The evaluation of bone health has become an important aspect of your wellness. Osteoporosis is the most common bone disease and remains silent until it is complicated by a fracture. The Bone Mineral Densitometer (BMD) is a state-of-the-art piece of technology that is used to measure the density of your bones. The test, which uses a small amount of radiation, is sensitive enough to detect bone loss at an early stage. The BMD can detect low bone density before a fracture occurs, and monitor treatment over time.
For those individuals taking an osteoporosis medication, bone density tests should be completed every one – two years. If you have just started on a new osteoporosis medication, your physician may ask that you repeat the bone density test after one year.
To schedule an appointment, call (309) 647-5240, ext. 2860.
What if I have been diagnosed with Low Bone Density?
Having low bone density, osteopenia, does not necessarily mean you will get osteoporosis. It means you have a greater chance of developing osteoporosis if you lose bone in the future.
Those who have low bone density should have regular bone density tests.
When is a bone density scan recommended?
A bone density scan is recommended if you:
- Are a post-menopausal woman with risk factors
- Have a history of smoking
- Have experienced bone loss or bone trauma
- Are a woman over the age of 65
- Are a man age 70 or older
- Break a bone after the age of 50
How do I prepare for a DEXA scan?
There are little or no preparations for a DEXA scan. You should eat as you normally do; however, it is recommended that you do not take any calcium supplements 24 hours prior to the exam.
You may have to wait seven days before undergoing a DEXA test if you have had another diagnostic study that required the use of a contrast agent (such as a barium enema, an upper/lower GI series esophagram) or have been injected with a contrast material for a computer tomography (CT) scan, a radioisotope scan for a bone or PET/CT scan.
As with all radiological procedures, please inform the technologist if there is any chance you are pregnant.