As we get older, our list of vital medical
tests gets longer and longer. Because we’re so busy, we tend to forget about
our check-ups, or we may think we don’t need them because we don’t show any
Whatever the case, chances are that you might
have been skimping on your bone health and bone density tests. Here is all you
need to know.
the bone density test?
densitometry or DEXA scan
is an examination to help diagnose osteoporosis (brittle bones), which is a
condition where bones become weak to the point of breaking. The purpose of the
test is to identify the risk of osteoporosis and fractures, so that a treatment
plan can be put into place.
How is the scan done?
It’s a simple,
painless procedure where the patient lies on a padded table with an X-ray generator
positioned underneath and an imaging device above them. The detector slowly
passes over the hip and spine, generating images on a computer monitor. The
DEXA bone density test is usually completed within 10 to 30 minutes.
When should I start going for a bone density scan?
the National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF), a bone
density test is generally recommended for women 65 and older, and men 70 and
older, or if you break a bone after the age of 50. You might also want to
consider having a scan earlier if you are at risk for osteoporosis, or if you’ve
had a total height loss of 4cm since the onset of menopause.
How regularly should I go for a bone density scan?
You should preferably have a scan every one to
two years, and within a year if you’ve started a new treatment plan for
should I go for my bone density scan?
Your doctor will be able to advise you where
to make an appointment.
Here are a couple of things you can do for
optimum bone health:
- Include enough calcium and vitamin D
in your diet by incorporating dairy, leafy greens and nuts.
- Do weight training exercises as well
as low-impact cardiovascular exercises.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Drink alcohol moderately and quit
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