Bone Density (Dexa Scan)
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.