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Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis Prevention

11/29/2004

Question:

I am 43 years old, my father and grandmother have very severe osteoporosis. both have had several fractures, my grandmother has had multiple, I am concerned I may be getting this condition, I wake up with pain in my knees, and my fingers are painful to bend, my knuckles are swollen. My doctor has done a sed rate and a RA profile, but has not mentioned the chance of osteoporosis. I have had both ovaries removed at age 30 and prior to that had been on depo-lupran for endometrosis, I now have read this could even predisposition me to the condition. I am concerned, I know I don`t have severe symptoms yet. But I want to prevent it, is there a test I can have to show me if I could be developeing osteoporosis ? And if so how can I prevent further damage?

Answer:

You may be facing two different conditions: osteoarthritis and osteoporosis.  Joint pain is most commonly associated with either rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis, although other causes are possible.  Osteoporosis does not usually cause pain until a fracture occurs.  At your age it is very important for you to be getting adequate calcium, vitamin D and exercise to reduce the risk of osteoporosis.  Because of the pain you already have, you should continue to see your physician or a rheumatologist who would be able to work with you on both issues.  Further evaluation for osteoporosis could be influenced by whether or not you have been using hormone therapy and other factors.

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Response by:

Margery   Gass, MD Margery Gass, MD
Formely, Professor, Clinical Obstetrics & Gynecology
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati