There’s a women’s health issue that many of us don’t recognize as a women’s issue: bone density.
We often think about about well-woman check ups, breast health, and pap smears when we consider women’s health. But women generally have lower bone mass than men, and women lose bone mass more quickly than men. Men’s bone mass peaks at age 20, two years later than women’s, and they are likely to lose about 25% of their bone mass after age 30, while women will lose one third of their bone mass.
Bone health is an important part of your overall health, and it becomes increasingly important as you age. One way to get a look at how healthy your bones are is by measuring bone density. Bone density tests use x-rays to measure how many bone minerals – such as calcium and phosphorous- are contained in a segment of bone. The more minerals in a bone segment, the higher the density, and the less likely that your bones will break.
Bone density tests are commonly used to diagnose osteoporosis, assess a patients risk of fracturing a bone, or detect other bone disorders in both adults and children. Typically, the bones that are tested are in the hip, forearm, or spine. These tests are also sometimes done to help monitor a patient who has already been diagnosed with osteoporosis. Since bone density tests use x-rays, there is a small amount of radiation exposure. This exposure is minimal, however.
Bone density screening exams are recommended for women age 65+ and those with increased risk factors for bone fractures. Older women are typically at a higher risk of developing osteoporosis; however it can affect men and women of any age. Your doctor may recommend bone density testing for a number of different reasons:
- You’ve fractured a bone.
- You’ve had a drop in hormone levels (lower sex hormone levels can weaken bones).
- You’ve received an organ transplant or bone marrow transplant.
- You’ve lost a significant amount of height.
We offer many imaging services including bone density testing at our Imaging facility in Fayetteville. Our top two priorities are providing unrivaled healthcare and the best possible patient experience. Your health doesn’t take your busy schedule into account, but we do.
We have same day and next day bone density appointments appointments available. Please call 479-582-7383 to schedule your bone density exam today!