Bone densitometry is a quick, noninvasive examination that uses a small dose of radiation to assess the strength of bones. By knowing the strength of bones, physicians can diagnose the various degrees of osteoporosis and predict the probability of fractures. Osteoporosis is defined as having a bone density of 25 percent less than the average peak bone density in young adults of the same sex and race.
Until menopause women produce estrogen, a hormone that maintains bone density. Once a woman reaches menopause, the production of estrogen stops and bone loss increases each year. A woman can lose up to 25 to 30 percent of her bone density in just the first five to ten years following the onset of menopause.
Bone Densitometry is recommended for women ages 65 and older, as well as younger postmenopausal women who have further risk factors for developing osteoporosis. These risks include:
- History of bone fractures as an adult or having a close relative with a history of bone fractures
- Early menopause or late onset of menstrual periods
- Weight loss or low body weight
- Low estrogen levels
- Excessive alcohol or caffeine consumption
- Consuming medications known to cause bone loss
- Physical inactivity
If you have any further questions regarding your bone densitometry, please call (252) 384-5275 to speak with one of our experts.