Bone Density (DEXA):

When we have a strong hunch or intuition about something we may say "I can feel it in my bones", and there are indeed many things our bones can tell us. Bone Densitometry, also called dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry or DEXA, uses a very small dose of ionizing radiation to produce pictures of the inside of the body (usually the lower spine and hips) to measure bone loss. It is commonly used to diagnose osteoporosis and to assess an individual’s risk for developing fractures. DEXA is simple, quick and noninvasive. It is also the most accurate method for diagnosing osteoporosis.

This is one of the many ways medical professionals use x-ray technology. An x-ray (radiograph) is a noninvasive medical test that helps physicians diagnose and treat medical conditions. Imaging with x-rays involves exposing a part of the body to a small dose of ionizing radiation to produce pictures of the inside of the body. X-rays are the oldest and most frequently used form of medical imaging.

A bone density test tells you if you have normal bone density, low bone density (osteopenia) or osteoporosis. It is the only test that can diagnose osteoporosis. The lower your bone density, the greater your risk of breaking a bone. A bone density test can be a great diagnostic tool for you and your healthcare provider. Bone density scanning, also called dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) or bone densitometry, is an enhanced form of x-ray technology that is used to measure bone loss. DXA is today's established standard for measuring bone mineral density (BMD).

You can find out whether you have osteoporosis or if you should be concerned about your bones by getting a bone density test. Some people also call it a bone mass measurement test. This test uses a machine to measure your bone density. It estimates the amount of bone in your hip, spine and sometimes other bones. Your test result will help your healthcare provider make recommendations to help you protect your bones.

Osteoporosis targets women much more often than men, and it becomes more common after menopause and with advancing age. As a result, healthcare providers recommend bone density testing for women who have been through menopause and are at least 65 years old. In addition, there are certain characteristics that put people at higher risk for fracture, so healthcare providers sometimes recommend testing in men or women younger than 65 years who have one or more risk factors.