Bone density testing, or bone densitometry, is the most accurate way to check for osteoporosis and gauge your overall bone health. This safe and painless test uses small doses of radiation to measure the amount of minerals and calcium in bones.
Osteoporosis translates to “porous bone”
For people with osteoporosis, a lack of essential minerals and calcium can make your bones brittle and weak. The slightest bumps, trips or falls can even lead to fractures.
One of the greatest risk factors for osteoporosis is age, especially 50 and over. People who experience menopause are at an even higher risk because menopause slows estrogen production — a hormone that protects against bone loss.
You deserve to live a life worry-free of fractures, like gardening in the backyard or taking a stroll on the beach. Early action is the best action, so talk to your doctor about bone density testing today.
People with osteoporosis are likely to fracture their wrist, upper arm, pelvis, hip and spine. You may be at risk for osteoporosis based on:
- Alcohol use
- Certain long-term medications
- Early menopause
- Fair skin
- Family history of osteoporosis
- Lack of exercise
- Low body weight
- Low calcium intake
- Small bone structure
Bone density tests are safe, painless and noninvasive. We use a low-dose X-ray to scan and measure bone mineral density in various body parts — usually the spine and hips. Be sure to tell your doctor if you’re pregnant before scheduling your test.
During the exam, you’ll lie flat on your back and hold still. The entire scan will take about 30 minutes. Here are a few tips to help the process go even more smoothly:
- Don’t wear clothing with metal zippers, buttons or snaps
- Feel free to eat before or after the exam
- Wear sneakers or a closed shoe (no sandals or clogs)
- Wear sweatpants (or pants with an elastic waistband)