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When Should You Get a Bone Density Test?

When Should You Get a Bone Density Test?
When Should You Get a Bone Density Test?

When Should You Get a Bone Density Test?

Many people get a bone-density test every few years. The main reason for this is to find and treat severe bone loss. Total body bone density scans can also measure the amount of bone, fat, and muscle in the body.

A DEXA Scan, or bone-density test, is the only test able to diagnose osteoporosis before it causes a broken bone. This test helps to estimate one’s bone density and chance of breaking a bone.

For women over 65 and men over 70, a DEXA Scan is only appropriate for those with a moderate risk of fracture or if the results may change a patient's care plan. For adults ages 50-69, the test should only be considered if they have risk factors that lead to bone loss.

Those at risk for bone loss include:

  • Smokers
  • Heavy drinkers
  • Those with broken bones
  • Those with rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Those with a low BMI
  • Users of corticosteroid drugs for extended periods
  • Those at risk due to disease
  • Those who do weight-bearing exercise, such as walking and running
  • Women who have had an early menopause, or their ovaries removed at before 45

Keeping one’s bones healthy is the best way to maintain bone density. Suggestions for strong bones include:

  • Exercise
  • Consumption of 1,200 mg of calcium a day and 1,000 IU of Vitamin D
  • Avoidance of smoking and alcohol
  • Talking to one’s healthcare provider regarding certain drugs that damage bones

Make a plan to discuss with your doctor to determine if a DEXA Scan is best for you. Be sure to ask questions and discuss any concerns with your doctor, so you can be comfortable with the choice they recommend.

Our Houston MRI ® & Diagnostic Imaging mission 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 communities promise "hospital quality imaging without the hospital costs" with efficient service to both our patients and physicians.