All of the professionals listed below will play a different part in diagnosing and helping manage osteoporosis – if you have any questions about any of them, remember to ask your family doctor.
Family doctors or General Practitioners
Family doctors or General Practitioners have a broad range of training that includes internal medicine, gynecology, and pediatrics. They place special emphasis on caring for an individual or family on a long-term, continuing basis. Your initial discussion about your risk for osteoporosis should begin with your family doctor.
Endocrinologists are physicians who treat the endocrine system, which is made up of the glands and hormones of the body. In addition to osteoporosis, endocrinologists treat diabetes and diseases of the thyroid.
Rheumatologists are physicians who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the bones, joints, muscles and tendons, including osteoporosis and arthritis.
Geriatricians are family doctors or internists who have received additional training on the aging process and the conditions and diseases that often occur among the elderly.
Gynecologists diagnose and treat conditions of the female reproductive system and associated disorders. They often serve as primary care doctors for women and follow their patients' reproductive health over time.
Internists are trained in general internal medicine. They diagnose and treat many diseases. Internists provide long-term comprehensive care in the hospital and office, have expertise in many areas, and often act as consultants to other specialists.
Orthopaedic surgeons are doctors trained in the care of patients with musculoskeletal conditions, such as bone fractures and infections, and metabolic problems.
Physiotherapists are specially trained to improve and maintain physical independence and performance, prevent and manage pain and promote fitness, health and wellness. Physiotherapists analyze the impact of injury, disease or disorders on movement and function. Your physiotherapist will help you develop an exercise program focusing on posture, muscle strength, endurance and stamina, balance and fall prevention, as well as stretching and flexibility.
Occupational Therapists will help you learn safe ways to handle activities of daily living. This may include equipment or home adaptations to assist in maintaining your independence.
Pharmacists are a reliable source of information about osteoporosis management and can help you maximize the benefits of your medications, limit side effects and identify drug-drug or drug-disease interactions. Your pharmacist will work closely with your doctor to create a safe and appropriate care plan. It is beneficial to have all your prescriptions filled at the same pharmacy to ensure your pharmacist has complete records to manage your care.
Nutritionists or Dietitians
Nutritionists or Dietitians help patients with nutrition information and special dietary needs.