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Bone Density Testing

A bone density test, which measures bone mineral content and density, is most often used to diagnose osteoporosis, a degenerative bone condition that can cause bones to become weak and fracture easily. 

Osteoporosis affects over 10 million Americans over the age of 50, and women are four times more likely to get osteoporosis than men. Another 34 million Americans older than age 50 have low bone mass (osteopenia). Low estrogen is one of the main causes of bone loss in women during and after menopause. Women may lose up to 20 percent of their bone mass in the five to seven years after menopause.

Dual energy X-ray absorptiometry, or DEXA, is the most common method to measure a patient's bone density. A DEXA scanner is a machine that produces two X-ray beams, each with different energy levels. One beam is high energy while the other is low energy. The amount of X-rays that pass through the bone is measured for each beam. Based on the difference between the two beams, the bone density can be measured. A low bone density may indicate osteoporosis.

This measurement tells the healthcare provider whether there is decreased bone mass. It also can be used to determine your future fracture risk.

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If you are over 50, you could have osteopenia or osteoporosis. To schedule a bone density test in Carrollton, Villa Rica, Bremen or on the Mammography on the Move mobile unit, call 678.509.6162.

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