A bone density test measures the amount of calcium and minerals in a segment of bone. The segment usually is the spine and hips. Doctors can identify decreases in bone mineral density which helps determine your risk of fractures, osteoporosis, and other conditions.
Most people will not need a bone density scan in Vernon until later in age. As you age, the risk of developing osteoporosis also increases because bone density does this as we age. Women over 65 should schedule a bone density test with their doctor.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force does not recommend bone density scanning for men because they have higher bone mass and lose bone more slowly than women and are at a decreased risk of a fracture. Men 70 and older, however, should receive the scan, according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation.
Other situations in which it is a good idea to schedule an appointment with the doctor for a bone density scan include:
· People who take drugs that interfere with the body’s natural bone building process, including prednisone and immunosuppressant drugs.
· People over age 50 who have broken at least one bone and have lost 1.5″ of height.
· To ease your mind.
To help reduce the risk of osteoporosis and other bone health concerns, make sure you eat a healthy diet, including proper amounts of calcium and vitamin D. Stop smoking if you have this habit, as smoking can decrease bone mass. You should also lower alcohol consumption because it can make calcium absorption more difficult.
Talk to your doctor to learn more about the bone density scan and to learn if it is something that you need to stay healthy. It is better to be sure than to worry and wonder and this scan makes that more than possible.