Osteoporosis is a disease more common in older women where your bones become thin and weak increasing your risk for fracture. Osteopenia is the stage before osteoporosis where your bones are starting to thin but aren’t as severe yet as osteoporosis
How do you test for Osteoporosis and what does it cost?
As there are no symptoms of osteoporosis, we screen for it with a bone density test or DXA scan. This is a specialized x-ray that measures the density of your bones in your spine and hip. It is covered for free by most insurance. Women ages 65 and older should be screened every 2-5 years with a bone density test. Men and women at increased risk for fracture should be screened before 65.
What are the risk factors?
Risk factors for osteoporosis include advanced age, family history of osteoporosis, smoking, low body weight, white or Asian race, and long term steroid use. The results of your DXA scan will give you a number called a T-score which represents your bone density compared to a healthy young adult. Anything above -1 is normal. Osteopenia ranges from -1 to -2.5. Osteoporosis is a T-score less than -2.5.
How do I treat Osteoporosis?
The best way to treat osteoporosis is to prevent it. All women should take calcium 1200mg a day and Vitamin D 1000 units a day starting before menopause to prevent osteoporosis. Another key thing is weight bearing exercise such as walking, climbing stairs or lifting weights. Walking five miles a week is a good place to start. Finally, you should quit smoking if this applies to you. In addition to these practices, if you have osteoporosis already there are medications that can be prescribed to prevent further bone loss. If you have any questions about osteoporosis, don’t hesitate to call or ask them at your next visit. We are here to help!
Did you know that annual wellness visits and screenings are free without co-pays on most insurance plans? This is a requirement under the Affordable Care Act. Annual exams are a good time to review all of your illnesses and treatment plans as well as make sure you are up to date on your screenings. Health screenings we monitor at your visit include:
bone density scans.
If it has been over a year from your last visit then call to schedule today. For more information see http://www.hhs.gov/healthcare/prevention/
The Pap Smear is a fast, simple diagnostic for changes in the cervical cells, which may turn cancerous when left untreated. Women aged 18 to 70 years should have regular Pap smears every 2 years, even after being injected with the HPV vaccine. About 8 in 10 women who get cervical cancer have not had a Pap smear or have not done them regularly.
Why do I need to have a pap smear done?
The main reason why you would want to have Pap smears done regularly is to detect cervical cancer immediately. This type of cancer is related to the human papillomavirus (HPV) which can be spread through direct contact, especially during sex. High risk HPV strains (type 16 and 18) can cause cervical cancer as the virus can cause cell damage in the cervix. If left undetected, cervical cancer in its early treatable stages goes unnoticed. Other risk factors for cervical cancer aside from HPV infection include smoking, getting sexually transmissible infections such as chlamydia, had sex or gave birth at a young age, had multiple sex partners or have used birth control pills long-term.
How is a pap smear done?
The Pap test is done by a healthcare provider. There is no preparation for the test. During the test, the healthcare provider will insert a speculum in the vagina to see the cervix. A small spatula or tiny brush is inserted to collect cervical cells. The collected sample is smeared onto the glass slide and sent to the laboratory for analysis. It might take week to get the result. It might be a bit uncomfortable during the test but it should not be painful. When it does hurt, tell the doctor, nurse or specialist immediately.
What happens after the Pap smear?
An abnormal Pap smear result might mean less serious squamous intraepithelial lesion or more severe intraepithelial lesion but it does not mean always mean cervical cancer is present. Frequent Pap tests may be advised after an abnormal result. Additional tests may also be advised such as colposcopy or biopsy of the cervix.
Perlman Clinic offers pap scan results straight to your email inbox. Just send us your name, date of birth and laboratory test result you want to [email protected]. You would need to print a hard copy for your personal copy and contact our office immediately by phone to discuss the results with your doctor.