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Bone Densitometry Whole Body

Bone Densitometry Whole Body

Bone densitometry, also known as Dual-Energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DEXA), is a quick and non-invasive procedure that measures bone mineral density (BMD). A whole body bone densitometry scan is useful in evaluating overall skeletal health, diagnosing medical conditions like osteoporosis, and assessing the risk of fractures. This test is especially crucial for individuals at an elevated risk for osteoporosis, including postmenopausal women, individuals over 50, and those with a family history of osteoporosis or fractures.

Understanding bone health is essential as bones play vital roles in the body, including providing structure, safeguarding organs, facilitating mobility, and housing bone marrow, which produces blood cells. Moreover, bones act as a reservoir for essential minerals. A reduction in bone density can lead to health issues like fractures, which can significantly impede quality of life. Therefore, regular monitoring of bone health is crucial, especially for high-risk individuals.

Home Sample Collection Process

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Sample Collection by Phlebotomist
Sample Collection by Phlebotomist
Reporting of the sample at lab
Reporting of the sample at lab
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Download Reports

Note: Home Sample Collection is only for Pathology lab tests.

Specific Instructions:

Preparation for a bone densitometry whole body scan includes the following steps:

  • Clothing: Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothes without any metal objects, such as zippers, hooks, or belts, as they can interfere with the accuracy of the test results. You may need to change into a hospital gown if necessary.
  • Food and Drink: There are typically no restrictions on food or drink intake before the test. However, avoid taking calcium supplements for at least 24 hours before your scheduled appointment as they can influence the test results.
  • Medications: Inform your doctor about any medications you are currently taking, particularly those for bone health, as they might affect the test results.
  • Pregnancy and Allergies: While the radiation exposure from the test is minimal, inform your doctor if you are pregnant or suspect that you might be.
Frequently Asked Questions

During the procedure, you will lie on a padded table while a mechanical arm moves over your body, sending a small amount of X-rays through your bones. The machine measures the amount of radiation absorbed by your bones, which is used to calculate your bone density.

A bone densitometry whole body scan usually takes about 10 to 30 minutes.

No, the bone densitometry scan is a non-invasive and painless procedure. However, you need to remain still during the scan to ensure accurate results.

The frequency of testing depends on various factors, including your age, gender, medical history, and current bone health status. Generally, postmenopausal women and men over the age of 50 should have routine bone density screenings.

The results are given as T-scores and Z-scores. The T-score compares your bone density to the optimal peak bone density of a healthy young adult of the same sex. The Z-score compares your bone density to people of your age, sex, and size.

If your test results show low bone density, it may indicate osteoporosis or another bone disease. Your doctor will provide an appropriate treatment plan, which may involve lifestyle changes or medication.

Yes, certain lifestyle changes can help improve bone density. This includes regular weight-bearing and muscle-strengthening exercises, a diet rich in calcium and vitamin D, and quitting smoking.

If your bone densitometry scan results are abnormal, consult your primary care doctor or an endocrinologist. They can help interpret the results and guide you through the next steps, which may include further testing or treatment.

Bone densitometry exposes you to a minimal amount of radiation, less than the amount emitted during a chest X-ray. The benefits of diagnosing and treating osteoporosis or other bone-related diseases outweigh the small potential risk of radiation exposure.

Understanding your bone health is crucial to prevent potential complications, like fractures, and maintain your quality of life.Bone densitometry offers a simple and accurate way to evaluate your bone health, helping doctors to diagnose any issues early and create a personalized treatment plan. If you have any concerns about your bone health, do not hesitate to consult your doctor.

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