Bone mineral density, or BMD, is a measurement of your bones' calcium and mineral composition and can be used to determine overall bone health. An individual with low bone density, for example, is more prone to bone fractures and can take steps to strengthen bone and prevent injury. One of the most commonly used BMD tests, the dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) scan, uses x-ray energy to determine the density of the spine and pelvis. You may want to consider getting a DEXA scan to evaluate your bone density if you:
- Are a woman age 65 or older: Osteoporosis is a serious and progressive condition that reduces bone mineral density and can dramatically increase a person’s risk for bone fractures. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, one in every five women over the age of 50 is affected by osteoporosis. To help detect osteoporosis before it becomes serious, experts recommend that women over the age of 65 get screened regularly to monitor their bone mineral density.
- Are suffering from unexplained neck or back pain: Advanced osteoporosis can lead to fractures caused by even the smallest forces; some affected women can experience fractures from just a cough or sneeze. If you are experiencing spinal pain from an unknown cause, your physician may recommend that you get a DEXA scan to evaluate your bone mineral density.
- Have lost height over time: Osteoporosis can also lead to a progressive loss of height due to compression fractures in the spinal column. A DEXA scan can determine if bone density loss is also the source of your height loss.
- Are experiencing hormone imbalance: Low estrogen and testosterone levels contribute to bone loss, so a DEXA scan may be recommended if you are experiencing hormone fluctuations. Cancer treatments, certain medications, and menopause can all lead to drops in these hormones, increasing your risk of bone loss.
At Southwest Diagnostic Imaging Center, we are proud to offer our patients the full range of advanced imaging modalities, including DEXA scanning technology.
Providing the highest standards of service and a patient-centered approach, Southwest Diagnostic Imaging Center is a Dallas leader in diagnostic imaging and health screening. Visit us online to find a location near you, or call us today at (888) 530-1053.