What is a Bone Density Scan (DEXA)?
Bone density scanning, also called dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) is an enhanced form of x-ray technology that is used to measure bone density. It is typically performed on the lower spine and hips.
It is used to diagnose osteoporosis and assess an individual’s risk for developing fractures. It is quick, noninvasive and uses less than 1/10th the dose of a standard chest x-ray. Osteoporosis is a debilitating bone loss condition that affects one in three women after menopause. Although osteoporosis typically afflicts women, men can also develop bone loss. For women, a baseline scan is usually recommended at age 50 or post-menopausal. Subsequent scans are generally ordered every 2 years.
Am I at Risk for Osteoporosis?
post menopausal woman who is not taking estrogen
post menopausal woman who is tall (over 5’7″) or thin (less than 125 pounds)
use of medications known to cause bone loss such as corticosteroids dialantin, or high dose thyroid replacement drugs
have type 1 diabetes, kidney or liver disease, or family history of osteoporosis
hyperthyroidism or hyperparathyroidism
have had x-ray evidence of vertebral fracture or other sign of osteoporosis
have experienced a fracture after a mild trauma paragraph here.