Is Bone Density Testing Helpful?

What is bone density?

Bone density, scientific name is bone mineral density, is to measure the density of minerals which in an individual’s bones, such as calcium. Density tests can determine the strength of an individual’s bones and can also determine the risk of various density problems, such as osteoporosis.

What kinds of bone density testing are available?

With bone loss, the outer shell of a bone becomes thinner and the interior becomes more porous.
Bone density can be measured through a bone mineral density test, which can be taken in many different ways. X-rays and ultrasounds are two methods commonly used to measure one’s bone mineral density. The process of measuring bone mineral density is known as densitometry.

The result of your bone density testing.

Your bone density test results are reported in two numbers: T-score and Z-score.

  • T-score
    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.
  • Z-score
    Your Z-score is the number of standard deviations above or below what’s normally expected for someone of your age, sex, weight, and ethnic or racial origin. If your Z-score is significantly higher or lower than the average, it may suggest that something other than aging is causing abnormal bone loss.

What can bone density testing help?

  • Detect low bone density before a fracture occurs
  • Confirm a diagnosis of osteoporosis if you have a fracture
  • Predict your chances of fracturing in the future
  • Determine your rate of bone loss or monitor the effects of treatment if the test is conducted at intervals of a year or more

How to prevent osteoporosis?

The combination of a healthy diet, active lifestyle, vitamin supplements, such as vitamin D and calcium, can greatly reduce the risk of osteoporosis.

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* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.