If you are a woman in your 50s, it might be a good idea for you to go to your doctor to get a bone density test. This test is used to diagnose osteoporosis, which is a disease that causes weakening of the bones. If you have osteoporosis, it is better to find out sooner rather than later. If you find out at an early stage, you might have a better chance of treating it and preventing further bone mass loss. Here are three things to understand about this disease.
What Is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is disease that affects the bones in your body. When you get this disease, it causes your bones to lose mass, which weakens them and makes them prone to fractures. This disease is more prevalent in women, and it affects 10 million Americans. Osteoporosis is something anyone can develop, but it tends to be more common with people:
There is no way to completely reverse the effects of osteoporosis if you already have it, but there are ways to prevent it in most cases. One of the most important tools for preventing this disease is ensuring that your body gets enough calcium each day. Calcium builds and strengthens the bones in your body, and taking Vitamin D in addition to calcium helps your body absorb the calcium more.
What Is A Bone Density Test?
If you want to find out how healthy your bones are, you can get a bone density test. There are several different types of bone density tests your doctor may conduct, and these tests will tell you if you have osteoporosis or if you are at risk for developing it.
One is called a dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) test. This test measures the bone mass in your spine and hip. X-rays are helpful in determining bone mass loss, but doctors can also complete tests in other ways. One other option is through an ultrasound, which is a test that measures bone mass with sound waves.
How Is It Treated?
If you are diagnosed with osteoporosis or if your bone mass is not as dense as it should be, your doctor might refer you to an orthopedic surgeon. When you visit an orthopedic surgeon, he or she may run other tests to determine what stage you are at and will determine a treatment plan that is right for you. There are several ways doctors treat this diseases, including:
If your bone density test reveals that you have osteoporosis, your doctor might also recommend completing exercises or attending physical therapy to help you stay as strong as possible.
As with any disease, early detection is vital. If you have osteoporosis or suspect that you might, you may want to visit an orthopedic surgeon in your area to find out what you can do to stop the disease from worsening.Share
21 October 2015
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