How is osteoporosis diagnosed?
a bone mineral density test. The bone density test uses a special x-ray to look for signs that your bones are becoming weaker and assigns you a “T-score” based on the results. If your T-score is -2.5 or less, your doctor will diagnose you with osteoporosis. The higher your T-score, the healthier your bones are.
How is osteoporosis treated or managed?
There is no cure for osteoporosis, but the symptoms of the disease can be managed with medicines and lifestyle changes. Depending on your age, sex, and medical history, your doctor will recommend different treatments that will be able to help you.
Exercise can strengthen your bones and muscles and decrease your risk of falling. Your doctor or physiotherapist can help you build a safe exercise plan which suits your needs and reduces your risk of fracturing your bones. like brisk walking, jogging, cycling. Exercises that help improve your balance are useful to help avoid falling over in the future. Examples of some exercises that can help you improve your balance are:
- standing with your feet close together
- standing on one leg
- walking backward
Maintaining a healthy weight
reducing your alcohol consumption to just 2 standard drinks a day can improve your bone strength.
Reducing your likelihood of falling is also important. Consider how you might arrange your home and workplace so you are less likely to trip — for example
fixing down rugs and
keeping the floor clear.
Avoid walking on wet surfaces
If you have osteoporosis, your doctor may recommend medicines to strengthen your bones. These medicines can include:
- Bisphosphonates — to slow down the natural bone density loss process, which is either taken as pills or injected once a year.
- Denosumab — an injection given twice a year which can also slow down the development of osteoporosis.
- menopause hormonal treatment (MHT) — can be given to women under 60 or those who have stopped getting their period in the past 10 years.
- Teriparatide — this can be helpful if you have tried other medicines but your bones are still vulnerable to breaking or fracturing easily.
Can osteoporosis be prevented?
Osteoporosis cannot be entirely prevented, but there are some things you can do to reduce it.
You should discuss their calcium and vitamin D levels with their doctor to check if they could benefit from more calcium or vitamin D. Your doctor may also suggest:
- stopping smoking: t
- maintaining a healthy weight
- cutting back on alcohol
- bone strengthening exercises: weight-bearing exercises, like brisk walking,
- balance training: if you are at risk of falling, balance training can help you stay stable.