DEXA Bone Density Scan
A DEXA Bone Density Scan, also called bone densitometry, uses X-rays to measure bone mineral density (BMD), most commonly in the spine, hips or wrists. It is the most accurate method available to diagnose osteoporosis, a disease that results in weak, brittle bones. The condition, which often affects women after menopause, can progress over time and cause the bones to become more likely to break. Unfortunately, many individuals don’t realize they have osteoporosis until this happens.
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How will the DEXA Bone Density Scan help you?
Knowing your bone mineral density can help you:
- Identify and monitor osteopenia (low bone density) and osteoporosis (substantially low bone density).
- Assess your risk for developing fractures.
- Get early osteoporosis intervention (without appropriate treatment, osteoporosis can worsen).
- Monitor the effects of treatment for osteoporosis and other conditions that cause bone loss.
Who is the DEXA Bone Density Scan recommended for?
Bone density testing may be recommended if you:
- Are a woman over the age of 65.
- Are a woman or man that is using medication known to cause bone loss.
- Are postmenopausal and not taking estrogen.
- Have a history of bone fractures.
- Are a smoker.
- Have a low body weight or thin body stature.
- Use medications that are known to cause bone loss.
- Have type 1 diabetes, liver or kidney disease, a thyroid condition, or a family history of osteoporosis.
What is the DEXA Bone Density Scan process?
- It’s a simple, quick and noninvasive examination.
- It is done on an outpatient basis. No anesthesia is required.
- 24 hours before your scan, please stop use of calcium supplements.
- It works by sending a low dose X-ray beam, which is less than one-tenth the dose of a standard chest X-ray.
- The scan takes about 10-30 minutes.
Note: A DEXA Bone Density Scan is different from a bone scan, which is a nuclear medicine test used to detect issues like cancer in the bone.
Next step to stronger bones
Edward-Elmhurst Health offers a full suite of imaging services, backed by the expertise of a team of board-certified radiologists. To make an appointment for a DEXA Bone Density Scan, call 630-527-3200 or schedule online 24/7.
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Edward-Elmhurst Health also offers a Whole Body Composition Test using the DEXA scan. This test provides an accurate, in-depth body composition analysis of your fat, muscle, bone and water mass. This can be used to identify health risks and pinpoint problems in the body before they occur. It does not include the bone density testing. Learn more about this test