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Bone Density Exam at Women's Wellness

Diagnosing your bone status and fracture risk

 

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Exercise can reduce your risk of developing osteoporosis.

Exercise can reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis. A bone density exam may be the easiest medical exam you will have over the course of your life. Basically, it involves you lying on your back and the bone densitometer does the work. However, there are always concerns about any medical procedure. Below are some frequently asked questions and answers.

One of the best strategies for preventing osteoporosis is to live a healthy lifestyle:

  • Calcium rich diet
  • Regular exercise
  • No Smoking
  • Moderate alcohol consumption
  • Moderate caffeine consumption

What exactly is osteoporosis?

Bones contain an outer shell around a honeycomb-like structure. Osteoporosis causes the shell to become progressively thinner and the holes of the honeycomb to become larger. This progression weakens the bone. This process occurs naturally after age 35.

Who is at risk for osteoporosis?

You are more likely to develop osteoporosis if there is a family history. Caucasians, Asians, individuals with low body weight, and post-menopausal women are also considered to be at risk. Certain lifestyle factors can increase the chance of osteoporosis such as:

  • Not consuming enough calcium
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Smoking Cigarettes
  • High caffeine intake

Exercise can reduce your risk of developing osteoporosis.One of the best strategies for preventing osteoporosis is to live a healthy lifestyle with a calcium rich diet, regular exercise, no smoking, and moderate alcohol and caffeine consumption.

Do I need to do anything to prepare for the exam?

No special preparation is required. There are no painful contrast injections, bad-tasting oral preparations or uncomfortable enemas.

What should I wear?

Wear any kind of clothing you like, but please avoid metal buttons, buckles or zippers if possible.

How long will the exam last? 

Your bone density exam should take approximately 30-40 minutes. Variations depend on physician orders.

What will the exam tell us?

The bone density exam measures bone mineral density (BMD). It will also compare your measurements to a reference population based on your age, weight, sex and ethnic background. This information will be used by your physician in making a diagnosis about your bone status and fracture risk.

The bone density exam checks for signs of osteoporosis. Sometimes called the “silent condition”, osteoporosis often progresses for a long time undetected and without symptoms. Once detected, the progression of osteoporosis can be curbed by lifestyle changes and medication therapies.

Will it hurt?

There is no pain associated with a bone density exam.

Is the exam safe?

Women’s Wellness Place uses a DEXA (Dual-Energy X-ray Absorptiometry) machine for the procedure. DEXA is a very accurate test of bone density and exposes you to very little radiation. The bone density scan delivers less radiation than one-tenth the dosage of a chest X-ray. As in any medical procedure, if you are pregnant be sure to inform your physician.