Questions and Answers About Osteoporosis

 Questions and Answers About Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis qa

Should everyone have bone measurement testing?

No, these are not screening tests. You should discuss your risk factors, such as age, medications, medical history and family history with your physician. Together, you can decide on the usefulness of this test for you.

I had bone testing done and the results were normal. Am I safe?

No. The ability of bone strength testing to predict fractures is limited. The fact that one site has a normal result does not guarantee that bone density is normal in other sites. Also, loss of bone density continues with age. Therefore, steps to decrease the loss of bone strength are important regardless of the results of this test.

The testing that I had done showed that I have osteoporosis, and now my family thinks that I will break a bone if I do anything active. Is this fear real?

No. Osteoporosis is an important indicator of the risk of fracture, but it is only one factor. Lifestyle and environmental factors are also important. A diagnosis of osteoporosis should indicate the need to take steps to minimize the risk of a fracture. For example, check the home health hazards such as electric cords or loose rugs; eliminating these risks will help minimize the chance of a fall. Additionally, you should increase your calcium intake and discuss with your physician an appropriate exercise program and the use of medication to improve your bone density.

How often should I have bone measurement testing?

Repeating the test at intervals of less than two years usually will not lead to useful results.

Questions for your doctor

What are my risk factors for osteoporosis?

Should I be taking hormone replacement therapy (HRT) regardless of the bone measurement test result? If so, what are my risk factors for other problems such as heart disease?

What would you recommend if the test shows:

Normal value (-1.0)

Osteonenia (low bone mass -1.0 to -2.5)

Osteoporosis (-2.5 or below)