Because osteoporosis often presents no symptoms until the first fracture, the only warning signs for women are vitamin D deficiency, family history of osteoporosis and being older than 65, among other risk factors, reports Everyday Health. As a result, anyone in these groups should receive a scan for bone loss.
The most reliable tool for diagnosing osteoporosis is a bone mineral density, or BMD screening, but only about one person in eight who has osteoporosis has gone through one of those tests, according to Everyday Health. The most common BMD test is a dual X-ray absorptiometry scan, or a DXA test, which uses low radiation levels when measuring bone density in various parts of the body.
In many cases, a person's first indication of osteoporosis is a fracture related to bone fragility, notes Everyday Health. The affected bone is broken through the types of incidents that would not have led to fractures earlier in life, such as falling, tripping or running into an object. People who experience this type of fracture and are more than 50 years of age should ask their doctor for bone-loss screening. Joint aches and difficulty standing up from a chair without the help of the arms are two other potential warning signs.