According to the
National Osteoporosis Foundation, it has been a
problem for many individuals to find a doctor
who is knowledgeable about osteoporosis. There
is no physician specialty dedicated to
osteoporosis, nor is there a certification
program for health professionals who treat the
disease. Therefore, a variety of medical
specialists are treating people with
osteoporosis, including internists,
gynecologists, family physicians,
endocrinologists, rheumatologists, physiatrists
There are a number of ways to
find a doctor who treats osteoporosis patients.
If you have a primary care physician or a family
doctor, discuss your concerns with him or her.
Your doctor may be able to refer you to an
If you are enrolled in an HMO
or managed care health plan, consult your
assigned physician about osteoporosis. This
doctor should be able to give you an appropriate
If you do not have a personal
physician or your doctor cannot help you, you
may contact your nearest university hospital or
health center and ask for the department that
cares for patients with osteoporosis. The
department will vary from institution to
institution. For example, in some facilities,
the department of endocrinology or metabolic
bone disease treats osteoporosis patients. In
other medical centers, the appropriate
department may be rheumatology, orthopedics, or
gynecology. Some hospitals have a separate
osteoporosis program or women's clinic that
treats osteoporosis patients.
You can also find a doctor by using the
NOF Patient Info -
How to Find a Doctor
communication is the key to a successful
doctor-patient relationship. Communication is
important because it makes it easier for your
doctor to properly diagnose and treat your
discussing your health concerns with your
doctor, you will find you are more satisfied
with your care.
are no "stupid" questions when it comes to your
the Doctor's Office
nurse that you requested some extra time to
be sure to
mention any medications that you are
currently taking, including vitamin
from your list
doctor to explain any medical terms you do
the following 'Questions To Ask' about
osteoporosis so you're prepared to discuss this
important health issue with your health care
- Am I at risk for
osteoporosis? Will I be at-risk as I get
- What symptoms should
I look for?
- How can I limit my
risk and prevent osteoporosis?
- Am I taking any
medicines that could put me at higher risk
for developing osteoporosis?
- What tests should I
have to determine if I have bone loss or
- What medications are
available to treat or prevent osteoporosis?
What are their benefits and side effects?
Will these drugs interact with any other
medications that I am taking?
- Are there any other
things I can do, besides taking medication,
to reduce my risk of osteoporosis and bone
- How do I know if I
have fractured a bone in my spine?
- What kinds of
exercise are best for me, and how often
should I exercise?
- How much calcium
should I get from my diet? Should I take
- How do vitamin D and
milk help me get enough calcium in my
system? What should I do to make sure I'm
getting enough vitamin D and dairy products
you are unclear about any of the information the
doctor has given you, repeat it to him/her to
see if your understanding is correct.
Following Your Visit:
notes. If you still have questions, call
your doctor's office for further
doctor's orders. Prevention or treatment
programs prescribed by your doctor will only
be successful if you follow them carefully.
was prescribed, keep a daily log of when you
take it and how you feel. The doctor will
want to know about any side effects that you
are some other sample questions that you may
want to ask your doctor:
How can I
strengthen my bones?
What type of
exercise is best?
calcium do I need and what are the best
sources of calcium?
smoking and drinking alcohol affect my bone
Do any of the
medications I take affect my bone health?
measures can I take to prevent myself from
When should I
come in for a follow-up exam?
should I have my bone mass measured?
call your doctor:
your health professional immediately
- You think you have a broken bone, you
notice swelling, or you cannot move a part
of your body.
- You have sudden, severe pain when
bearing weight on a part of your body.
- You notice that one of your arms or legs
is abnormally shaped. This may mean that you
have a broken bone.