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Bone Density Tests: When You need them and When You Don't

Bone Density Tests: When You need them and When You Don't
Bone Density Tests: When You need them and When You Don't

Bone density tests measure the strength of your bones. They help determine your risk for sustaining a bone fracture. Let’s consider when you might need a bone density test and when you don’t.

Bone is a highly dynamic tissue that is constantly undergoing remodeling with bone resorption and bone formation occurring simultaneously. Peak bone mass is usually achieved by the age of 30. After that age, the amount of new bone formation decreases while the bone resorption remains the same resulting in a net loss of bone density.

Although all people experience some amount of bone loss as they grow older, which is called osteopenia, the rate of bone loss is generally mild and they are not at high risk for sustaining fractures. They will not need bone testing and can preserve enough bone mass for routine activities by exercising regularly and ensuring adequate intake of calcium and vitamin D.

In some people, the decrease of bone density occurs to the point of potential fracture. Indications for bone density tests:

  • Women over the age of 65 because of the change in hormone levels after menopause make their bones weaker
  • Men over the age of 70
  • Smokers and heavy drinkers as these activities cause leaching of calcium from bones
  • Having a low body weight which might indicate a low of bone mass
  • Use of corticosteroids for greater than 3 months as this might affect hormone levels
  • Sustaining a hip fracture from a low energy fall or breaking a bone as a result of a minor accident which might indicate osteoporosis (abnormally increased in the porosity of bone)

For more information on bone mineral density tests or any of the advanced diagnostic services offered at Houston MRI, please call 713.425.8100.

Our mission at Houston MRI® & Diagnostic Imaging is to provide the patients and physicians with affordable medical diagnostic imaging in a warm and patient friendly environment. It is our goal to make the medical imaging procedure as pleasant as possible. Our promise to our communities is "hospital quality imaging without the hospital costs" with efficient service to both our patients and physicians.