Bone densitometry is most often used to diagnose osteoporosis, a condition that often affects women after menopause but may also be found in men. Osteoporosis involves a gradual loss of calcium, causing the bones to become thinner, more fragile and more likely to break.
Bone Densitometry is also effective in tracking the effects of treatment for osteoporosis and other conditions that cause bone loss. A Bone Densitometry test can also assess an individual’s risk for developing fractures. The scan is most often performed in the lower spine and hips. It is the established measuring standard for bone mineral density (BMD). In some adults and most children, the whole body is scanned. DEXA uses very low radiation amounts.
Ask your primary care physician if you should consider having a Bone Densitometry test.
More about osteoporosis
- Being female puts you at risk of developing osteoporosis and broken bones. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation here are important facts every woman should know:
- Of the estimated 10 million Americans with osteoporosis, about eight million or 80% are women.
- Approximately one in two women over age 50 will break a bone because of osteoporosis.
- A woman’s risk of breaking a hip is equal to her combined risk of breast, uterine and ovarian cancer.
There are multiple reasons why women are more likely to get osteoporosis than men, including:
- Women tend to have smaller, thinner bones than men.
- Estrogen, a hormone in women that protects bones, decreases sharply when women reach menopause which can cause bone loss. This is why the chance of developing osteoporosis increases as women reach menopause.