Throughout our lives, our bones are constantly changing. In our younger years, new bone is added faster than old bone is removed. After age 35, however, bone loss exceeds bone replacement. If new bone is added too slowly or old bone is lost too quickly, bones weaken and the risk of osteoporosis increases. Osteoporosis Why should I have this test? is most commonly associated with menopause. Reduced estrogen levels that accompany menopause result in the rapid loss of bone mass, thereby increasing the likelihood of fractures. Osteoporosis risk also increases with many other health issues, such as use of certain medications, history of smoking and some eating disorders. Osteoporosis is a silent disease showing no symptoms before fracture occurs. Identifying bone loss early enables physicians to develop a plan that will address the specific bone needs of individual patients. Please ask your physician for more information.
A bone density exam, sometimes referred to as a DXA scan (Dual Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry) is used to detect osteoporosis, a condition that causes bones to become fragile and prone to fracture. This debilitating condition affects more than 28 million Americans, 80% of whom are women. The exam measures bone mineral density (BMD) in your spine, hip or wrist, provides information about bone health and helps to predict the risk of fractures. It usually takes less than 15 minutes lying still on your back on a padded table. This test, unlike a bone scan, does not involve injections of any kind.