density testing is used to assess the strength of the bones and the
probability of fracture in persons at risk for osteoporosis. The
test, referred to as bone densitometry or bone mineral scan (BMD),
is a simple, noninvasive procedure that takes just minutes,
a bone scan, bone densitometry testing does not involve the
administration of radioactive contrast material into the bloodstream.
is a bone density test done?
most commonly used test is known as a dual energy X-ray
absorptiometry (DEXA) scan, and it can be performed with devices that
measure bone density in the hip and spine, or smaller peripheral
devices to measure bone density in the wrist, heel, or finger. The
central bone density device is used in hospitals and medical offices,
while the smaller peripheral device is available in some drugstores
and in screening sites in the community. The DEXA scan involves a
much smaller radiation exposure than a standard chest X-ray.
premenopausal women, estrogen produced in the body maintains bone
density. Following the onset of menopause, bone loss increases each
year and can result in a total loss of bone density in the first five
to ten years after menopause. Your doctor can help you decide when
and if you need a bone density test. In general, this testing is
recommended for women 65 and older along with younger postmenopausal
women who have further risk factors for osteoporosis, including:
history of bone fractures as an adult or having a close relative with
a history of bone fractures
D deficiency, which can occur as a result of certain medical
alcohol or caffeine consumption
loss or low body weight; small-boned body frame
menopause IQ or late onset of menstrual periods
a medication [such as prednisone or phenytoin, (Dilantin)] known to
cause bone loss
physician will advise the most appropriate treatment regimen for you
after reviewing the DEXA from results and your other health issues.