As we get older, we lose bone density, leading to a condition called osteoporosis. In addition to being a natural consequence of aging, the loss of bone density is also associated with heredity, certain medical conditions such as AIDS/HIV, alcohol and tobacco use, the long term use of certain medications such as steroids, and even gender.
A loss of bone density can lead to such symptoms as loss of height and curvature of the back, plus the bones become weaker and more easily fractured. For instance, an elderly person might fall and break a hip, whereas if that person had had the identical fall at age 25 they would have easily bounced back up and brushed themselves off with no consequences.
With our DEXA scan machine, we can now measure your bone density.
For the bone densitometry test, you lie comfortably on your back on an examination table for about ten minutes. The machine uses X-rays (a very low dose, only about 10% of what you would receive from a standard chest X-ray) to measure bone mineral density, which is related directly to bone density.
The bone densitometry test is usually covered by insurance.
Your doctor will discuss the results of your test with you. Osteoporosis can be treated with diet and exercise lifestyle changes, calcium and/or Vitamin D supplements, and certain medications.