The Bone Density Test (BMT) may be one of the most important tests you’ll take. That’s because it’s the best way to tell if you have thinning bones. It’s important to understand what to expect during and after a BD Test so you can take advantage of all the options available to protect your bone health.
Millions of women have thinning bones. In fact, thinning bones affect over all women over 50. What’s more, it’s a silent disease, with no visible symptoms. That means you could have thinning bones and not even know it. This affects men as well!
Two Types of Bone Density Tests
Peripheral machines: Measures your finger, wrist, or heel. These exams are typically used as an initial screening; however, there are some disadvantage. Peripheral tests do not measure the bone density in the hip and spine, which are the areas of concern if they break due to osteoporosis. Also, these tests are not especially sensitive, so they tend to under-report your bones are thinning, you may need a more comprehensive exam called a DEXA Test.
DEXA Tests: measure your hip, spine, or total body. These tests are considered the “gold standard” in measuring your bone health. The DEXA test is highly sensitive scan, and is more comprehensive than the peripheral machines so results are more accurate. This makes the DEXA scan the best way to tell if you have thinning bones. The test is easy to take; you just lie down and the machine scans over your body in just a few minutes. There is no risk. There is no preparation and easy.
The results of a Bone Density Test is called a T-score. Every patient should know your score and what it means. Your T-score compares your bone mass with a population of normal young adult women. The bigger the negative number, the lower your bone mass. For example: A T-score of -2.0 means your bone mass is 20% below normal. Treatment and monitoring of treatment is available! This test should be done every two years, every year if being treated and over age 50. Discuss with your physician.