Bone Density Screening to Determine the Condition of Your Bones

As we grow old, our bones tend to get weaker. Bone density screening is the only method to determine if a patient has osteoporosis or significant bone loss. Generally this screening method is used as a preventive measure to guard against possible fractures. Peri- or post-menopausal women who are above 65 have a high risk for fractures. This medical test is more common in women. In men, where a bone fracture has already occurred, bone density screening is conducted.

Prior to menopause, undergoing a bone density screening can be a good idea. Based on the test results, the patient will be able to determine if there has actually been any significant bone loss. The patient can start an appropriate preventive treatment. Bone loss occurs gradually. If neglected, it can result in a myriad of painful conditions, such as loss of mobility, especially in the case of hip fracture, or restricted lung function, when there is a vertebral fracture.

There are several types of painless, low-radiation bone density screening tests available. The most commonly used test that offers accurate results, is the DEXA, or dual energy X-ray absorptionmetry, which scans the hip and spine areas. This bone density screening test registers a T-score to evaluate the loss of bone mass. If the t-score is -2.5, a diagnosis of osteoporosis is made by the doctors. The patient may be recommended to take foods containing calcium, such as milk and cheese, in addition to a well-balanced, nutritional diet that contains a lot of fruit and calcium-rich vegetables, like broccoli.

Regular exercise, such as walking, can have a positive impact on bones, and can decrease the probability of fracture. Quantitative computed tomography (QCT), the peripheral quantitative computed tomography (pQCT), and the peripheral dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (pDXA) are the other bone density screening tests.


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