Don’t wait for a fall to see if you have osteoporosis.
A bone scan or a DEXA scan is an X-ray that is used to diagnose osteoporosis. It’s quick, painless and you may be eligible for a rebate. Make an appointment and ask your doctor about a bone scan.
Make an appointment with your doctor.
If your doctor thinks you're at risk, have them organise a DEXA scan to measure bone density.
An X-ray may suffice if you’ve suffered a recent break.
What will my doctor ask me?
Making an appointment with your doctor is the first step towards taking control of your bone health. At the appointment your doctor will most likely talk to you about:
Diet, calcium, vitamin D, exercise, smoking, alcohol.
- Family history
If you have any siblings or parents who have or had osteoporosis.
- Medical history
Certain conditions can impact your likelihood of having osteoporosis – low sex hormone levels, early menopause, thyroid conditions, coeliac disease, kidney or liver disease.1
- Current medications
It is important that your doctor knows if you take corticosteroids (for asthma or rheumatoid arthritis), or certain other medications, which treat breast cancer or prostate cancer.1
Remember, your doctor wants you to be as healthy as possible so please don’t hesitate to bring up your concerns about osteoporosis.
If your doctor thinks you are at risk, then you can have a simple test that measures your bone density. This test is called a DEXA (dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry) scan. The result of the scan is called a T-score, which helps to diagnose osteoporosis.
DEXA scans are:
- Subsidised by a Medicare rebate, if you are eligible.
If you have broken a bone from a minor fall from standing height, this could be diagnosed with an X-ray.
What if I have osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is serious but it is treatable. Treatment of osteoporosis involves simple lifestyle changes and your doctor may recommend starting a prescription medication.1
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- Osteoporosis Australia. What you need to know about osteoporosis. Consumer guide. 2017. www.osteoporosis.org.au. [Accessed 7 February 2019]