Diagnosed with Osteoporosis: Questions To Ask Your Doctor

Diagnosed with Osteoporosis: Questions To Ask Your Doctor

Dr. Pauline Camacho, director of the Loyola University Health System Osteoporosis and Metabolic Bone Disease Center, encourages patients to approach their doctors with the following questions:

If you have not been diagnosed with osteoporosis:

  • Do I need a bone density test (also known as a DEXA scan)? Necessity differs based on sex, timing of menopause, occurrence of fractures and other factors.

If you have been diagnosed with osteoporosis:

  • How much calcium and vitamin D should I get each day?
  • What kind of exercises should I be doing?
  • I have osteopenia (a possible precursor to osteoporosis). Does this condition always require drugs?
  • I have osteoporosis. How long should I stay on the drugs prescribed? Ask whether a drug holiday (a brief break from prescribed daily medications) may eventually be required.
  • Are there certain diseases that can look like osteoporosis that we should consider? A disease called osteomalacia, which entails softening of the bones, looks like osteoporosis but should not be treated with osteoporosis drugs.
Originally Printed in Chicago Health Spring 2010.