Because there are often no symptoms of osteoporosis, a diagnosis is not usually made unless a bone has been fractured. If you visit your primary care doctor for a broken bone and you are at a higher risk for osteoporosis, your doctor will likely screen you for an osteoporosis diagnosis.
If you have not fractured a bone but are in a high-risk category—such as over the age of 50 or a postmenopausal woman—your doctor will likely screen for osteoporosis and will look at several factors in order to make an osteoporosis diagnosis. He or she will perform a routine physical exam and ask you questions about your medical history and the nature of your symptoms—if there are any—such a back pain. Factors such as age, gender, lifestyle habits, and family health history are taken into account when determining whether osteoporosis is a likely diagnosis. Finally, your doctor will likely test your bone mineral density to determine if there has been a loss of bone mass.