A bone density test is used to determine the strength and condition of your bones. It is a type of X-ray that’s also known as a DEXA scan. The data collected from this procedure can identify bone loss and help doctors come up with a treatment plan. While it’s important to monitor health, not everyone needs a bone density test.
Who Needs A Bone Density Test?
Most adults under the age of 65 do not need to undergo a bone density test. That’s because most patients do not have bone loss or have only mild loss. That means their risk of breaking a bone is minimal. They should continue living a healthy lifestyle with exercise and a nutritious diet that includes plenty of vitamin D and calcium.
The Risk of a Bone Density Test
Just like other X-ray procedures, a bone density test uses a small amount of radiation. This is typically manageable and not a serious risk. However, repeated exposure can increase your risk over time. That’s why it is better to get as many tests or X-rays done as is recommended base on your age and health status.
Risk Factors to Consider
If you are a woman over age 65, then you should talk to your doctor about having a bone density test. If you are under age 65, then you likely won’t need one unless you:
- Have broken a bone in a minor accident
- Have been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis
- Have a parent who broke their hip
- Are a smoker
- Are a heavy drinker
- Have a low body weight
- Have a low vitamin D level
- Used a corticosteroid drug for three months or longer
We can help you decide if a bone density test is a good choice for you. Contact Women’s Health today to schedule an appointment.