Talking About Diagnostic Tests For Medical Care
About Me
Talking About Diagnostic Tests For Medical Care

Hello, my name is Gregory. When I was a young lad, I had to enter the health care world in an unexpected way. I developed a serious disease out of the blue that took doctors by surprise. I went through so many different testing procedures before my doctors could diagnose the rare disease. Everyone around me reeled as they tried to understand the purpose and process of the diagnostic tests. I hope to help others understand these important tests better through this website. Please come by often to learn all you need to know about medical diagnostics and working closely with health care professionals.

Talking About Diagnostic Tests For Medical Care

You've Been Diagnosed With Osteoporosis—Now What?

Nanja Bongers

Although there are many conditions you could be diagnosed with that are far worse than osteoporosis, it's nonetheless a difficult disease to combat. Figuring out why you're bones are weakening, joints are inflamed and mobility is compromised can be tricky and quite painful in the process. A bone-density test should tell you for sure, but thereafter, you and your medical team will have much to do before you find the relief you need.

The Characteristics of Osteoarthritis

While there are no less than 171 different types of arthritis, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are generally the more common forms. Most types of arthritis plague a person with similar symptoms, such as stiffness, inflammation and pain; however, understanding the specific type you have leads to more specific and hopefully, more successful treatment.

Rheumatoid and other auto-immune types of arthritis are the result of the body's own forces attacking joints, whereas osteoarthritis is a gradual reduction of bone strength and density. Other symptoms predominant with osteoarthritis include:

  • Hip, back, neck, knee and hand joint discomfort.
  • Specific joint problems in areas over-used or injured.
  • Wearing away of the protective cartilage between the joints.
  • Eventual spurs developing within the vulnerable joints.
  • Movement of the joint(s) becomes increasingly difficult.

Unavoidable Risk Factors

Some factors for developing arthritis are simply beyond your control, but it's important to identify them, so you can calculate your risk factors, take possible preventative steps and understand how you may be affected moving forward.

  • Your genetic profile: A family history of the disease can increase your chances of being diagnosed; thus, it's important to present this information to your doctor.
  • Age: Although anyone can develop osteoarthritis, it generally occurs as people age or if they've been injured.
  • Gender: Women tend to have more problems with arthritis than men.
  • Taking certain medications: Certain thyroid, asthma, lupus and other medications may also put your bones at risk of degeneration.

Risk Factors You Have Some Control Over

Knowing how you can help yourself is perhaps the most powerful information regarding health and to some extent, there is something you can do about osteoarthritis. Whether you're looking to possibly prevent it or trying to control it, lifestyle changes often have a major impact on the symptoms of osteoarthritis you will experience:

  • Your weight: Being overweight puts undue pressure on joints, bones and muscles; 31 percent of people with arthritis are obese.
  • Smoking: People who smoke tend to have more frequent issues with osteoarthritis than those who don't.
  • Alcohol consumption: Alcohol also may play a part in creating more porous and therefore, weakening bones and joints.
  • Inactivity: Regular, moderate exercise generally improves conditions for most types of arthritis, whereas being idle has the opposite effect.
  • Nutrition: A body that doesn't get sufficient amounts of calcium may be more at risk.

The Evolution of Treatment

For many generations, arthritis of any form was viewed as an inevitable consequence of living longer; however, times have fortunately changed. With more specificity in the diagnostic process, doctors are able to focus on minimizing symptoms, stopping the damage in some cases and helping patients to help themselves.

  • Medications: Anti-inflammatory drugs and analgesics are commonly prescribed as effective relief for osteoporosis.
  • Surgery: Sometimes joint replacement is a viable option for patients with severely degraded joints.
  • Natural remedies: Physical therapy, hydro-therapy, improved nutrition and other lifestyle changes are encouraged to help those with osteoarthritis feel better.

With your diagnosis of arthritis comes a lot of personal responsibility to work in cooperation with the treatment plan your doctor develops for you. Although there is no cure for osteoarthritis, consistent therapy in the form of medication and healthy habits should work well to reduce your pain and discomfort.

A positive attitude, restful sleep and stress-management are all also going to act in your best interest when it comes to chronic pain. Different treatments work better for different individuals, though, so be patient as you and your doctor try to determine the best way to improve your outlook with osteoporosis.