Bone Density Scan

A bone density test is used to detect decreases in bone mass associated with osteoporosis. You may be at risk for osteoporosis if you have the following characteristics:

  • Smoke cigarettes daily
  • Drink more than three ounces of alcoholic beverages a day
  • Avoid milk and other dairy products
  • Get little or no exercise
  • Female who exercises excessively (long distance runner/ballerina)
  • Diet high in animal protein or red meat
  • Add high quantities of salt to diet
  • Vegetarian
  • Have an eating disorder and get too little nutritious foods
  • Eat high amounts of fiber
  • Heavy caffeine use
  • Have a family history of osteoporosis
  • White, northern European or Asian
  • Small bone framed, over 70 years old

WHO SHOULD HAVE BONE DENSITY TESTING?

Indivduals who have:

  • Low body weight
  • Cigarette smoker
  • Heavy alcohol intake
  • History of osteoporosis
  • Diet low in calcium
  • Have had a bone fracture in the past
  • Have taken medications that accelerate bone loss (Cortisteroids or Anti-seizure medications)

A BONE DENSITY TEST is a simple, painless, non-invasive test that uses low levels of radiation to scan the bones in your wrists and hips. The bone density is plotted on a graph so your bones can be compared to the peak bone mass. If a woman does not take hormone replacement therapy at menopause she should be screened for osteoporosis.

For more information on this and other women's health subjects visit the following website:
www.nlm.nih.gov

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