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Osteoporosis Symptoms & Diagnosis


Symptoms include:

  • Pain when bones break or collapse
  • Severe back pain with fracture of the vertebrae, wrists, hips, or other bones
  • Loss of height with stooped posture (kyphosis)


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The doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history, and perform a physical exam. Early signs of osteoporosis can be seen with bone density testing:

  • Dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry —measures bone density in the entire body
    • For older men, the American College of Physicians (ACP) recommends that your doctor check for risk factors for osteoporosis. The ACP also recommends that you have this test if you are at an increased risk and are a candidate for drug therapy. Ask your doctor about what is right for you.
  • Single-energy x-ray absorptiometry—measures bone density in the arm or heel
  • Dental x-rays of bone
  • Ultrasound bone density measurement—measures bone density in fingers, heels, and leg bones

Other tests may include:

  • Blood and urine tests —to test for calcium levels or substances created when bone is broken down

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Copyright © 2023 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.

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