How To Tell If You Have Osteoporosis

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How To Tell If You Have Osteoporosis – Medically reviewed by Meredith Goodwin, MD, FAAFP – Editorial Team – Updated 2021 December 14

Osteoporosis is a condition that causes your bones to become thinner, weaker and more brittle. According to the International Osteoporosis Foundation, 21.2 percent of women over the age of 50 and 6.3 percent of older men of the same age suffer from it worldwide.

How To Tell If You Have Osteoporosis

How To Tell If You Have Osteoporosis

Although your bones are very strong, they are made up of living tissue that is constantly being broken down and rebuilt. By age 20, your body can make new bone faster than it breaks down old bone tissue. However, this process slows down as we age.

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As we age, old bone tissue can break down faster than it forms. This can cause your bones to become porous and brittle, which can lead to osteoporosis, which can increase your risk of fractures.

Treating osteoporosis in its early stages is the best way to prevent more serious consequences, such as fractures or bone pain.

So what symptoms should you watch out for and when do they occur? Let’s take a closer look at what is known about the symptoms of osteoporosis in the early and later stages.

Early signs of bone loss are rare. People often don’t know they have weak bones until they break a hip, wrist, or other bone.

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Other than changes in bone density, osteoporosis usually doesn’t cause many initial symptoms. The best way to detect it in its early stages is to talk to a doctor or health care professional, especially if there is a family history of osteoporosis.

Both men and women can develop osteoporosis, but the condition is more common in women because it is often caused by hormonal changes that occur as we age.

The use of immunosuppressive drugs and steroids such as prednisone can also increase the risk of osteoporosis. Anticonvulsant drugs and thyroid replacement therapy (if the dose is too high) can also increase this risk.

How To Tell If You Have Osteoporosis

Your doctor can diagnose osteoporosis by measuring your bone density. A machine called a dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry machine, or DXA machine, can scan your hips and spine to determine your bone density compared to other bones of your gender and age.

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Another type of imaging test that doctors may use to diagnose or confirm a diagnosis of osteoporosis involves an ultrasound, usually of a person’s heel.

Your doctor can interpret the results and tell you whether your bone density is considered normal or below average according to industry guidelines.

Sometimes a doctor diagnoses osteopenia, or low bone mass. It’s not osteoporosis anymore. This means that your bones are not as dense as they should be.

Worldwide, 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men over the age of 50 will experience an osteoporotic fracture, according to the International Osteoporosis Foundation.

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Spinal fractures can make a person shorter because these fractures can shorten the spine. In some cases, fractures may require surgery.

, broken bones can increase the risk of disability or death. In particular, hip fractures are associated with a 15 to 20 percent increase in mortality over one year, particularly among men.

Treatment for osteoporosis includes medications that help build bone mass. These drugs often have hormonal effects, stimulating or acting like estrogen in the body to promote bone growth. Here are some examples of medications used to treat osteoporosis:

How To Tell If You Have Osteoporosis

Romosozumab (Evenity) is a new drug that was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2019. in April to treat osteoporosis in postmenopausal women who are at high risk of fracture.

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It carries a warning because the drug may increase the risk of heart attack or stroke. It is not recommended for people who have previously suffered from these diseases.

Kyphoplasty is a surgical treatment of fractures. Kyphoplasty involves small incisions where a small balloon is inserted into the collapsed vertebrae to restore height and function to the spine. The balloon is replaced with cement, which re-strengthens the bone.

Regular exercise helps build bone mass. Weight-bearing exercises involve physical activity that you do on your feet while the weight is supported by your bones. Examples:

According to the National Institutes of Health, calcium per day. However, this can vary depending on life stage and calcium needs.

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Take vitamin D daily. Vitamin D is important for the body to absorb calcium. Most people need 400 international units (IU) of vitamin D each day.

10 to 15 minutes of sun exposure can stimulate vitamin D production. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, spending this limited time in the sun two to three times a week while wearing sunscreen is enough to meet your vitamin D needs.

Certain exercises can help maintain balance and grip while walking around the house or outdoors. Consider making an appointment with a physical therapist to help you develop a balance training program tailored to your needs.

How To Tell If You Have Osteoporosis

Resources and support are available if you need help. For example, if you smoke, consider talking to your doctor about the best ways to quit, smoking cessation aids, or other resources to help.

Osteoporosis And Bone Loss

Symptoms of osteoporosis can cause pain and discomfort. It is important to make an appointment with your doctor immediately if you experience severe pain, especially in the back, neck, hips or wrists. You may have a broken bone that needs to be evaluated and treated.

If you need help finding a primary care doctor, you can search for doctors in your area using the FindCare tool.

Osteoporosis is a condition that causes your bones to become thinner and more brittle. Because your body’s ability to make new bones slows down as you age, osteoporosis is more common in older people. Although osteoporosis is more common in women, it can also affect men.

Osteoporosis usually has no symptoms. You may not know you have the condition until you break a bone. However, some signs and symptoms such as receding gums, weaker grip strength and more brittle nails can be early warning signs.

Symptoms Of Osteoporosis

Loss of height, slumped posture, back or neck pain, and fractures are often the most common symptoms of later osteoporosis.

If you have any of these symptoms, be sure to make an appointment with your doctor. Through certain tests, they can diagnose osteoporosis and create the right treatment plan for you.

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How To Tell If You Have Osteoporosis

Our experts are constantly monitoring the health and wellness space, and we update our articles as new information becomes available. Osteoporosis is a type of bone disease that occurs when the body loses too much bone or makes too little bone. In other words, the body is unable to form new bone, or perhaps too much of the old bone is being reabsorbed. Bones become weak and more prone to breaking or what we call a compression fracture. In some cases, osteoporosis can make the bone so weak that it can even break when you sneeze. Bone affected by osteoporosis loses its density or mass and no longer has a normal tissue structure.

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Bones are made up of elastic fibers called collagen fibers and minerals. The tissue is alive and contains cells that form and resorb resorbed bone. When you are young, bone is formed faster than it is reabsorbed, and this changes as you age. After 35, your bones will begin to lose density and become less strong. Bone loss determines whether or not you will develop osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a serious case of bone loss. If you have a more severe form of this loss, it is called osteopenia.

1. You are more likely to develop osteoporosis if you are a woman – especially after menopause because you lose estrogen.

Most likely, you will have osteoporosis for a long time before you even notice. In fact, most people don’t realize they have osteoporosis until one of their bones breaks. Most often the bones or vertebrae of the spine. This is called a compression fracture. For more information on compression fractures, including the different types, read here. For this reason, osteoporosis is often called the “silent disease.” However, few people know about osteoporosis. This usually results from back pain that is felt in the region where it is most commonly located (T9-L2). This type of pain is called a compression fracture of the spine. Some people will even notice weakening of the bones due to the loss of height.

If you are someone who is at increased risk of developing osteoporosis, consider taking some of these highly recommended preventative measures now:

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There are many different medications available to treat osteoporosis. Common among most osteoporosis medications are bisphosphonates, which increase bone density. Talk to your doctor to find out which medication is right for you.

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