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Talking with Your Healthcare Provider

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A dialogue with your physician or healthcare professional is essential in preventing, detecting and treating osteoporosis. Here are some key issues to discuss during your visit:

Symptoms: Let your physician or healthcare professional know if you are experiencing any warning signs of osteoporosis.  Remember, osteoporosis doesn't hurt until you break a bone.

Family Medical History: If someone in your family has osteoporosis or had a fragility fracture, you may also be at risk.

Bone Mineral Density (BMD) Scan: Women over age 65 should be screened with this simple test to determine bone strength. If you have one or more of the risk factors described in this booklet, you should consider getting a BMD scan, regardless of your age. Other common situations that suggest a test may be required:

  • Post-menopausal women under age 65
  • Men over age 50 with risk factors
  • Any person with a fragility fracture

Even if you don't fit into one of these categories and don't need to be tested now, it is still important to work on improving your bone health.

Diagnosis and Treatment: If diagnosed with osteoporosis, discuss treatment options, and how to prevent further bone loss, disability, pain and fractures. If you don't have osteoporosis, ask if there are changes you need to make to keep your bones in good shape.

Diet: Know your daily Calcium and vitamin D intake, and talk about appropriate nutritional requirements.

Physical Activity: Discuss how much exercise is needed, what type of exercise, and how can it help to build strong bones.

Medications: Make a list of the medications you take and find out whether they can contribute to bone loss.

Vision and Balance: Check your vision regularly. Poor vision can lead to falls and broken bones. If you have vision or balance problems, or difficulties walking - you may need further testing to rule out any problems.  You may also need to make some changes at home to lessen your risk of tripping and falling.