Bone Density Scanning, also called dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) or bone densitometry, is an advanced form of X-Ray technology that is used to measure bone loss. DEXA is today’s established standard for measuring bone mineral density (BMD).
Dual-Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry (DEXA) is the most accurate and advanced test available for measuring bone mass with excellent resolution and reproducible precision. Minimum radiation (less than 1/20 of a chest x-ray) is used to determine the bone density of the spine or hip. A DEXA test is more sensitive than ordinary x-rays, more accurate than radiograms (radiographic absorptiometry) and can diagnose bone loss at an earlier stage. Safe and painless, the 10 minute DEXA scan is the most reliable test to determine even the earliest stages of bone loss associated with osteoporosis.
What is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis literally means ‘porous bones’. It is a disease where the bones in the body become weak and brittle, so much so that they fracture even due to minimal stress like bending over, cleaning and coughing.
Osteoporosis affects over 6.1 crore Indians- 1 out of 8 men and 1 out of 3 women suffer from osteoporosis, making India one of the largest affected countries in the world.
How does Osteoporosis occur?
The strength of bones depends on the amount of calcium, phosphorous and other minerals that are present in them. Osteoporosis silently depletes the bones of calcium, making them weak and prone to fractures. These fractures occur mostly in the spine, hips and wrists.
Osteoporosis can occur due to several reasons. At menopause, the rate of bone loss in women increases to about 1-3%, thereby increasing their risk of osteoporosis. Bone loss also accelerates in men over 65 years of age. Osteoporosis can also be caused due to endocrinal disorders or from excessive use of certain drugs.
How Osteoporosis can affect your life?
Osteoporosis can leave a person severely incapacitated. People suffering from osteoporosis cannot move freely and experience difficulty in performing routine activities like household cleaning, shopping and travelling. In many cases, the affected person cannot look after oneself and may even need to be admitted in a hospital.
What are the symptoms of Osteoporosis?
There are no symptoms or pain during the early stage of osteoporosis. Once the bones are weakened, the common symptom includes non-specific pain.
How can Osteoporosis be diagnosed?
Early detection is important in order to slow down or prevent osteoporosis. Considering your risk factors, your doctor may recommend a Bone Densitometry (BMD) Test to determine the strength of your bones. In case you are diagnosed with osteoporosis, your doctor will prescribe treatment program that is suited for you.
Q. What happens during the scan?
There is no special preparation required for the scan. All it involves is the lying on a table, breathing normally. No intravenous injections or oral medication. The intensity of radiation is extremely low. The whole procedure takes about 10 minutes.
Q. Why Physicians Request a DEXA Exam?
• To determine your actual bone density and fracture risk.
• To reveal early signs of bone loss with the fewest false positive or false negative results.
• To diagnose low bone mass that may signal the need for treatment.