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Most people don’t put a whole lot of thought into how strong their bones are—that is, until one of them breaks. But did you know bone density scans can identify decreases in bone density and confirm an osteoporosis diagnosis before a break occurs?
How DEXA Scans Work
Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) is the established and trusted standard for measuring bone mineral density (BMD) and to make an accurate osteoporosis diagnosis.
A DEXA scan can help detect low bone density before a fracture occurs, confirm a diagnosis of osteoporosis, predict your chances of fracturing in the future and monitor the effects of treatment if taken at intervals of a year or more.
It’s painless, non-invasive and safe. Expect the scan to take 10 to 20 minutes during which two X-ray beams––one high energy and one low energy––pass through your bones to calculate your bone density.
Why You May Need a Bone Density (DEXA) Scan
If you have any of the following osteoporosis risk factors, talk to your doctor to see if a bone density test is recommended for you:
- You have a family history of osteoporosis or bone fractures.
- You have a history of cigarette smoking or heavy drinking.
- You’ve already fractured a bone in a minor accident.
- You have low body weight, a slight build, or a light complexion.
- You’re a woman over age 65, or a man over 70.
- You are prescribed a medication that accelerates bone loss.