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How can we prevent and diagnose Osteoporosis

To reach optimal peak bone mass and continue building new bone tissue as you age, you should consider several factors.
Calcium: An inadequate supply of calcium over a lifetime contributes to the development of osteoporosis. Food sources of calcium include low-fat dairy products, such as milk, yogurt, cheese, and ice cream; dark green, leafy vegetables, such as broccoli, collard greens, bok choy, and spinach; sardines and salmon with bones; tofu; almonds; and foods fortified with calcium, such as orange juice, cereals, and breads.
Vitamin D: Vitamin D plays an important role in calcium absorption and bone health. It is synthesized in the skin through exposure to sunlight. Food sources of vitamin D include egg yolks, saltwater fish, and liver.
Smoking: Women who smoke have lower levels of estrogen compared with nonsmokers, and they often go through menopause earlier. Smokers also may absorb less calcium from their diets.
Exercise: Like muscle, bone is living tissue that responds to exercise by becoming stronger. Weight-bearing exercise is the best for your bones because it forces you to work against gravity.
Alcohol: Regular consumption of 2 to 3 ounces a day of alcohol may be damaging to the skeleton, even in young women and men.
Medications that cause bone loss: The long-term use of glucocorticoids (medications prescribed for a wide range of diseases, including arthritis, asthma, Crohn’s disease, lupus, and other diseases of the lungs, kidneys, and liver) can lead to a loss of bone density and fracture.

Diagnosis of Osteoporosis

Women who have had a fracture due to fragility are diagnosed with severe osteoporosis and have a high risk for another fracture. Early diagnosis can prevent fractures and slow deterioration of bone tissue.
If the doctor suspects osteoporosis, a bone scan would be suggested. – A common test that measures bone density is called a dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA). This test measures the density of the bones in your hips, spine and wrist, which are all places likely to be affected by osteoporosis.
Quantitative computed tomography (QCT) measures bone density in the hip and spine and produces a three-dimensional image that shows true volume density. QCT has the capacity to isolate an area for testing. The radiation level in QCT is 10 times higher than in DEXA.
Peripheral bone density testing uses ultrasound to identify bone loss in a localized area such as the heel or hand.
Doctor may also order an ultrasound or a computerized tomography (CT) scan to help check the density of your bones.

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