Bone density scan can be done in the following cases:
• To determine the risks of breaking bones.
• To identify a decrease in bone density before you break a bone.
• To confirm a diagnosis of osteoporosis.
• To monitor osteoporosis treatment and how well a medicine is working.
When should you consider getting a bone density test?
• If you are near your menopause or older than 65 years of age, the risk factors of osteoporosis are more. Menopause or hysterectomy reduces estrogen levels leading to bone loss.
• If you have thyroid problems or overactive parathyroid and adrenal glands.
• People having long sitting hours especially at the office are at higher risks of osteoporosis.
• Loss of bone mass can make you shorter hence if you see a reduction in your height, you might consider getting a bone density test.
• Inadequate calcium in the diet can cause weak bones. Eating disorders and gastric bypass surgery can reduce the nutrients-absorbing capacity of your body including calcium.
• If you have broken a bone, you are at risk of osteoporosis. You can consult your doctor regarding this.
• If you are suffering from prolonged back pain or if there is a possibility of spine injury.
What causes bone loss or osteoporosis?
Estrogen is responsible for maintaining the bone density in premenopausal women. After menopause, a significant amount of bone density is lost within five to ten years from the onset of menopause. You can see a doctor if you have any doubts regarding the same. Visit BirthRight by Rainbow Hospitals sto consult the best gynecologist in Hyderabad. It can also happen to younger people with an unhealthy lifestyle and diet. Some of these factors are as follows:
• Physical inactivity
• Excessive caffeine and alcohol consumption
• Regular smoking
• Low body frame or excess weight loss
• A history of bone fracture or severe injury
• Deficiency of vitamin D
• Early menopause or late menstrual cycle
How is a bone density test done?
To prepare for the test, do not take calcium supplements for 24 hours before the test. Avoid clothes with metal zippers, belts, or buttons. The DXA method is very less risky. The level of X-ray exposure is very low and for a very short duration of time. There are two types of bone density tests performed by top gynecologist in Hyderabad at BirthRight Fertility by Rainbow:
• Central DXA: DXA stands for dual-energy X-ray Absorptiometry. It is expensive and gives more accurate results. It examines the bones of your hips and spine. For this test, you lie down on a padded platform. A machine arm passes over you and sends low-intensity X-rays through your body. The X-rays produce an image result based on the types of bones it passes through. This test takes less than 15 minutes. The results are sent to an expert who studies it and recommends further procedures and medication accordingly.
• Peripheral test: This test determines the bone density at your wrist, fingers, and heels. It is cheaper than the DXA method. It is performed using a portable device. This makes it feasible for people who cannot afford the DXA test. The types of peripheral tests are as follows:
• pDXA (peripheral dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry)
• QUS (Quantitative Ultrasound)
• pQCT (peripheral quantitative computed tomography)
People taking osteoporosis medications should repeat their tests every one to two years. Even if you are not suffering from osteoporosis, you might be advised by your doctor to take the test after every two years after the onset of menopause.
Your bone density is measured in terms of T-scores. It compares the bone density with that of a healthy 30-year-old adult. According to the WHO, the following standards are used:
• T-score of -1.0 or above: Normal bone density
• T-score between -1 and -2.5: Low bone density or osteopenia. Such people might consider taking medicines for osteoporosis if the risk factors are more, after consulting their doctors. It does not mean you will surely get osteoporosis in the future. It is a kind of warning to alarm you that you might develop osteoporosis if you lose bone in the future.
• T-score of -2.5 and below: It is a diagnosis of osteoporosis. People with these scores should take medicines for osteoporosis.