Osteoporosis is a disease that affects the bones and makes them weaker and thinner than normal (Kanis, 2002). Once changed, the bones become fragile and prone to more often fractures compared to normal healthy bones (Kanis, 2002). In osteoporosis, there is an implication that a patient’s bones lack calcium and minerals, or their levels are low (Kanis, 2002). In a recent study, I diagnosed one of my female patients with osteoporosis. However, based on her age, making a clear and vivid explanation is a bit more necessary to offer to make her understand what is ailing her and what the T scores typically mean.
What I will tell the patient about her condition
To start with, informing the patient about the reasons for taking her bone density figures will help to make her understand the T scores meaning. However, I will tell her that the test done to her was necessary because elderly women are more likely to suffer from such a condition as compared to people of other age groups (Lane, 2006). Because she already has osteoporosis, I will tell her how to manage and treat the condition. As aging comes in, bones automatically become thinner and weaker, and in the process, they become fragile and prone to fractures (Lane, 2006).
I will tell her that bone density screening is not just done on any patient but on people who are in their sixties or those with osteoporosis. However, there are reasons why women in their sixties and above are more prone to this condition as compared to men. Women have a lower peak bone density than men, and in their sixties, the level goes lower than in men of the same age (Prentice, 2004). I will encourage her that the condition is not life-threatening if a patient pays it the right attention and follows instructions from a physician.
Information to patient about test results meaning, significance of bone density studies and significance of T scores
When measuring bone density, results obtained gauge against a peak of -1 and above. For people who are in their early thirties, their bone density values define bone density peak (Richmond, 2003). The patient’s bone density subtracts from the peak and a physician determines the next course of action (Richmond, 2003). Through T-score results, advising a patient about osteoporosis will make patients stronger, and they will know how to live safely to avoid worsening their situation.
Bone density studies are important because they offer an overview of the extent to which a person is at risk of developing osteoporosis (Richmond, 2003). For the elderly in the society, bone density studies help to check the strength of their bones and recommend on relevant actions (Kanis, 2002). On the other hand, it is easier to figure the deterioration rate of a patient and the information will aid subsequent health visits. In bone diseases, bone density studies are critical for early detection and prevention of the condition (Lane, 2006).
Significance of t-scores is of much help. The score retrieved from a test enables the physician to know condition extents and classify it correctly. If a person’s T-score indicates -1 and above, their bone density matches normal bone density, and they are less susceptible to osteoporosis (Richmond, 2003). For T-score of -1 and -2.5, it is a sign that the bone density of a person is below normal, and they are likely to suffer from osteoporosis in the future (Richmond, 2003). Another score retrieved is that which has a value of -2.5 and below. With this figure, it is a sign that the patient’s bone density is below normal, and osteoporosis is present in the bones (Richmond, 2003).
Risk factors associated with osteoporosis and current treatment and management available for the condition as the t-scores
There are several risk factors that enhance this state. For example, when a person exposes to radiations, their chances to have weakened bones grows (Prentice, 2004). Thus, I will pass this to my patient so that she can avoid such emissions. Another risk factor associated with the condition is being inactive, and the patient should take the initiative seriously (Prentice, 2004). Other risk factors related to osteoporosis include drinking and smoking, family histories and some forms of medications that trigger and boost the state (Lane, 2006).
If suffering from osteoporosis, management and treatment options are available to patients. To manage it, patients can consider hip protectors to help them manage their bodies and avoid fractures (Kanis, 2002). Another way to manage osteoporosis is to cut on the polypharmacy use that includes sedatives as they aid weakening of bones (Kanis, 2002). Adequate calcium and vitamin intake should start immediately. Patients take at least 0.5g of calcium and 800-IU of vitamin D for efficient and proper management of the condition (Lane, 2006).
In post-menopausal women, use of bisphosphonate can treat the condition (Prentice, 2004). However, there are cases where bisphosphonate is not applicable, and calcitriol applies. Additionally, the most common form of treatment is the use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) (Prentice, 2004). The method applies in both treatment and prevention of the condition, and is commonly used in women with post-menopausal symptoms (Prentice, 2004). In addition, the treatment option has some side effects and before starting the therapy, informing the patient is necessary. However, it all goes with the way a patient manages their condition. If managed correctly, the condition will not trouble them.
Kanis, J. A. (2002). Diagnosis of osteoporosis and assessment of fracture risk. The Lancet, 359(9321), 1929-1936.
Lane, N. E. (2006). Epidemiology, etiology, and diagnosis of osteoporosis. American journal of obstetrics and gynecology, 194(2), S3-S11.
Prentice, A. (2004). Diet, nutrition and the prevention of osteoporosis. Public health nutrition, 7(1a), 227-243.
Richmond, B. (2003). DXA scanning to diagnose osteoporosis: do you know what the results mean?. Cleveland Clinic journal of medicine, 70(4), 353-360.