Mayo Clinic Q And A: Do You Need A Bone Density Test?

at what age should you stop getting bone density tests

But as you age, your risk for osteoporosis increases because bone density tends to decrease as people grow older. Consequently, if your test on a peripheral device is positive, your doctor might recommend a follow-up scan at your spine or hip to confirm your diagnosis. There are things you can do to help keep your bones healthy as you get older. Be sure to include a combination of weight-bearing exercises, such as walking, jogging, running or stair climbing. Eat a healthy diet, making sure to get the right amounts of calcium and vitamin D. Research suggests that tobacco use contributes to weak bones.

at what age should you stop getting bone density tests

The test uses X-rays to measure how many grams of calcium and other bone minerals are packed into a segment of bone. The bones that are most commonly tested are in the spine, hip and sometimes the forearm. It’s really important for both men and women to get a test for osteoporosis before it becomes a fracture. Quit smoking.Tobacco use leads to significant bone loss in women and men, longer healingtimes after a fracture and a higher risk for complications.

It’s helpful to make sure that you get your bone density taken on the same machine so that, in two years when you’re following up, you can actually compare changes. Otherwise, it’s like getting on a scale and trying to determine one or two pound differences on different scales. REMS is a portable method that does not use radiation that gives bone density measurements of the hip and spine.

Your T-score is your bone density compared with what is normally expected in a healthy young adult of your sex. Your T-score is the number of units called standard deviations that your bone density is above or below the average. As with any medical test, bone density should be repeated click here for info when the results might influence treatment plans. It is often repeated 1-2 years after starting or changing osteoporosis medication to evaluate response to treatment. It might also be repeated in 1-2 years if you are not being treated but are close to a treatment threshold.

Bone scans require an injection beforehand and are usually used to detect fractures, cancer, infections and other abnormalities in the bone. With bone loss, the outer shell of a bone becomes thinner and the interior becomes more porous. People over 50 who have broken a bone and people who have lost 1.5 inches of height or more also may need a bone density test get the facts to screen for osteoporosis. Support your loved one’s efforts to stick with exercise routines recommended by the doctor or physical therapist. Encourage your loved one to wear glasses and hearing aid if needed and to reduce fall risk by wearing supportive shoes and keeping floors clutter-free. Fully clothed, you will lie flat on your back on a padded table.

Eat a healthy diet, making sure to get the right amounts of calciumand vitamin D. Research suggests that tobacco usecontributes to weak bones. Similarly, regularly having more than two alcoholicdrinks a day raises your risk of osteoporosis, possibly because alcohol caninterfere with the body’s ability to absorb via calcium. The American Medical Association and other major medical groups say that most people don’t need repeat testing to check on their osteoporosis treatment in the first 3 years. Bone density changes so slowly with treatment that the differences may be smaller than the measurement error of the machine.

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