Bone Density Testing (DEXA)
Designed for the modern woman who wants to be informed and in control of her health care decisions, we are pleased to offer this additional service. Patients receive results, a written report and an explanation of the results at the time of the examination.
Facts About Bone Health
Osteoporosis is a condition that is most commonly experienced by elderly individuals, but it can be seen in young adults too. Up to 90 percent of peak bone mass is acquired by age 18 in girls and age 20 in boys. The amount of bone tissue in the skeleton, known as bone mass, can keep growing until around age 30. At that point, bones have reached their maximum strength and density, known as peak bone mass.
* SOURCE: National Institutes of Health Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases ~ National Resource Center, March 2005.
Osteoporosis is defined as loss of bone mass relative to peak bone mass. In the US, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), more than 25 million people are affected by osteoporosis, 80 percent of them being female.
Risk factors include gender, genetics, weight, race, early menopause, skipped menstrual cycles before menopause, family history and personal history of fracture as an adult and some medications (E.G.: steroids, excessive thyroid medication).
When a young adult does not achieve her ideal peak bone mass, she may develop osteoporosis at a much earlier age. It is therefore important to determine the baseline status of bone density starting in the early 40s. If the baseline shows low bone density, there is a great deal of hopeful news, because not only can further bone loss be prevented, bone density can be improved. Even if you just maintain what you currently have, when you are older you can end up with more bone density than a woman who did nothing at all to look after her bones. If the baseline shows optimal bone density for your age, follow up is recommended 1-2 years after your last period (menopause).
Consequences of Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis can lead to increased risk of fracture with minor trauma from activities such as lifting, bending and minor impact. The risk increases with age, leading to pain and discomfort, physical incapacity and loss of independence.