Osteoporosis is a condition in which the patient’s bones become weaker and less dense. Throughout a person’s lifetime, their bones undergo a process called remodeling in which the body absorbs old bone and replaces it with new bone. In a person with osteoporosis, the body absorbs old bone faster than it can replace it. As a result, the bones become increasingly fragile and porous. With osteoporosis, the patient often doesn’t know anything is wrong until they have their first fracture. It is most common in women who are over 50 years old. Read on to learn more about how a bone density scan can help you.
What is a Bone Density Scan?
A bone density scan is a test that can diagnose osteoporosis and determine the risk of suffering a fracture. If the patient is already being treated for osteoporosis, it can tell how well the treatment is working. During a bone density scan, the patient will lie atop the scanner. The test will compare the patient’s bone density to that of people their age and to that of a healthy young adult. The lower a patient’s score, the lower their bone density and the greater their risk of fracture. People being treated for osteoporosis should undergo a bone density scan every one or two years.
How is Osteoporosis Treated?
Osteoporosis is generally treated through a combination of medication and lifestyle changes. The most commonly used drugs are bisphosphonates that slow or stop the body’s reabsorption of bone. Depending on the type, they can be taken orally or through an intravenous infusion.
The doctor will also recommend changes in the patient’s diet. For example, the patient should increase their calcium intake. They may take supplements, eat more calcium-rich foods such as yogurt, salmon, and leafy greens, or both. Conversely, they should limit their caffeine and alcohol consumption, since both of those can impair the body’s ability to absorb calcium. The patient’s exercise regime should include weight-bearing exercises like walking and muscle-strengthening exercises.
Get In Touch for More Information
To learn more about what a bone density scan can do for you, we warmly invite you to reach out and make an appointment with the Institute for Women’s Health. At our convenient locations in San Antonio, our caring and devoted team of professionals will be pleased to explain this option to you in full and answer any questions you may have. Contact us today to set up your consultation – we look forward to speaking with you!