Here at the Center for Better Bones, we often say that it is difficult to solve a problem you do not fully understand. If you have a bone health problem — or if you or your doctor just suspect you might have a serious bone concern — an osteoporosis medical work-up is in order. As I always say, if it is serious enough for your physician to prescribe an osteoporosis drug, it is serious enough to merit medical testing to look for any hidden causes of the bone loss.
Tests included in the medical workup for osteoporosis
- Vitamin D (25[OH]D) blood test
- Ionized calcium test
- Intact parathyroid hormone blood test (iPTH)
- 24-hour urine calcium excretion test
- Thyroid hormone function test (TSH)
- Markers of bone resorption tests (NTx, Dpd, CTX)
- Vertebral deformity assessment
- Free cortisol test (blood or saliva)
- DHEA test (blood or saliva)
- C-reactive protein test (high sensitivity if possible).
- Homocysteine test (plasma or serum)
- Celiac disease test
- Gluten sensitivity test
- Sex hormone tests
A good osteoporosis medical work-up can include a variety of tests such as the ones listed here. Over and over again we find that such simple medical tests can often reveal important causes of bone loss, such as inadequate vitamin D or a loss of calcium in the urine — problems that can be corrected, leading to improved bone health.
The medical osteoporosis work-up is so important that I have taken the time to write about 13 key tests that will help uncover any hidden medical issues that can cause or contribute to excessive bone loss. In addition, I also provide a discussion on understanding the results of these tests.
Everyone is an individual, and your reasons for bone loss are unique to you as well. Following my “Take Heart and Take Action” slogan, I suggest you print off this information on medical testing, read it, take it to your doctor, and check to see if these tests are appropriate for you.