Womens Health

Worried You Have Osteoporosis? Count Your Teeth

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Simple ways to test your spine: can you touch the back of your head to the wall when you stand, back straight, against the wall? If not, there may be a spinal hump in the way.

How about your wing span exceeding your height when it used to be the same? You're shrinking. Another thing is to check your bottom rib, it should be at least two fingers above the topmost part of your pelvis.

And here's a sort of frightening self test: how many teeth? Less than 20 (you should have had 32, but 4 may have been molars that were removed) and you are likely to have osteoporosis. And of course, if you see your back is humped, that is not the way it used to be. Confirmatory testing like a physician's exam, an x-ray or bone density test needs to be done to make a full diagnosis, but none of those signs are good. They all are in fact fairly serious if you find yourself not passing one of these home tests.

It's thinner women, women who smoked, and women who never got enough calcium or exercise who should take this self test. And if you are losing teeth: check with the dentist about what you can do to to reverse this serious health problem.