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Bone Density Test

Since bones serve as the foundation of our physical structure, bone strength is one of the most important aspects of maintaining good health.

Not only is it important to have strong, healthy bones as we grow during our younger years, but also as we get older. There are various factors that can affect a person’s bone health, such as gender, exercise, body size, lifestyle choices, as well the amount of calcium present.

A bone density test is a very effective way to evaluate the strength of your bones. This type of x-ray, also known as a dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, or DEXA scan for short, measures bone mineral density and bone loss. One of the primary reasons we do DEXA scans is to detect and treat a condition called osteoporosis (bone loss) which can lead to fractures and other serious bone health issues. The bone density test can be completed in less than 30 minutes and is completely painless. Click below to contact the Humboldt Park Health team for more information about how a bone density test can help you or a loved one maintain a healthy and active lifestyle.

Humboldt Park Health understands that our patient's bone health is important to their quality of life. As our patients age, their bones can weaken and make the patient more prone to fractures, which are harder to heal from at an older age. This safe, painless procedure uses small amounts of radiation to measure bone density. As with breast cancer, early detection is important in the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis.

Risk factors for osteoporosis:
• Age > 50
• Family history of osteoporosis
• Low body weight (petite/thin frame)
• Lack of exercise
• Post-menopausal
• Smoking

What to Expect at Your Bone Density Test
This simple procedure usually takes between 10 and 20 minutes. Depending on the part of the body being tested, you may simply lie on a table or place your arm on the table. Dress comfortably, but don't wear clothes with metal buttons, buckles or zippers. Be sure to tell your health-care provider if you're pregnant.

About the Bone Density Scan
Bone density scanning, also called dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) or bone densitometry, is an enhanced form of x-ray technology that is used to measure bone loss. DXA is today's established standard for measuring bone mineral density (BMD).
X-rays are the oldest and most frequently used form of medical imaging. DXA is most often performed on the lower spine and hips. In some adults, the whole body is sometimes scanned.

After the Procedure
• After the procedure, your bone density scan is compared with the standards for what is expected for someone your age, gender and size and to the optimal peak bone density of a healthy young adult of the same gender.
• Results from a bone density scan should be discussed with a physician to ensure you understand how the comparisons relate to your health.
• Because bone density scanning involves a non-invasive x-ray, there are no special post-procedure requirements for patients.

Print out our Bone Density fact sheet.  | Bone Density fact sheet - Spanish

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