Osteoporosis is called "the silent disease"-- it rarely has symptoms. As a
result, most patients go undiagnosed. Advanced osteoporosis can cause tremendous
pain and frequent fractures. Yet there are several tests to identify osteoporosis
early. They differ in cost, convenience and accuracy, but they are all painless,
non-invasive, and helpful.
Who should get a bone density test? Ask your doctor what's best for you. The
National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends that all women over 65 be tested.
In addition, menopausal women under 65 with one or more risk factors should
be tested. Risk factors include a history of steroids or thyroid medication
use, eating disorders, smoking, being very thin, excessive alcohol use, low
dietary calcium or a family history of osteoporosis. While white women are
at increased risk for osteoporosis, this does not mean that women of color are
not at risk. These criteria apply to ALL women.
What if you get tested for osteoporosis and you have it? The good news is
that there are several treatment options. We'll discuss these tomorrow on DrDonnica's
Women's Health Report.
Click here for related information.
Created: 10/26/2000  - Donnica Moore, M.D.