4 Questions to Ask Your Doctor About Osteoporosis
Estimates show that over 200 million people are living with osteoporosis. This condition is characterized by your bone density decreasing resulting in your bones becoming porous. As a result, you are at a higher risk of fracture due to your bones becoming more fragile. If you have osteoporosis, it is important to be informed and the best way to get information is to ask your doctor the right questions.
What is a T-Score?
When you have a bone density test, the T-score is the result. It compares your bone density to that of a healthy adult who is 30 years old. The following scores are used to determine if you have this condition:
- Negative one and higher is considered a normal bone density level
- Levels between negative one and negative 2.5 are diagnosed as osteopenia, or low bone density
- Levels that are negative 2.5 and higher are diagnosed as osteoporosis.
How Much Vitamin D and Calcium is Needed Daily?
These nutrients are essential for bone health. It is important to get enough daily to promote better bone density and overall health. The following are the daily calcium intake recommendations for adults:
- Men and women 19 to 50: 1,000 milligrams
- Men 51 to 70: 1,000 milligrams
- Women 51 to 70: 1,200 milligrams
- Men and women 71 years and older: 1,200 milligrams
The following are the daily vitamin D intake recommendations for adults:
- Men and women 19 to 70: 600 IU
- Men and women age 71 and older: 800 IU
How Often Should Bone Density Testing Be Performed?
Your doctor will provide you with a recommendation based on your general health, the extent of your osteoporosis and your response to medication. However, the general guidelines are every one to two years. If your doctor adds a new medicine to your regimen or switches medicines, you may be told to have another test approximately one year after this treatment program change.
Can Any Lifestyle Changes Help Osteoporosis?
There are some lifestyle changes you can make to promote better bone density, including:
- Achieve and maintain a healthy bodyweight and work
- Ensure that you are getting adequate protein daily
- Develop a regular exercise program
Before you go to each doctor’s appointment, write down any questions that you have. This helps you to remember them so that you can get the answers that you need.