Osteoporosis is a pathology that cause a lot of problem, like vertebral fractures, and a thinning of the bones.
A person suffering from this disease has got different symptoms, like:
- back pain;
- Limited mobility;
- Height loss
- Difficulty walking and standing
Osteoporosis diagnosis is often after the first symptoms, or a facture caused by the weakening of the bones.
The DEXA scan - also called DXA - is the most common exam to diagnose this pathology. It’s a dual energy X an it take around 15 minutes.
This scansion can measure patient’s spine, hip, or total body bone mineral density (BMD) and with an analysis it give a score that helps to determinate if the patient has osteoporosis or not:
- above -1 is normal;
- between -1 and -2.5 is classed as osteopenia (in this case the bone density is lower than average but not it’s not classed as osteoporosis);
- below -2.5 is classed as osteoporosis
The BMD result is not the only factor to analyze for the osteoporosis diagnosis. The doctor, in fact, must consider also other elements, like the age, sex and all the injuries before, only when he compare all these data, he can decide whether treatment the patient need.
The bone mineral density is determinate by heredity, almost 80% and bay lifestyle, almost 20% and it’s important to know for decide which prevention or medical treatment steps are needed.
Osteoporosis diagnosis can be made also with ultrasound and quantitative computed tomography (QCT), always to measure Bone mineral density.
After these tests the doctor, if the diagnosis is positive, may order a blood or urine test to see the metabolism of bone and to provide- indicating the levels of different enzymes, proteins and other substance in the body - the severity of the disease.