Signs You Should Have An Osteoporosis Screening

Updated: Oct 20, 2021

This article is a transcribed edited summary of a video Bob and Brad recorded in March

of 2021. For the original video go to

Bob: Today we are going to talk about the signs you should have an osteoporosis screening. So, we're going to do this for both women and men, and for women, they are at a higher risk. So you're going to find out that we're a little more stringent on them.

Brad: And we'll explain it. There's a very, very good reason for it.

Bob: Alright, let's get started, Brad.

Brad: Let's find out about osteoporosis. So, osteoporosis it's about bone density?

Bob: Bone density, but also, I found out from Sarah Meeks, one of our experts, that the structure of the bone is just as important. So like the trabeculae and how they're put together, is almost more important than if your bone is soft, or not.

Brad: So, the trabeculae is that the outside of the bone?

Bob: No, the inside.

Brad: Oh!

Bob: It's like the engineering.

Brad: Oh, sure.

Bob: Does that make sense to you?

Brad: Yeah, the part of the bone that actually looks like a sponge, if you cut through it.

Bob: Right, right! Exactly. And if that's designed to be strong, you're less likely to break bones than if you have let's say, one that's designed weak, but you have strong bones. Does that make sense?

Brad: So, uh this is a genetic factor?

Bob: Yeah, I think so. I don't know there's much you can do for that. Maybe Wolff's law would work with that? That means the more stress you put on the bone, the more that it reacts to it.

Brad: Right, right, right. So your activity level.

Bob: Right, right. Alright well, we'll have another video that we're going to show you exercises to do. So number one, all women who are over 65, you should have a screening, just out right, do it.

Brad: Right.

Bob: If you're post-menopausal women 60 to 65 and you have one risk. So, if you're over 60, you're post-menopausal, plus you had a fracture after age 45, you've had a hip fracture in a parent because there is a genetic factor.

Brad: Oh yeah, the genetic component.

Bob: If you've abuse tobacco. You smoke.

Brad: Oh, so that's going to increase your risk?

Bob: Right.

Brad: Okay.

Bob: Always does. Unfortunately, tobacco's bad for everything. If your BMI, your body mass index…

Brad: So, if you're a little heavier?

Bob: No! If you're lighter.

Brad: Lighter?

Bob: Yeah. If you're less than 22 kilograms/

Brad: That's right, because your bones adapt to that weight so they're stronger in heavier people.

Bob: Can you do the calculation for me, Brad? It's less than 22 kilograms.

Brad: What? In pounds?

Bob: Yeah!

Brad: Yeah, I can do that. (scoffs) Where's my phone?

Bob: Yeah, yeah. Alright, if you've been using Prednisone for like three months... I had a patient, Brad. She was in her twenties, and she had really severe asthma and she had to be on Prednisone. We just take her for a walk, she'd break a bone. It was just, it was terrible. It actually ended up killing her.

Brad: Yeah, I had a patient similar, she was in her fifties and she was on Prednisone and it’s really hard on you. It's a long story, but yeah, you don't want to get on that for too long.

Bob: Well, she would die without it. You know, she couldn't breathe, so. Alright number three, if they found, if they found osteopenia when they did an x-ray on you, then you should have a screening for osteoporosis too, because that's the stage before osteoporosis.

Brad: So, the x-rays will show signs of a bone weakening.

Bob: Right. Thinness

Brad: Yeah, thinness.

Bob: Hypogonadism, that's a medical term that you'd know if you have it. Hyperparathyroidism, same thing. Here's the risk calculator, some other things that could be giving you trouble. For example, if you have heavy alcohol use, two or more drinks a day. If you're female. If you're white or Asian, you're at higher risk.

Brad: Oh, really?

Bob: Did you know that?

Brad: No, this is statistically shown.

Bob: Yes. If you're Black or Hispanic, you have lower risk.

Brad: Okay. They don't know why they just know the statistics reveals this?

Bob: Well, I think a lot of the Asians you see they are fine boned.

Brad: Sure.

Bob: Would you say that? Smaller as an overall rule of thumb. Okay, here we go, weight below 128 pounds.

Brad: Oh, so we have a number?

Bob: Yeah. We have a number. If you have kyphosis, if you're bent forward and your spine is rounded out.

Brad: And kyphosis is the mid-section of the back. Right between the shoulder blades, and that area is rounded. And you know, this is not uncommon with older people.

Bob: Yeah, if you're really sedentary, that's not good either. You want to be moving, and you just aren't doing any bone loading exercises.

Brad: Right.

Bob: You know where you're at least walking and trying to get some exercise. Number 8, you have a physical disability, you know, if you're in a wheelchair, you're not getting bone loading.

Brad: Right, it's again, an activity level with things that are putting weight through your bones.

Bob: Too much caffeine. If you're drinking more than 2.5 cups a day. Do you drink coffee; you don't do you?

Brad: Yeah, I do now! I just started in the last year or so, but yeah.

Bob: You're not drinking that much?

Brad: Well 3 or 4 cups. No, I'm just kidding. I just, I find that just in the morning, if I drink it after that, it doesn't taste good anymore, actually. So that's good. I'm glad I don't have to fight that off.

Bob: Low vitamin D, which we're in trouble for, because during the winter we just don't get much of that sun.

Brad: Yeah, yeah. You tried to the thing with that one guy that goes out and freezes himself.

Bob: Wim Hof.

Brad: Yeah, Wim Hof. But yeah, I'm not going to do that.

Bob: Okay, low calcium intake or absorption if you're not taking the calcium in very well. If you have diabetes, if you're diabetic, DM. Believe it or not, if you haven't had any children, you're at a higher risk.

Brad: Oh really?

Bob: They call it nulliparity. You're going to learn a new word. I think it's multiparity, if you have multiple children.

Brad: Oh, really?

Bob: This is kind a big indicator, if you lost over 1.5 inches of height. There's a reason for that. Since age 25, you should probably have that done. Sarah Meeks said, that the numbers are all over the place. And she said 1.5 wasn't necessarily true, but start thinking about it. That's for sure.

Brad: And if you don't know, Sarah Meeks is an expert that has spent great deal of her professional life dedicated to this topic.

Bob: And the last one if you do have what appears to be a spine deformity. You're rounded out. You may have already had a compression fracture.

Brad: Sure.

Bob: Sarah called it a silent fracture.

Brad: Oh, without symptoms?

Bob: She said very common. In fact, that was the most common fracture, actually is silent fractures.

Brad: Interesting.

Bob: Yeah, alright. So, men we have forgot about you either. So we'll talk about the men now. If you're over 70 for men you're supposed to have it done. Not 65 Like women.

Brad: Okay.

Bob: If you're over 50, and you've had any of the following, then you should have it a done. If you've had a non-traumatic fracture. So, it just fractured like a hip fracture or a vertebra, without a fall or obvious reason.