DIAGNOSIS

Even if you’ve never broken a bone, taking action early can improve your overall bone health.

Don’t wait until you’ve broken a bone.

Understand your risk of fracture and talk to your doctor today.

What will my doctor ask me?

Lots of things contribute to bone health and help to protect your bones. Your doctor will talk to you about:1

  • Lifestyle:
    Diet, calcium, vitamin D, exercise, smoking, alcohol
  • Family history;
    If you have any siblings or parents with fractures in the past
  • Medical history:
    Certain conditions can impact bone strength such as low sex hormone levels, early menopause, thyroid conditions, coeliac disease, kidney or liver disease
  • Current medications:
    It is important that your doctor knows if you take corticosteroids (for asthma or rheumatoid arthritis), or certain other medications, which treat breast cancer or prostate cancer.

How is osteoporosis diagnosed?1

  • Osteoporosis is diagnosed by reviewing your medical history and may involve some specific tests that look at your bone structure and strength.
  • If you already have a broken bone from a minor fall from standing height this can be diagnosed on an x-ray.
  • If your doctor thinks you are at risk, then you can have a simple test that measures your bone density. This test is called a DEXA (dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry) scan.

Am I at risk?

Some people have risk factors that make them more likely to develop osteoporosis.2

What does the DEXA test show?

The results of the test are called a T-score, which helps to diagnose osteoporosis.

Rachel, GP practice nurse*

“I see the impact of broken bones every day. A simple break can affect my patients’ ability to do everyday things. Many patients don’t know that breaking a bone such as a wrist means they might have osteoporosis. If you have had a fall and broken a bone, get checked out. Early intervention is simple and effective to help prevent future falls and breaks.”

* Rachel is a fictitious nurse

If you have broken a bone in a minor bump or fall, talk to your doctor today.

References:

1. Osteoporosis Australia. What you need to know about Osteoporosis. Consumer guide. 2017. www.osteoporosis.org.au. 2. Osteoporosis Australia. Are your bones in the danger zone? 2015. www.osteoporosis.org.au.

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