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  • Osteoporosis
  • Visiting the doctor
  • Examination & Referral
  • Osteoporosis occurs when bones become thin, causing bones to become fragile and break easily, often following a minor bump or fall. These broken bones are often referred to as fragility fractures. The wrists, hips and spine are most commonly affected. This disease is often referred to as the fragile bone disease.
  • Diagnosis
  • The patient would visit their doctor if they had the following signs/symptoms pain, height loss, sudden, severe back pain, especially in older women, as this often signifies a spinal compression fracture. The doctor would then proceed to do the appropriate tests.
  • Treatment & Prevention
  • The doctor would start by checking the patients temperature, blood pressure and pulse, & would then go on to more serious tests such as a bone density test, check their FRAX score and laboratory tests. The GP may refer their patient for a bone mineral density scan, known as a dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA, or DXA) scan.
  • Lifestyle changes
  • The FRAX tool uses information about bone density and other risk factors for breaking a bone to estimate patients 10-year fracture risk. It estimates the enhanced of breaking a hip as well as breaking a hip or other major bones over the next ten years. Additionally a DXA test detects small percentages of bone loss. It is used to measure bone density of the whole skeleton. If all tests show irregular results, the patient will then be diagnosed as having Osteoporosis.
  • Its vital to avoid falls or slips. If an individual is unsteady on their feet or are often falling over, they can speak to their GP in relation to poor eyesight, certain medications, poor muscle strength and balance. These can be treated/changed to ensure the safety of the patient. However additionally bisphosphonates, hormone therapy, parathyroid hormone have all been used and prescribed by doctors and physicians to help treat and slow the development of osteoporosis.
  • By making positive lifestyle changes and following appropriate treatment strategies suggested by doctor, osteoporotic fractures can be prevented. Its important to get enough calcium and vitamin D, eat a balanced diet, participate in regular exercise and avoid smoking and limit alcohol to 2-3 drinks per day.
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