The bone mineral density test is a simple, painless, non-invasive procedure. You will be asked to lie perfectly still on a table while a movable are passes over the hip and spine. The test takes approximately 30 minutes. You will be exposed to a very small amount of radiation. The test will measure your bone mineral density (BMD), or bone mass, and compare that number with a reference population. This information will help your physician determine if you need to take any specific steps to protect your bone health.
What is Osteoporosis and why should I be concerned?
Osteoporosis is a debilitating disease that reduced the strength of your bones, causing them to become brittle and prone to fractures. A women’s risk of hip fracture alone is equal to the combined risk of developing breast, uterine and ovarian cancer. Eighty percent of those affected by osteoporosis are women and twenty percent are men.
Who is at risk?
Women who are post-menopausal are at the most risk of developing osteoporosis, and the presence of any one of these factors can add to your risk:
- Caucasian, Asian, or Hispanic/Latino descent
- Thin or small build
- Previous fracture
- Family history of osteoporosis
- Early menopause (before age 45)
- Low sex hormones (estrogen in women/testosterone and estrogen in men)
- Inactive lifestyle
- Certain medications (including steroids and thyroid hormones)
- Alcohol abuse
- Diet (low calcium & vitamin D intake/excessive protein, sodium & caffeine intake)
- Certain diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, gastrointestinal disease & anorexia
Experts believe that the presence of any of these factors increases your risk of osteoporosis. If none of these factors apply, you may still be at risk. Only a bone mineral density test can provide the information your doctor needs to diagnose your condition.