Patients often ask “What’s that for?” when I order blood tests. They understand that DXA is for Bone Mineral Density (BMD). They understand Vertebral Fracture Assessment (VFA) when I show the lateral Spine image to them on the screen. Blood tests are a bit more challenging.
Osteoporosis is often caused or made worse by other diseases and conditions. We screen for the common diseases and conditions. Some of them are easily corrected. Easy or hard, they must be identified and corrected to maximize bone health and minimize fracture risk. For this we need blood tests.
Our usual work-up includes CBC, CMP, TSH, PTH, and 25-hydroxy Vitamin D. We avoid ordering any of these until we check what has been obtained elsewhere within the last 2-3 months. But what are these tests and what do they tell us? I will devote at least one blog to each of these tests over the next few months.
Remember to Take Control Naturally with enough Calcium, Vitamin D3, and Protein in your diet. Use supplements if needed.
Jay Ginther, MD