DEXA Screening & Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a disease characterized by low bone mass and structural deterioration of bone tissue which makes the bones more fragile and places people at an increased risk of fracture (broken bone).  The hip, spine, and wrist are the areas of the body most at risk for fracture when you develop osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis is very common, 50% of women and 24% of men who are 50 years or older will have an osteoporosis-related fracture at some point in their lifetime.  Many times a broken bone can lead to immobility and can lead to more serious health complications.  The good news is that osteoporosis is preventable, detectable, and treatable.

Chicago Women’s Health Group offers screening for Osteoporosis with a DEXA (Dual Energy X-ray Absortiometry) scan.  It is the most widely used method to measure bone density.  This test helps to estimate the density of your bones and your chance of breaking a bone.

If you are 50 years or older talk to your doctor at your next appointment to see if DEXA screening is appropriate for you.

Before the test you will be asked to fill out a questionnaire that will provide helpful information in the analysis of your scan.   The test takes approximately 20 minutes.  You will need to remove any metal objects (jewelry, hair clips, etc).  You can keep your clothing on during the scan.

After the test, one of the providers will review your DEXA report and call you to discuss the results and recommendations for improving or maintaining your bone density.

It is never too late to start protecting your bones, but it´s best to begin while you´re young to prevent bone loss and osteoporosis.  The National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends the following five steps to bone health:

  1. Get your daily recommended amounts of calcium  and vitamin D.  For most people this includes 1200-15oomg of Calcium and 800-1000 IU of Vitamin D. 
  2. Engage in regular weight-bearing exercise.
  3. Avoid smoking and excessive alcohol.
  4. Talk to your doctor about bone health.
  5. When appropriate, have a bone density test and take medication as recommended.

Click here for more information on Osteoporosis