Bone Density Screening

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Did you know that 1 out of 2 women are diagnosed with osteoporosis? Are you aware that a women's risk of breaking a hip is equal to her combined risk of breast, uterine and ovarian cancer? According to the International Foundation of Osteoporosis, 1 in 3 women over the age of 50 will develop a fracture due to osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis is a serious "silent" condition where your bones become weak and prone to fracture. You may learn you have osteoporosis only after breaking a bone. Fractures of the bones, a loss in height or a forward curvature of your upper spine are all signs that your bones are weak. The main goal of treating osteoporosis is to prevent such conditions in the first place. We, at Orange Coast Women's Medical Group believe in this prevention of care and take great strides in diagnosing osteoporosis before any issues have a chance to arise.

Osteoporosis can keep you from doing the things that you enjoy and can lead to feelings of isolation or depression and other health problems. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, twenty percent of seniors who break a hip have complications that led to death from the fracture itself or from the surgery to fix the fracture within the first year of the occurrence.


The Physicians and Staff here at Orange Coast Women's Medical Group want you to be educated about bone density, so that our prevention goals meet your health goals. One important fact regarding bone density is that the amount of bone gained during adolescence should equal the amount lost during the rest of your life. So, the greater your bone mass is when you reach menopause, the lower are your chances of developing osteoporosis This is especially important for postmenopausal women because when a woman reaches menopause, her estrogen level will drop leading to bone loss. In some women, this loss is rapid and severe. In addition, the first five years after menopause, a woman can lose up to 30% of her calcium, also leading to bone loss and osteoporosis. Many vitamins and minerals play a role in maintaining a healthy body, but calcium is the only one specifically responsible for maintaining bones. Unfortunately, as many as 35% of Americans are calcium deficient.

Many factors will raise your risk of developing osteoporosis and fracturing a bone. Many of the risk factors you can change, others you cannot. Recognizing your risk factors and discussing them with your physician is important so that we, as a team, can take steps to prevent this bone loss or treat it before it becomes worse.

The major risk factors of osteoporosis increase if you are:

  • Female
  • Postmenopausal, including early onset menopause and surgical menopause
  • Petite and thin boned body type
  • Caucasian or Asian
  • Parental history of osteoporosis or fracture due to frailty
  • Multiple fractures as an adult over 50
  • Irregular menstrual cycles or amennorhea
  • Low estrogen or testosterone levels
  • History of anorexia or bulimia
  • Diet low in calcium and vitamin D
  • Long term use of Prednisone and certain other medications
  • Lead a sedentary lifestyle
  • Smoke or smoked cigarettes for a long period of time
  • Drink excessive alcohol

Some risk factors that our Physicians can facilitate with you can decrease your risk of osteoporosis. These include:

  • Knowing your estrogen level, vitamin deficient areas and calcium absorption
  • Consulting with our Nutritionists for proper diet and exercise
  • Assisting with cessation of smoking and drinking excessively
  • Education regarding certain medications and diseases that can affect bone loss or help in gaining bone strength.
  • Obtain a Bone Density Test, conveniently located within our Laguna Hills office.

A Bone Density test, or DEXA (Dual Energy X-ray Absorption) is a very simple, painless and quick test that measures the amount of current bone mass in certain regions of your body. It uses a very small amount of radiation and small amount of thermal energy that combine to give a computer image. This image is based on the attenuation or absorption of this combined energy to bone. The regions scanned, usually the lumbar spine and left hip will be analyzed and as needed will be compared to any prior bone density test. The software analysis will then give a total score as well as a graphical measurement of how much, if any, bone loss you have acquired.

DEXA is the most current and precise test that will assist your OCWMG physician to ascertain several things regarding your bone health. It supports preventative health by allowing your Physician the information needed to generate critical diagnostic information accurately, to assess your fracture risk, analyze your body composition and evaluating treatment options thereby creating an informed team approach for the health of your bones.

Today we know more about how to prevent, detect and treat bone loss. You are never too young or too old to take care of your bones. Effective communication, early prevention and good lifestyle habits can help you decrease your chance of ever having osteoporosis.

After your DEXA, feel free to follow our links below for more information regarding our services and osteoporosis prevention.

Day of Wellness Program: Offers multiple exams, including bone density and nutritional consult, all in one day.

Nutritonal guidelines to prevent osteoporosis:

Foods rich in calcium and vitamin D:

Exercises to strengthen skeletal muscle and decrease bone loss:

Living with Osteoporosis