Your Healthy Family

May 15, 2013 9:37 AM by Marissa Torres

Screening for Osteoporosis

About 9 million Americans are suffering from Osteoporosis. Living with the disease isn't just painful, it causes your bones to become more fragile and more likely to break. A quick screening tool to let you know if you're at risk.

A study by the National Osteoporosis Foundation recently learned that more than 48 million people have low bone mass, placing them at an increased risk for Osteoporosis and broken bones. But how do you know if you're one of them?

A quick bone density scan can help.

"The procedure takes about 5 minutes, it's basically two scans. One of your lumbar spine,one of your hip. If we can not do a hip for some reason, we'll do a wrist."

The machine applies a low dose of radiation to those areas. After factoring in a patients demographics- like age, height and sex-- patients get what's called a "T-score." Anything below zero indicates a loss of bone mass.

"The point of getting bone density is to assess people who are at risk for fracture, and treat them so they don't get one," says Dr. Paul Bauer, with Premier Diagnostic Center in Colorado Springs.

A loss in bone mass is generally seen in women 65 or older, and in men, 70 or older. It can also be linked to various medical conditions- like thyroid and chronic renal disease. Doctor Bauer says it's also common in post menopausal women.

 

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