
  • Tooth loss
  • Rib pain
  • Muscle and spine pain
  • Neck pain
  • Fatigue
  • Stooped posture
  • Periodontal disease
  • Broken bones
  • Arthritis
  • Tendonitis

Diagnosis of osteoporosis

An x-ray can reveal osteoporosis which shows thinner and lighter bones than the healthier ones.DXA (DEXA) a form of BMD test measures the bone density in the spine and hips. It is quite precise and uses    fewer doses of radiation. Bone density as compared to healthy bones is measured in terms of T score. Osteoporosis has an average T score of -2.5 SD or below while osteopenia which is a middle stage between healthy bones and osteoporosis has a T score between -1 and 2.5 SD.

Bone mineral density test can be used to:

  • Predict chances of fracture
  • Detect bone mass density
  • Diagnose osteoporosis
  • Determine the bone loss rate

Various lab tests and bone scan are some other tests required for diagnosing osteoporosis.

A bone scan is different from bone mineral density test in which a patient is injected with a dye and a scanner identifies the areas of bone tissues where there are differences in conditions. It shows fractures, inflammation, cancer and any bone lesions.

Lab tests involve, number of blood and urine tests. Blood tests are performed to evaluate:

  • Functioning of thyroid glands
  • Levels of parathyroid hormone
  • Blood calcium levels
  • Blood vitamin D levels
  • Levels of testosterone in men
  • Level of follicle stimulating hormone
  • Estrogen level in women
  • Level of osteocalcin to check bone formation

Postmenopausal women or a woman aged 65 years or older is more prone to osteoporosis. By changing life style, intake of healthy food, using medicines that add calcium and prevent loss of bone mass and a regular exercise are the only ways that can help prevent osteoporosis in both men and women.

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