Osteoporosis is the loss of bone density that can lead to serious health problems, especially bone fractures. Ten million Americans are affected by osteoporosis and most of them are women. One in two women will have a fracture related to osteoporosis in their lifetime.
The physicians at IGO recognize the importance of prevention and early detection of this debilitating disease in order to optimize quality of life in a woman’s mid-life years and beyond. It is important to detect bone loss early when therapy can greatly prevent further loss and actually improve bone structure. Women can conveniently have this test done at the time of their annual exam and Pap and/or their mammogram.
Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) is used most often to measure the bone density of the spine and hip. It is currently the most accurate test available. Licensed X-ray technologists at IGO perform this fast, safe and pain-free test using our Lunar machine.
During the test, the patient lies down for 3–10 minutes while an arm-like device (an imager) scans across the body. After the test, a T-score is calculated when your DXA test results are compared to the average bone density of a healthy 30-year-old. A negative score means you have thinner bones than an average 30-year-old. A positive score means your bones are stronger and thicker than an average 30-year-old.
If your T-score is -1 to -2.5, you have low bone mass and are at increased risk for osteoporosis. A score of -2.5 or lower means you have osteoporosis. A low T-score may mean that you also are at increased risk of a bone fracture.
IGO physicians can recommend dietary changes and hormone or medication therapy if bone loss is detected.
Baseline bone mineral density testing is usually recommended at age 50.
Repeat testing is individualized depending on the results and any new risk factors that may arise.