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Women's Health Topics..

 
You are here : home > Women's Health > Osteoporosis > Diagnosing Osteoporosis: Bone Densitometry (Bone Mineral Test)

Diagnosing Osteoporosis: Bone Densitometry (Bone Mineral Test)


Bone density is measured to assess the risk of developing osteoporosis. It is measured by DXA. DXA gives accurate results. Bone Mineral Density is calculated and compared to normal values to assess the risk factors.


Checking bone density from time-to-time can help to prevent the risk of osteoporosis. Being aware of the bone density can help to take right measures in order to prevent bones from becoming weaker and eventually leading to the development of osteoporosis. Bone density can checked using DXA. Let us take an in-depth look at what is bone densitometry and how is osteoporosis diagnosed.


What is bone densitometry?

Bone densitometry, using an advanced technology called DXA (Dual-energy X-ray Absorption), is a procedure that accurately and painlessly measures bone density and the mineral content of bone.  This helps in determining a woman's risk of developing osteoporosis.


How does the bone densitometry work?

Most common examination sites are the fracture-prone hip, spine and sometimes the forearm.  Evaluation also includes measurement of height and weight, a thorough and risk assessment.  Bone Mineral Density (BMD) is calculated and compared to normal BMD values, matched for age and sex to confirm or rule out osteoporosis.  A low BMD by DXA may predict the likelihood of developing osteoporosis and can help determine a treatment plan.


How is it performed?

During a comprehensive bone evaluation with DXA, the patient lies comfortably still on a padded table while the DXA unit scans one or more areas, usually the fracture-prone spine or the hip.  Unlike typical x-ray machines, radiation exposure during bone densitometry is extremely low - less than the radiation exposure during a coast-to-coast airline flight.  The entire process takes only minutes to complete, depending on the number of sites scanned.  It involves no injections or invasive procedures, and the patient remains fully clothed.


Is any special preparation required before taking the test?

Unless instructed otherwise by the clinician, eat normally on the day of the exam; but avoid taking any calcium supplements for at least 24 hours prior to the appointment.

Wear loose, comfortable clothing.  Sweat suits and other casual attire without zippers, buttons, grommets or any other metal are preferred.

You should not have had a barium study, radioisotope injection, oral or intravenous contrast material from a CT scan or MRI within seven days prior to your DXA test.


When to get bone density measured?

Let us take a look at the symptoms of poor bone density. Keeping a check on these early signs and symptoms can help you to prevent osteoporosis to a greater extent. When these signs are observed, one must get bone density checked and follow appropriate treatment measures.

Pain and Aches in Bones and Muscles

Muscle aches and pains is one of the indicators of poor bone density. Individuals with low bone density may experience pain, especially at night. The pain is caused due to drop in magnesium, calcium and potassium levels in blood at night as food is not consumed at this time.

Brittle Nails

Brittle and weak nails are one of the signs of poor bone density. Although, brittle nails signify low bone density, there are some other factors that may also be responsible for the same. For example, doing gardening work, contact of nails with harsh chemical substances, certain household chores, doing water related chores for longer time etc; can cause brittleness in nails. So, these factors should not be overlooked.

Other Symptoms

There are also other symptoms that can indicate poor bone density. Such symptoms include gums moving backwards due to loss of bone mass in jaws which signify that overall bone density is reducing. Reduced grip and balance and drop in the fitness levels also indicate loss of bone density.

The above mentioned signs are the early indicators that the bones have started losing their density. Therefore, if these signs are observed, one must get the bone density checked and follow the advice of the doctor in order to prevent osteoporosis.

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25 Comments
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Aarti.8 years ago
i had never heard of osteroporosis before? i think every women should drink enough milk to build the calcium content in her body to fight against such harmful diseases.
 
 
 
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genesis.8 years ago
alot of people are not into drinking milk as often as we should i'm actually one of them, but we need to realize that we need milk to get the calcium we need to avoid this disease.
 
 
 
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satya.8 years ago
thats informative!
 
 
 
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durga.8 years ago
i had know idea of osteoporosis before reading this article. whatever it takes, i'll better try to intake sufficiant calcium.
 
 
 
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Rena Totaye.8 years ago
im one of those who do not drink milk, but now that i have to complete my reachesh on osteoporosis, i promise i will drink milk every day.
 
 
 
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kavita.8 years ago
dear madam, it is good advice i donot take milk cxhees or yougurt i am 55 yr it hasbeen 3 yrs i have pain in my knees climbing and getting down the stairs how should i prevent ?i have start taking calcium i have put on weight .
 
 
 
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dr n.m.rege.8 years ago
there should be a qualitative balance between diet,activities and isotonic exerises depending on the age and the exogenous as well as endogenous factors involved.a generalised comment of importance is that milkin excess should be avoided as besides calcium it contains other unhealthy disease inducing factors
 
 
 
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opa Ray.8 years ago
in 2003 i developed poly myalgia, a disorder of the muscles and given a high dosis of prednisone. 30 mg per day. reduced this ti 5mg per day after 2 years. this medication has taken the calcium out of my bones and have now a new problem: osteoporosis. i do take now a heavy daily dosis of calcium tablets with 5mg of prednisone every 3 days for the poly myalgia. trying to do away with the prednisone all together.
 
 
 
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M.D.8 years ago
if we take calcium tablets can we avoid osteoporisis
 
 
 
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heidi.8 years ago
i don't have osteoperoses but a friend of mine has it and she has hardwear in her leg to keep it together
bi bi
 
 
 
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