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The Importance of DEXA Scans

A bone densitometer is used to take bone density tests (DEXA scans), which assess the strength of the bones and look for possible fractures that may put a person at risk for osteoporosis. While bone densitometers can also be used for body fat testing, today we’re focusing on DEXA scans & the important role they play in bone health, especially for older individuals.

DEXA scans only take a few minutes and involve a substantially lower dose of radiation in comparison with a regular standard chest x-ray. This is comforting to a populace who should be having bone density tests taken every few years for optimal preventative healthcare.

Women in particular are affected by age when it comes to bone density. In premenopausal women, estrogen is produced which helps maintain bone density. After menopause begins, a woman’s bone loss increases by the year and can even result in a 30% loss within the first few years of menopause!

Dexa Scan

Other factors besides menopause can affect a person’s bone density as well, including:

  • Hereditary factors
  • Those with a history of bone fractures
  • Smoking
  • Excessive caffeine and alcohol consumption
  • A small body frame
  • Low estrogen levels due to other factors
  • Taking medication that includes bone loss as a side effect

After the bone density test is performed, their results are measured by comparing them to the average bone density for individuals in the same age & race group.

The results are measured in “T-zone” and “Z-zone.” The lower the number, the higher the chance of bone loss. The beginning of bone loss is categorized as osteoporosis – it usually corresponds with a T-zone score of -1 to -2.5. A score less than -2.5 it indicates full blown osteoporosis.

Since DEXA scans are non-invasive, you’ll generally be able to resume normal activities right after your bone scan, and your results should be available from your doctor within 24 hours of the test being conducted.

Bone loss is a real threat to women in the midst of menopause and those with the other risk factors mentioned, so having a bone densitometer in your facility is incredibly beneficial. If you’re in the market for a bone densitometer for your medical practice, don’t hesitate to contact Amber Diagnostics. Our dedicated imaging experts guarantee high-quality equipment and the best service available.

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