Central Bone Densitometry
As we get older, we begin to lose more bone mineral than we build. The tiny holes within the bones get bigger, and the solid outer layer becomes thinner. In other words, our bones get less dense. If this loss of bone density goes too far, it can lead to osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a disease in which bones become brittle and fragile due to low bone mass and bone tissue loss. 1 in 2 women aged 50 and above are at an intermediate risk of osteoporosis. The first sign of osteoporosis is a fracture unless you have undergone a bone density test. The Gold Standard for bone density testing is a DEXA (Dual-energy X-ray Absorptiometry) Scan. Central DEXA Scan estimates the amount of bone in your hip and spine. Result from this test will help your healthcare provider make recommendations to help you protect your bones.
A DEXA scan is a quick and painless procedure that involves lying on your back on the machine. No special preparations are needed before having the test. You need to wear a gown and make sure no buttons or zippers are in the way of the area to be scanned. The test usually takes less than 15 minutes. It uses very little radiation.
In general, this testing is recommended for women 50 and older along with younger postmenopausal women who have further risk factors for osteoporosis, including:
• A history of bone fractures as an adult or having a close relative with a history of bone fractures
• Vitamin D deficiency, which can occur as a result of certain medical conditions
• Excessive alcohol or caffeine consumption
• Early menopause or late onset of menstrual periods
• Physical inactivity
• Taking a medication [such as prednisone or phenytoin, (Dilantin)] known to cause bone loss
• Low estrogen levels
• Body weight under 127 pounds
• Having an immediate family member with a fragility fracture (a broken bone from a minor injury, suggesting osteoporosis).
2013 Asia Pacific Audit-Philippines, International Osteoporosis Foundation, pp 2.
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