Are You at Risk for Osteoporosis?
Even if you feel healthy, you may still have osteoporosis. Before it takes you by surprise, talk with your doctor. If you have one or more of these risk factors, you may be susceptible to osteoporosis.
- Age (past 50)
- Caucasian or Asian descent
- Previous bone fracture
- Certain medications (steroids, seizure medications)
- Family history of osteoporosis
- Thin or small build
- Diet low in calcium
- Anorexia nervosa or bulimia
- Lack of exercise
- Cigarette smoking
- Excessive alcohol consumption
While these factors can help determine if you are at risk for osteoporosis, the only way to know is through bone density testing.
We use dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) to measure bone mineral density. This is a painless, noninvasive procedure similar to an x-ray. A moveable arm passes over the area to be tested, which may include your hip, spine, or forearm. The test is completed in a matter of minutes and radiation exposure is minimal. A questionnaire identifying risk factors is completed before the test. The physician will use the responses to your questionnaire along with the results of the DXA test to provide a report to your doctor. This report is forwarded to your doctor for him or her to review with you.
Bone density tests are the best way to measure the density of bones. They can help your doctor diagnose osteoporosis, particularly in the early stages before broken bones occur. And when tests are repeated over time, they can help track any further bone loss or measure response to treatment.
If you have been scheduled for a DXA bone density test at our facility, please print and complete the Bone Density Questionnaire and bring it to your appointment.