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Do you have symptoms of osteoporosis? Is getting a DEXA scan needed?

Do you have symptoms of osteoporosis? Is getting a DEXA scan needed?
Do you have symptoms of osteoporosis? Is getting a DEXA scan needed?

The structure of your bones is always changing with new bone tissue being laid down and old bone tissue being resorbed by your body. After the age of 30, new bone formation slows and bone resorption increases. The result is the development of osteoporosis characterized by weak and brittle bones.

Symptoms

It may be difficult to identify symptoms of osteoporosis as the main consequence is increased risk of fractures. You may not be aware you have osteoporosis until you fracture your bone from a low-energy fall or minor trauma. Early signs to watch out for include a receding gumline due to loss of jawbone mass, poor grip strength, and weak nails. In later stages of the disease there may be a stooped posture, loss of height, and increasing neck and back pain due to degeneration of the spinal vertebrae.

Risk Factors

Risk factors for osteoporosis are old age, menopause, low testosterone levels, smoking, drinking, sedentary lifestyle, and medical conditions such as kidney problems, hyperthyroidism, diabetes, cirrhosis, arthritis, and multiple sclerosis.

If you have any of these symptoms or risk factors you should speak to your doctor about getting a DEXA scan. It is the standard diagnostic tool to detect osteoporosis.

The dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) machine, uses 2 types of X-ray radiation to scan your hip and spine and determine your bone density in terms of grams/square cm. A higher number compared to others of your age group and sex means you have stronger bones. During the procedure you lie on a table and the scanning device moves over your body to measure bone density. The procedure takes about 10-15 minutes.

The DEXA scan can empower you by letting you know about your risk for osteoporosis so necessary preventive steps can be taken to improve bone health and avoid risk of serious fractures in the future.

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.