A woman nearing premenopausal or menopausal stage faces high risk of getting osteoporosis with the diminishing levels of the estrogens in her body. Poor bone integrity gets worse if the diet has inadequate food nutrients (calcium and vitamin D) and lifestyle is very inactive. Isn’t it time for this woman to go through a bone density test lest she fracture a bone in her body soon?
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A test of bone mineral density (BMD) assesses a small sample of a bone for its calcium and other mineral contents. The procedure is simple and does not warrant pain or huge cost but the results can be useful as it directs future actions towards saving the health of the bones. BMD test is important because it helps the doctor determine the presence of bone loss; it can lead to a sound decision regarding the kind of treatments that must be administered if osteoporosis and fractures are real possibilities.
The bone density test also assesses the strength of the bone. These findings are valuable to stop bone loss and to prevent it from developing into a more serious case of osteoporosis. It is always best to be forewarned as well as forearmed so the patient gets the chance to treat osteoporosis even before probable injuries happen.
The bone density test may also be done using the dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) scan that uses low-dose X-rays. The use of DEXA scan does not only provide precise results, it also tests bones that are prone to injuries such as the heels, legs, wrists and fingers using peripheral or p-DEXA and hip and spine or the central DEXA. T-scores and Z-scores are used to represent results with +1.0 and higher indicating healthy, strong bones. Negative values indicate weakness of bones and a need for a treatment program.
But alas, the woes of bone loss are not exclusive to aging women. Bone loss may also afflict elderly men, people who have fracture history, in birth control pills and into corticosteroid medications, those whose physical frailties are evident, people with active lifestyles, inactive, and with poor dietary habits to cite some. Because treatments are available and remedies like diet and exercise are practical and easy, one only needs to commit to an early BMD to save the bones from osteoporosis and fracture risks.