Osteoporosis is a disorder where bones are more fragile and likely to break. Our doctors in New York City recommend a bone density test to determine if you have osteoporosis. Previously, physicians would only suspect osteoporosis if you had already broken a bone by which time your bones could be quite fragile. A bone density test is a way to calculate your risk of breaking bones more accurately.
One effective test is called a dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry or DXA scan. It uses x-rays to measure the amount of bone minerals and calcium in a specific segment of bone.
The bones most often tested are:
Another method is to use quantitative computed tomography, but this uses higher levels of radiation than other tests.
A third test uses ultrasound and is typically used to test the heel of your foot and can detect the early signs of osteoporosis. Bones that have higher mineral content are denser and tend to be stronger.
A bone density scan in NYC is different from other bone scans where an injection is required beforehand, and which are usually used to detect:
- Other abnormalities
Additionally, the best doctor internist Dr. Fathollahi and our team of New York primary care doctors may suggest blood or urine tests to see if there is another disease that could be causing bone loss.
Who Should Have a Bone Density Test in NYC?
Osteoporosis tends to affect older women as hormone levels drop, but men can develop it too, and especially as some treatments for prostate cancer can reduce testosterone levels.
Bone density tests are recommended for all men and women aged 65 years or older. The test can also be useful for postmenopausal women aged 50 to 64 and who have risk factors for fractures.
Our physician may suggest a bone density test if you have recently lost 1.5 inches or more in height because osteoporosis is one of the main causes. They may also suggest testing if you have fractured a bone more easily than would be expected.
People who have received an organ or bone marrow transplant are more at risk of osteoporosis, and this is partly because of antirejection drugs that can affect bone regeneration.
Long-term use of specific medications such as steroids can also affect bone regeneration, leading to osteoporosis. Certain medical conditions can increase the risk of low bone density, including rheumatoid arthritis and other chronic inflammatory conditions.
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