Osteoporosis is defined as low bone mass leading to increased fracture risk. It is a disorder, more common in women, that causes bones to become fragile and more susceptible to breaking. Osteoporosis is often called a “silent disease” because it usually progresses slowly and without symptoms until a fracture occurs.
When a low bone density is identified early through screening, lifestyle changes and therapies can help protect bone health and reduce the risk of fractures. Osteoporosis occurs when bones become weak and fragile.
What causes osteoporosis?
There are several factors which cause osteoporosis, but age alone is the risk factor. The other factors which cause osteoporosis are:
- Lack of calcium
- Lack of Vitamin D
- A sedentary lifestyle
- Thyroid conditions
- Certain medications which include Antiseizure drugs
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How osteoporosis is screened?
Osteoporosis can be screened only with the help of a bone density test. A bone density test can diagnose osteoporosis before a broken bone occurs. This test helps to estimate the density of bones and the chances of breaking a bone. A bone density test of the hip and spine by a central DXA machine diagnoses osteoporosis. DXA stands for “Dual-energy X-ray Absorptiometry”.
DXA scanning focuses on two main areas i.e. the hip and the spine. It estimates the amount of bone in the hip, spine and sometimes other bones. The result of the DXA test helps the doctor to make recommendations to protect the bones.
Women are highly recommended to take bone density tests at regular intervals to reduce the risk of fractures and make required changes in their lifestyle to protect their bones and avoid osteoporosis.