Diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis

The importance of diagnosing osteoporosis at the right time and treatment options available

By Dr CM Batra

Osteoporosis is a skeletal disorder of low bone density that progresses silently over a long period of time. The fractures associated with the disease can be prevented, if diagnosed early. Unfortunately, osteoporosis remains undiagnosed until a fracture occurs.

The examination checkup for osteoporosis involves several steps:

  • Initial physical exam: The doctor takes a routine check up for your body.
  • X-Rays: These are performed in order to detect skeletal disorders in your body, if any.
  • Laboratory tests: These are done to reveal important information about metabolic processes of bone breakdown and formation. They help the doctor in identifying the conditions contributing to bone loss.
  • Bone mineral density test: It is the best way to determine your bone health. These tests can identify osteoporosis, determine your risk fractures and measure your response to the osteoporosis treatment. Although no bone density test is 100% accurate, this type of test is the single most important predictor of whether a person will have a fracture in the future.

Before the examination, the doctor might ask you a few questions to record your medical history and lifestyle.

  • About any previous fractures
  • Family history about osteoporosis
  • Ongoing medications
  • Your daily exercise pattern
  • Menstrual history in case of women
  • About medical problems which contribute to bone loss

The treatment for osteoporosis focuses on slowing down and stopping the mineral loss, increasing bone density, preventing fractures and controlling the pain. But it depends on the cause of your condition to a large extent.

  • Diet: Normal bone mass can be assured if one consumes enough calcium (1000 mg daily) in your diet. Milk, salmon and other foods high in calcium content should be incorporated. A normal body weight should be maintained.
  • Specialists: People who have spinal, hip, or wrist fractures should be referred to an orthopedic surgeon for further management.
  • Exercise: Lifestyle modification should also be incorporated into your treatment. Regular exercise can reduce the likelihood of bone fractures associated with osteoporosis.
  • Prevention of falls.

Times wellness presents “Prevention & Treatment of Osteoporosis” on 21st October'10 from 2:30pm-5pm at Apollo Hospitals, Sarita Vihar. Free Bone density to all participants. For free registration call- 011-26825708/23782031.

Picture credit: Familybunker.com

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