Bone Mineral Density
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What is Bone Mineral Density test?
A bone mineral density (BMD) test measures the mineral density (such as calcium) in your bones using a special X-ray. This information can give us an estimate of the strength of your bones.
Why is a Bone Mineral Density test done?
Calcium is constantly being added to and taken away from bone. When calcium is taken away faster than it is added, the bones become lighter, less dense, and more porous. This makes the bones weaker and increases their risk of fracture.
Loss of bone mass occurs as part of the natural process of aging. Bones naturally become thinner (called osteopenia) as you grow older, because existing bone is broken down faster than new bone is made. As this occurs, the bones lose minerals, heaviness, and structure, making them weaker. With further bone loss, osteopenia develops into osteoporosis. The thicker your bones are, the longer it takes to develop osteoporosis. Although osteoporosis can occur in men, it is most common in women older than age 65.
How do I prepare for the test?
Wear loose fitting clothing, with no metal zippers, metal buttons or metal decoration.
How is the Bone Mineral Density test done?
The bones most commonly used are those in the lower spine and hip. These bones generally have the greatest amount of bone loss and are at the highest risk of fracture. In special cases, bones in the wrist may be used.
You will be asked to lie down on the table and the arm of the Dexa Scan will pass over your spine and hip, X ray pictures will be taken.
How do I get my results?
Your results will be sent to your physician. He will meet with you to go over your results.
What can I do to help myself?
If your bone density is lower than normal, you can take steps to increase your bone strength and reduce your risk of fracture. Some ways to increase bone density and strength include taking calcium and vitamin D supplements, doing weight-bearing exercise (such as walking), weight training (such as lifting weights or using weight machines), and using medications prescribed by you doctor.