How to Talk to Your Doctor about Osteoporosis and Spinal Fracture

You've made the decision to talk to your doctor about osteoporosis. Perhaps now you are concerned that you might forget to tell the doctor something during the appointment, or forget to ask all of the questions you have right now! Listed below is information to help you get the most from your doctor's visit!

Male doctor with older female patientStep One: Prepare for Your Visit

  1. Not only is your medical history important, but so is your family medical history. For example, tell your doctor if your mother has or had osteoporosis.

    Also, be sure to tell your doctor if you've been diagnosed with hyperthyroidism, lung problems, kidney or liver disease, multiple sclerosis, or rheumatoid arthritis.

  2. Take a few minutes to review the osteoporosis risk factors list. Make a note of risks that apply to you.
  3. Make a list of all medications you take—prescription and over-the-counter drugs. Include vitamins or supplements.
  4. If you have been treated for cancer, endocrine imbalance (thyroid problem), epilepsy, or menopause (hormone replacement therapy), add these to your list.
  5. Have you had spinal injections (corticosteroid) to help ease back pain? If so, make a note of this.

Step Two: Questions to Ask (choose those that apply to you)

  1. I have chronic back pain or back pain that started suddenly. Do I need an x-ray?
  2. Should I have a bone density test? Please tell me about this test.
  3. What is a T-score? What is my T-score? Is it time to repeat the bone density test?
  4. Do my medications increase my risk for osteoporosis?
  5. I would like to take part in a fall prevention program. Where should I go?
  6. I have difficulty starting and sticking to an exercise program. Please help me.
  7. I want to stop smoking or cut back. Please help me.
  8. If I have osteoporosis, what treatment is available to control the disease?
  9. Is there anything else I should know about osteoporosis?

Questions the Doctor May Ask You

  1. What types of medication do you take and why?
  2. Do you have back pain?
  3. How long have you had back pain?
  4. Have you fallen recently?
  5. When was the last time your eyesight was checked?
  6. Do you ever feel dizzy or light-headed?
  7. Is there a family history of osteoporosis?
  8. Do you smoke?
  9. Do you drink alcohol? If so, how often and how much?
  10. What foods do you eat?
  11. Do you diet often?
  12. Do you exercise? What type of exercise and how often?

The information above will help you get the most out of your appointment, and ir will help your doctor to make the best recommendations regarding preventing or treating your osteoporosis.

Updated on: 08/17/15
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