Osteoporosis

Find and order the right Osteoporosis tests here, with Ulta Lab Tests and get affordable, reliable blood work with confidential results.

In many cases, early intervention can slow the rate of osteoporosis. An osteoporosis lab test can help provide the information you need to take control of your bone health.     

See below the list of tests for a guide that explains and answers your questions on what you need to know about osteoporosis tests, along with information on osteoporosis, signs, symptoms, and diagnosis. 


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The Bone-Specific Alkaline Phosphatase (BSAP) assay provides a general index of bone formation and a specific index of total osteoblast activity. BSAP and osteocalcin are the most effective markers of bone formation and are particularly useful for monitoring bone formation therapies and antiresorptive therapies.

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Serum calcium is involved in the regulation of neuromuscular and enzyme activity, bone metabolism and blood coagulation. Calcium blood levels are controlled by a complex interaction of parathyroid hormone, vitamin D, calcitonin and adrenal cortical steroids. Calcium measurements are useful in the diagnosis of parathyroid disease, some bone disorders and chronic renal disease. A low level of calcium may result in tetany.

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This test is useful in the differential diagnosis of pituitary and gonadal insufficiency and in children with precocious puberty.

Plasma glucose levels may be abnormally high (hyperglycemia) or abnormally low (hypoglycemia). Glucose measurements are used in the diagnosis and treatment of carbohydrate metabolic disorders.

Osteocalcin, the most abundant non-collagen protein in bone matrix, is a bone-specific, calcium binding protein. Serum osteocalcin levels are related to the rate of bone turnover in various disorders of bone metabolism, eg, osteoporosis, primary and secondary hyperparathyroidism, and Paget's disease.

Intact N-terminal propeptide of type I procollagen is useful in the management of osteoporosis and monitoring bone formation therapies and antiresorptive therapies.


The IntactParathyroid Hormone Assay is the recommendedinitial assay for the differential diagnosis ofcalcium-related abnormalities.

Helpful in assessing testicular function in prepubescent hypogonadal males and in managing hirsutism, virilization in females

This is an uncapped test. Reference ranges above 1100 ng/dL can be reported with a quantitative result.


Helpful in assessing testicular function in males and managing hirsutism, virilization in females.

Testosterone circulates almost entirely bound to transport proteins: normally less than 1% is free. Measurement of Free Testosterone may be useful when disturbances in Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG) are suspected such as when patients are obese or have excessive estrogen. Testosterone measurements are used to assess erectile dysfunction, infertility, gynecomastia, and osteoporosis and to assess hormone replacement therapy.


This test is useful in the differential diagnosis of male hypogonadism. For males 18 years of age and older only. Pediatric and Female patients will need to order Testosterone, Total, MS #15983.

Please note: If Testosterone, Total, Males (Adult) Only #873 is ordered for a pediatric or female patient, the lab will automatically change the test to and charge for Testosterone, Total, MS #15983.



This test is used to measure the bio-active form of Vitamin D. This test is also used in the differential diagnosis of hypocalcemia and to monitor patients with renal osteodystrophy or chronic renal failure.

Measurement of serum 25-OH vitamin D concentrations provide a good index of circulating vitamin D activity in patients not suffering from renal disease. Lower than normal 25-OH vitamin D levels can result from a dietary deficiency, poor absorption of the vitamin or impaired metabolism of the sterol in the liver. A 25-OH vitamin D deficiency can lead to bone diseases such as rickets and osteomalacia. Above normal levels can lead hypercalcemia. This assay employs liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry to independently measure and report the two common forms of 25-hydroxy vitamin D: 25OH D3 - the endogenous form of the vitamin and 25OH D2 - the analog form used to treat 25OH Vitamin D3 deficiency.


Early Intervention can Slow Osteoporosis. Get the Information you Need With an Osteoporosis Test.

Osteoporosis is a common condition that afflicts millions of Americans each year. If undetected, osteoporosis can make sufferers more susceptible to debilitating bone fractures. Early diagnostic testing can enable individuals to take steps to manage their osteoporosis, potentially reducing the rate of decline. 

Here we look at what osteoporosis is, alongside consideration of the lab tests that can be used to diagnose it.

What is Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is the process of reducing bone density. Osteoporosis can occur in any bone in the body. For a variety of reasons (some of which are discussed below), the normal reabsorption of bone cells by osteoclasts (specialist cells) isn't matched by the production of fresh bone cells from osteoblasts. The result is a net reduction in bone density.

About Osteoporosis

Osteopenia, or bone density, is the pre-cursor to osteoporosis.  Osteopenia is diagnosed when bone density tests show an individual has a lower bone density than average for their age, but not so low that they are suffering from osteoporosis. Osteopenia doesn't invariably lead to osteoporosis. If caught and treated, osteopenia can be slowed.

The loss of bone density is a natural process, which can be accelerated by various pathologies. Bone density starts to naturally decline from the 30s onward. It occurs in both genders but is usually more pronounced in post-menopausal women. The fact that there are no symptoms of osteoporosis in the early stages makes it difficult to spot.

Risk Factors for Osteoporosis

Several natural and pathological risk factors increase the chances of developing osteoporosis. Some of these include:

  • Being post-menopausal. Estrogen regulates bone development and keeps bone health high. As estrogen levels decline during menopause, osteoporotic processes are accelerated.
  • Having a low BMI
  • Not exercising regularly.
  • Some medical conditions (including absorption, hormonal and inflammatory conditions).
  • Long-term steroid use.
  • The long-term use of some medicines.
  • A family history of osteoporosis.
  • Heavy drinking or substance misuse.
  • Having suffered from anorexia or bulimia.

Causes of Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is primarily caused by a lack of calcium. This may be due to individuals not ingesting sufficient calcium, or it may be due to physiological factors that prevent the calcium from being absorbed and utilized by the body.

Signs and Symptoms of Osteoporosis

There are no outward signs of osteopenia, which is the less severe loss of bone density that can precede osteoporosis. Without diagnostic testing, the first sign that many people have that they have developed osteoporosis is when they fracture a bone. 

Some sufferers from osteoporosis develop a pronounced hump on their back (a kyphosis). This is due to multiple mini fractures of the spinal vertebrae, meaning they're no longer able to hold the head and neck erect.

Testing for osteoporosis is the only way of reliably determining whether you have the condition.

Lab Tests for Osteoporosis

Lab testing aims to try to identify the processes that are contributing to the loss of bone density. Whilst bone density loss can be measured using imaging techniques, lab testing is needed to provide answers to the question of why bone density loss is occurring.

Lab Tests Include:

Osteoporosis FAQs

What to eat to beat osteoporosis?

Generally, nutritionists recommend eating a healthy, balanced diet that's rich in calcium and Vitamin D. Calcium is found in dairy foods, green, leafy vegetables, soy products, nuts, tofu, and oily fish. Vitamin D is normally obtained by getting sufficient sunlight. It's also found in oily fish, eggs (the yolk), and fortified foods.

What exercise should I do to manage my osteoporosis?

Weight-bearing and strength training are the go-to exercises to help maintain bone density. It's also worth exercising to improve balance and flexibility - exercises such as tai chi, yoga, and Pilates can improve balance, making a fall (which could result in a fracture in those with low bone density) less likely.

Can I take medications for osteoporosis?

Some medications can improve bone density and/or prevent further decline. They may include:

  • Bisphosphonates
  • Selective estrogen receptor modulators.
  • Testosterone treatment
  • Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT).
  • Parathyroid hormone
  • Vitamin D and Calcium supplements

Your primary care provider will be able to discuss drug options with you as part of your osteoporosis care plan.

Can osteoporosis be reversed?

With appropriate lifestyle changes alongside drug therapy, it's often possible to prevent further bone density loss or significantly slow the loss rate.

Unfortunately, it's not usually possible to reverse any osteoporotic changes that have already occurred. Therefore, prompt testing is recommended so that changes can be caught early on before the condition becomes too severe. 

Lab Testing for Osteoporosis FAQs

What's tested at a lab?

A blood sample is required for lab tests that assist in determining potential causes or risk factors for osteoporosis.

Is a lab test all that's needed to diagnose osteoporosis?

No - if your lab test results suggest you have a condition that predisposes you to osteoporosis, we recommend that you get an imaging test (such as a central DXA (Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry) to get a bone density score. The bone density score will determine the degree of osteopenia or osteoporosis you're suffering from.

Benefits of Osteoporosis Lab Testing With Ulta Lab Tests

Blood testing is one of the best ways to find out if you have Osteoporosis. Ulta Lab Tests provides a platform for you to order highly accurate and reliable lab tests directly from Quest Diagnostics. Our Osteoporosis lab panels are structured to include a group of tests to detect, monitor, and track your bone health.

By getting tested with Ulta Lab Tests, you can take control of your health and make informed decisions while monitoring the changes in your health.

Our testing is secure and includes confidential results available without insurance or referrals and is very affordable. They're also 100% guaranteed to satisfy. Order your blood tests today, and your results will be provided to you securely and confidentially online in 24 to 48 hours for most tests.

Take charge of your health and track your progress with Ulta Lab Tests!