Prevention and Treatment of Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is a disease that affects both men and women. The rate of osteoporosis in Australia is growing, and will continue to do so unless action is taken from a young age to prevent osteoporosis - and appropriate diagnosis and treatment occurs to stop the condition getting worse in patients.
It's important to look out for the risk factors for osteoporosis, to ensure timely diagnosis - and potentially the prevention of osteoporosis. These include (but are not limited to):
- Family history
- Certain medications
- Lifestyle habits
- Low calcium and vitamin D levels
The earlier osteoporosis is picked up the better. It's important for individuals to raise the topic of bone health with their GPs if they have any of the risk factors. Anyone with risk factors over the age of 50 should be checked.
DEXA is the gold standard of bone testing, the results measure bone density in the hip and spine and give much more accurate readings than other methods such as heel ultrasounds.
Unfortunately osteoporosis is often not picked up until a broken bone occurs - usually from a minor incident - follow up treatment is essential (to establish why the break occurred) however often this does not occur.