Bone densitometry, also known as dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA), is an imaging technique used to measure bone density. This happens to be the very common as well as till date, the most exact method of measuring the bone density. Bone densitometry is used to diagnose osteoporosis, a condition in which bones become thin and fragile. It is also used to monitor the effects of treatment for osteoporosis. Bone densitometry is safe and painless. This particular test would be a quick & easy one to do. A small amount of radiation is used during the test, and there are no known side effects.
Bone Density Test
Such tests are tools, which have been utilized for measuring the strength of a person’s bones. This test is important because it can help your doctor to diagnose osteoporosis, a condition in which your bones are weak and more likely to break. There are two main types of bone density tests: central DXA and peripheral DXA. Central DXA measures the density of your hip and spine, while peripheral DXA measures the density of your forearm, heel, or finger. Bone density tests are quick and painless, and they can be done in your doctor’s office or at a hospital. If you have osteoporosis, you may need to take medication or get treatment to help prevent fractures.
Bone Density Test Results
If you have had a bone density test, you may be wondering what the results mean. The results thus generated from these tests would be provided with a “T-score.” This scoring is basically the comparison of body’s bone density of a person to that of a young adult, who is completely fit & healthy.
A scoring of -1 or a value above this is usually considered to be normal.
A T-score of -1 to -2.5 is considered osteopenia, which means you have lower than normal bone density.
A T-score of -2.5 or below is considered osteoporosis, which means you have very low bone density.
The results of your bone density test can help your doctor determine whether you're at risk for fractures. If you have osteoporosis, you may be prescribed medication to help prevent fractures. If you have osteopenia or osteoporosis, you can also make lifestyle changes to help improve your bone density. These changes include getting enough calcium and vitamin D, exercising regularly, and quitting smoking.
Need for a Bone Density Test
There are many reasons why you might need a bone density test. Your doctor may recommend one if you have a family history of osteoporosis, you have had a fracture after a minor fall, you have a medical condition that puts you at risk for osteoporosis, or you take medication that can cause bone loss. Bone density tests are quick and easy. They are usually done at your doctor's office or a medical facility, and they don't require any special preparation. A bone density test can help your doctor diagnose osteoporosis and predict your risk of fracturing bones. It can also help determine whether a treatment you are receiving for osteoporosis is working.
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