Osteoporosis can be effectively treated if it is detected before significant bone loss has occurred. A medical checkups to diagnose osteoporosis will include a complete medical history, x rays, and urine and blood tests, along with a bone mineral density test.
This test can identify osteoporosis, determine your risk for fractures (broken bones), and measure your response to osteoporosis treatment.
The most widely recognized BMD test is called a dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry, or DXA test which measures bone density at the hip and spine, DXA scanning is currently the most accurate and reliable method used for diagnosing osteoporosis.
Bone density scans are generally used to help determine whether, and which, drug treatment is necessary - some drugs seem to protect one site in the body but not others and this can affect choices of treatment, but most osteoporosis drug treatments reduce the risk of fractures by around 50%.
Men who are found to have a high risk of fracture or who have already broken a bone will normally be referred to specialist centres for assessment and discussion of potential treatments, because the diagnosis of osteoporosis is more complex in men and some treatments are only licensed to be used for post-menopausal women or men on corticosteroid therapy.
Last Updated: Aug 12, 2009