Should you talk to your healthcare provider about bone health?
Everyone should talk to his or her health care provider about bone health. Ask your healthcare provider how nutrition, physical activity, not smoking, and other lifestyle choices can help you promote stronger bones. If you have had a fracture (broken bone) or you have a high risk for breaking a bone, it is important to talk to your healthcare provider about treatment. When necessary, your healthcare provider may recommend a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved osteoporosis medication to help prevent bone loss and reduce your risk of breaking a bone.
Who treats osteoporosis?
It is important that you choose a healthcare provider who is knowledgeable about the diagnosis and management of osteoporosis. An “osteoporosis specialist” is typically an endocrinologist or a rheumatologist, though there are many types of healthcare providers who can diagnosis and treat osteoporosis. Some of these include: primary care providers, geriatricians, gynecologists, internists, and physiatrists. To take an active role in managing osteoporosis, make an appointment with your healthcare provider to discuss your risk factors for osteoporosis and options for treatment.
How will your healthcare provider decide if you need treatment?
There is no one osteoporosis treatment that is the right choice for everyone. When making a decision about treatment, your healthcare provider will take into consideration many factors such as your age, your medical history (including your history of broken bones as an adult), your family history of osteoporosis or fractures, and the results of your bone density test to help determine what treatment is best for you.
It is important to be prepared for your visit to your healthcare provider. Asking the right questions will empower you to make an informed decision about your treatment. Here are a few questions to ask: