We can schedule your bone density test on the same day that you see one of our physicians
More than 10 million Americans have osteoporosis, but most do not realize that they have it. Osteoporosis is a disease that causes bones to become thin and weak. Often a fracture can occur and have an impact on your lifestyle.
Risk Factors for Osteoporosis
According to National Osteoporosis Foundation guidelines, there are several groups of people who should consider bone density testing:
Those who are on certain medications (including steroids, certain cancer treatment medications, excess thyroid hormones, anti-seizure medicines, and heparin) that can cause bone loss:
- Women who are past menopause or who went through menopause before age 45
- Those with a small thin frame
- Those who have family members with osteoporosis
- Those who smoke or who drink heavily
- Those who are not very active
- Those with a diet low in calcium
- Woman with medical conditions associated with osteoporosis. Your health care provider can tell you if you have a medical condition associated with osteoporosis.
What is a bone density test?
A bone density test can diagnose osteoporosis before a broken bone occurs. The test estimates the density of your bones and your chance of breaking a bone. The test uses DXA for dual energy x-ray absorptiometry.
Bone Density Testing – What to Expect
To find out if your bones are thinning, your doctor may ask you to have a bone mineral density exam or DXA. This simple, painless procedure, which takes about 20 minutes, is used to measure the density of bones in the hip and spine.
If your DXA shows that you have low bone mass or osteoporosis, your doctor may recommend that you change your diet, become more active, or take calcium and vitamin D. In addition, your doctor may prescribe medication.
Most insurance carriers, including Medicare, cover the DXA exam for people at risk for osteoporosis and for all woman age 65 and older. If you have questions about your coverage, please check with your insurance carrier.