When Should I Get a Bone Density Test?

Osteoporosis is a disorder that makes bones weaker, brittle and more likely to fracture or break. One may not know that they have osteoporosis until a fracture occurs. Many medical experts believe it is also preventable if steps are taken early. Bone density tests, such as those administered by Orange Coast Women’s Medical Group, where weuse a DXA (dual energy x-ray absorption) to look at the amount of calcium and additional minerals in your bones. The density of the minerals tells doctors whether you have osteoporosis, and how likely you are to experience fractures and breaks. The maxim here is that the denser your bones are, the healthier they are too.

Risk Factors for OsteoporosisAn example of what osteoporosis looks like.

The best way to treat osteoporosis is by preventing it or limiting its progression. That means early detection through a bone density test. Talk to your women’s doctor in Irvine about the right time for you to be tested. Your discussion should include several risk factors, including those below.

  • Hormone levels: Low levels of estrogen in women or testosterone in men weaken bones.
  • Bone fractures: Heavy coughing and sneezing can sometimes cause delicate bones to fracture or break.
  • Specific drugs: Steroids can hinder the bone’s natural rebuilding process if taken for an extended time.
  • Transplants: Like steroids, anti-rejection drugs used by those who have received a bone marrow or organ transplant hinder rebuilding.
  • Loss of height: Osteoporosis is a major cause of spinal compression fractures. If you have lost 1.6 inches or more in height, it may signal such a fracture.

In addition to these factors, your diet, family health history, ethnicity, body type, lifestyle and more can add to your risk of osteoporosis. There is good news, however: There are several steps you can take to lower your risk, including eating right, exercising, smoking cessation, a DXA exam and more.

Talk to an OBGYN today

Even if you think you have strong bones, it’s never a bad idea to discuss this topic with your doctor or OB/GYN at Orange Coast Women’s Medical Group. Contact our office today at (949) 829-5500 to schedule an appointment. With locations in Irvine, Laguna Hills, and San Clemente we are conveniently located for all of your needs.