i am a 24 year old male from india, and i wonder if i have osteoporosis because:
- in the last year and a half, i have had a disc protrusion in my back (l5 s1) and a ganglion injury on my right wrist.
- also, several people have told me that my hands seem to be very thin, or getting thinner. indians tend to have small frames, but my forearms measure 6" and a little over 5.5" (right and left, respectively), which is thin even for indian standards. i'm pretty thin at my ankles too.
- my mother has osteoarthritis and my father has spinal degeneration, although they are both around 60 years of age.
- about five years ago i turned vegetarian, but didn't really care too much about meeting my nutritional needs. now in the last year and a half i do make sure that i get enough calcium in my diet, and vitamin D. since i got the disc protrusion, i have not been able to do weight bearing exercises.
in my teens i don't really remember being concerned about by frame being thin, so i wonder my bones are becoming thinner in the last few years or or have i always been like this but nobody, including myself, really noticed.
i asked my doctor if i need to get tested for osteoporosis and he thinks i am just "thinking too much". i am concerned about osteoporosis because i don't want to become even thinner!
Hello Kaif and welcome to the board. You have brought up some good points, but until you have a DEXA scan you can't know if you have osteoporosis or not. The only way to tell if your bones are losing density/thinning is for a radiologist to look at the scan and make that determination. Osteo doesn't have any outward signs, it happens inside your body. Could it be that your hands look thinner because you have lost weight from your diet? From what i have read even with osteo the bones stay the same size, only their density is reduced, not the size. If osteo caused people to be thin many of us wouldn't be trying to lose weight. I am not trying to lessen your concerns, but to my knowledge it doesn't work that way unless there are other causes for the weight loss. Being thin is risk factor for osteo and so does family history, but neither of your parents have it.
Walking is a good example of weight bearing exercise and something you do everyday. You could to talk to your dr. about what kinds of exercise you can safely do with your existing back and wrist problems.
Since this is a concern to you maybe you could talk to another dr. who will recommend a DEXA and also look for other causes. Good luck. take care...phyllis
i don't think i have lost much weight in the last many years, so its unlikely that that is that reason. i have read in different places that osteo makes the bones thinner * Disallowed website link and related information removed by hb-mod, moderator * , though that may not necessary mean outwardly thinner, or may just be wrong information.
but you are right, i should simply see another doctor.
Last edited by hb-mod; 08-20-2009 at 04:30 AM.
Reason: Please don't post disallowed links as per Posting Policy. Thanks.
Hi Kaif, i guess i didn't explain properly or i may be wrong. With osteo your bones do get thinner, but to my understanding its more the internal structure that loses density making the bone weaker and more prone to fracture. The bone becomes more porous and structural integrity is lost. Here's another thought to keep in mind....even if a person does have osteo it doesn't mean that they will or ever will break a bone. For your peace of mind try to get a DEXA and find out for sure if you do or don't. Sorry if i've confused you..a dr. could explain it much better. take care...phyllis
People without osteoporosis can have spinal disc problems? Were you in an accident? Discs can degenerate also. I had a ganglion on my hand and have disc problems starting from an accident way before I had osteoporosis.
You might be able to convince your doctor that you need a baseline DEXA scan based on family history. But even if you have it eating a proper diet with calcium and maybe supplements and weight bearing exercise are good starts to treat it. I would think you would ask for testing for osteoarthritis because that can be with a blood test.
I think Phywill is right, the bones get thinner and less dense insidenot noticeable on the outside. The literature does say people that are thinner have thinner bones and are more suspectible to osteoporosis and fractures. Talk with another doctor if yours won't help you.
thanks. i was under the impression that the bones get thinner from the outside as well. perhaps i should still see a doctor especially since i am going to be seeing an orthopedic doctor for my spine in any case.