December 8th, 2016
Osteoporosis is a condition in which bones become weak and fragile, leading to an increased vulnerability to develop fractures with mild trauma or physical force. Osteoporosis is asymptomatic, you won’t know your bones have become weak until they break with minimal pressure!
This condition is a female condition, is perhaps one of the most common misconceptions! Did you know that approximately 44 million Americans have this condition or osteopenia (low mass of bones), among which 20% are men? Here is what you should know:
Bone turnover (or wear and tear) is a natural process during which old and worn out bone is replaced by a new and more sturdy, tensile bone. This condition occurs when your body is unable to perform this remodeling process efficiently.
Based on family history, risk factors and physical examinations, doctor may suspect osteoporosis. Dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry also known as DXA or DEXA scan is the most common diagnostic parameter for osteoporosis. It calculates the bone mineral density (BMD) at spine and hip, and gives scores called T score. T- score ranging between -1.0 and – 2.5 indicates osteopenia while T score of -2.5 or less indicates this condition. DEXA is also used to locate the fractures in vertebrae.
Other tests include, blood testing (calcium and vitamin D evaluation) and urine tests.
Men who age between 50 and 69 and have certain risk factors should get their BMD checked. Men who are 70 or above should also get their BMD evaluated even if they are not at risk. If doctor suggests DXA, person should get central DXA of the spine and hip. Spine DXA is difficult to be interpreted in adults, in such case BMD can be determined through forearm. Depending upon the condition, another DXA may be required, after 1 or 3 years to determine if there is any further bone loss or to check the treatment responses.