When we were young, we took our bodies for granted—quickly recovering from illness, without constant aches and pains and no fear of falling without being able to get back up. That all changes by the age of 40, when we slowly begin to lose muscle and bone mass, putting us at greater risk of serious injury. Bone loss can be significantly slowed through proper nutrition and regular exercise for most of us, monitoring your bone density with regular DEXA scans is a great option.
Bone Density Testing
DEXA Scans measure bone density to diagnose osteoporosis, which can cause serious complications like hip fractures, severe back pain, and hunched posture, or determine future fracture risk. So by monitoring bone density, physicians and patients can take preventative action or start treatment earlier to prevent worsening conditions. Bone density tests also track the progress of osteoporosis treatment to determine if it’s working.
With that said, DEXA Scans are considered the gold standard for accuracy in bone density testing. While standard X-rays may show weakened bones, DEXA scans can find decreasing bone density and strength at a much earlier stage. Intervening with treatment sooner can prevent worse deterioration in patients.
Who Is At Risk?
While not everyone may need regular bone density testing, consider incorporating them into your annual physical if you have any risk factors:
- Advancing age, especially men women over 65
- Family history of hip fractures
- Long-term steroid use
- Hormonal imbalances or thyroid problems
- Dietary issues like a vitamin deficiency or eating disorders
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Low BMI (body mass index)
- Sedentary lifestyle, such as office workers who spend long hours sitting
- You’ve lost height or have broken a bone in the past
DEXA Scans: Step Up Your Health Game
Bone density testing is an essential preventive health measure as we age, but DEXA scans are also optimal for measuring body composition and crushing fitness goals. Learn more about all the ways you can use your DEXA scan results.