Diagnosing Osteoporosis with Bone Densitometry
Bone densitometry (DEXA) is an enhanced form of X-ray technology that measures bone mineral loss, known as Osteoporosis. Osteoporosis gradually weakens bones, causing higher risk of fractures to the spine, hips and wrists. Osteoporosis is a condition that affects many women after menopause, but may also be found in men. DEXA scanning can identify early-stage low bone density, enabling doctors to treat the condition before it becomes more serious.
How do you prepare for Bone Densitometry?
You can eat normally the day of your exam. Wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothing and avoid garments with zippers, belts or buttons made of metal. Do not wear jewelry. Remove objects such as keys and wallets, too.
Tell your doctor if you’ve recently had a barium exam or injection with contrast material for a computed tomography (CT), nuclear or PET scan. You may have to wait up to 14 days before a DEXA test. Women should inform their physician and X-ray technologist if there is any chance that they are pregnant.
What to Expect during Bone Densitometry
Bone densitometry is a quick and painless exam that tests for bone mineral density (calcium levels). The test takes about five minutes.