Bone Mineral Density Tests: What The Numbers Mean

female bone density chart by age

A person’s T-score test may indicate that some bone loss has occurred, but not enough for an osteoporosis diagnosis to be made. T-scores between -1 and -2.5 indicate that a person has low bone mass, but it’s not quite low enough for them to be diagnosed with osteoporosis. A diagnosis of osteoporosis is made if a person’s T-score is -2.5 or lower.

The RDA for Vitamin D remains 600 IU, although as mentioned above, recent research supports a daily dosage of 1000 IU for better bone health. Loss of bone strength can lead to osteoporosis a disorder in which bones become very fragile and more likely to break. Older adults with osteoporosis are most vulnerable to breaks in the wrist, hip, and spine. These fractures can seriously limit mobility and independence. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends that women over age 65 have a bone mineral density test.

female bone density chart by age

During childhood and adolescence, bone grows faster than it breaks down, and bone density and strength increase over time. In adulthood, this process becomes more balanced, resulting in stable bone density. But in older age, the replacement of bone cells slows down, resulting in a loss of bone density over time. Healthcare professionals can check a person’s bone density using a special X-ray. Fall prevention becomes especially important for people over age 70.

The Z-score is the difference between your bone mineral density and the average bone mineral density for healthy people of your age, ethnicity, and sex. A bone mineral density (BMD) test measures calcium and other minerals in bone. Bones containing super fast reply more minerals are denser, so they tend to be stronger and less likely to break. People in the high-risk category are diagnosed with osteoporosis. Your doctor will prescribe medications to slow bone loss or to help rebuild new bone tissue.

“Your body undergoes this constant process of digging out old bone, filling it in with new bone, and it takes roughly 10 years to go through your whole entire skeleton,” says Dr. Wermers. Young women who exercise excessively can lose enough weight to cause hormonal changes that stop menstrual periods (amenorrhea). This loss of estrogen page can cause bone loss at a time when young women should be adding to their peak bone mass. It is important to see a doctor if there have been any menstrual cycle changes or interruptions. Like other adolescents, young women who are pregnant and/or breastfeeding between the ages of 14 and 18 should have 1,300 mg of calcium each day.

With bone loss, the outer shell of a bone becomes thinner and the interior becomes more porous. Regarding calcium, Dr. Wermers says dietary calcium intake have a peek here is best. “The main reason is because dietary calcium doesn’t have the risk of kidney stones, which is a risk with taking calcium supplements.”

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