Prevent Broken Bones Osteoporosis Can Cause with a Bone Density Test

bone density test

Our bodies continually replace old bone with new bone, but as we age this process slows down, and osteoporosis can develop. With this condition, our bones become weak and brittle and may eventually break. If you’re a Caucasian or Asian woman who is past menopause, you have a higher risk of developing osteoporosis. This is because estrogen, which helps protect bone, decreases after menopause. Some people don’t even realize they have it until they suffer from a `broken bone. Luckily, you can prevent broken bones osteoporosis can cause with a bone density test.

What is a bone density test?

A bone density test is also known as dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry or DXA or DEXA for short. It uses a small dose of radiation to take pictures inside the body, usually of the lower spine or hip. These areas are used to measure bone density because they are two of the most common bones to break when someone has osteoporosis.

Bone density is determined by measuring the amount of calcium and other minerals inside the bone. The denser bones are stronger and have less chance of breaking. The results are measured and scored against what would normally be expected in someone healthy in your age range. Based on these results, our team will know whether you have osteoporosis or not and if you’re at risk for developing it.

Dr. Maurice Sheetz is a certified clinical densitometrist specializing in osteoporosis by the International Society of Clinical Densitometry. He provides specialized osteoporosis care to our patients at the Medical Alliance of Southern New Jersey. When you see Dr. Sheetz, he’ll evaluate your condition and develop a personalized treatment plan.

What to expect

The importance of preventative care

At the Medical Alliance of Southern New Jersey, we take a preventative approach to care. We encourage all of our patients to have a yearly exam so we can keep track of their health and catch any issues early. For example, if one of our doctors determines you’re at risk for developing osteoporosis, you’ll be asked to get a bone density test.

If the test reveals you have osteoporosis, you may take medications, hormone replacement therapy, or supplements, such as calcium, magnesium, or vitamin D. If you don’t have osteoporosis yet, but you’re still at risk, you could increase your bone density by engaging in weight-bearing activities, such as walking. By catching it early with a bone density test, you can treat it and prevent broken bones osteoporosis can cause.

If you think you’re at risk for osteoporosis, call us or use our convenient online booking tool to make an appointment with Medical Alliance of Southern New Jersey today.

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