Bone Density Test Los Angeles
What is Bone Density Testing?
Bone density testing, also known as bone mass measurement testing, is a way in which your physician can find out your bone density, and more specifically, to see if you have osteoporosis, or low bone density. The tests determine the density of calcium and other bone mineral content packed into a segment of bone. The greater the bone mass, the stronger your bones will be.
In the past, patients would find out they had lower bone density levels after suffering bone breaks. Bone density testing allows your Concierge Doctor to be proactive in your healthcare, and to take necessary preventative measures to minimize risks of breaks and make recommendations to help you protect your bones. It also provides us with critical insight for monitoring ongoing osteoporosis treatment.
Who Should Get Bone Density Testing?
The National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends bone testing if you are:
- a woman 65 years of age or older
- a man 70 years of age or older
- a person who breaks a bone after 50
- a woman of menopausal age with risk factors
- a postmenopausal woman under 65 with risk factors
- a man 50-69 year of age who has risk factors
If you fall into any of these categories, our Concierge Doctors at My Concierge MD can help you with bone density testing and provide appropriate recommendations to maximize your bone density health.
Some Answers to Your Questions…
How long does a bone density test take?
The test itself is a relatively simple and painless procedure, and should take 15 minutes from start to finish.
What is osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a condition where the bones are more porous and less dense, causing them to be weaker, more brittle, and more prone to fracture. An estimated 10 million people are affected by osteoporosis in the United States, and 80% are women.
What is osteopenia?
Osteopenia is a condition where the bone density is lower than normal, but not low enough to be considered osteoporosis. While not as severe as osteoporosis, osteopenia affects about 34 million Americans, and also reveals weakening of the bones and increased risk of fracture.
What are the risk factors for osteoporosis?
- Age – bone density is maximized around the age of 30. After that, the bone mass starts to diminish with age.
- Gender – women over 50 have the highest risk of developing osteoporosis, and are four times likelier to do so than men. This is because women’s bones are thinner and lighter, and therefore have less bone density than their male counterparts. Longer life spans also are contributing factors.
- Heredity – One of the most critical factors when determining risk for osteoporosis is the natural passing of genetic traits from one’s ancestors. Parents or grandparents who have suffered hip fractures or complications from brittle bones can be a key indicator for osteoporosis risk.
- Ethnicity – Asian and Caucasian women have greater likelihood of developing osteoporosis, and Caucasian women are twice as likely to suffer hip fractures as African American women. The mortality rate for women with hip fractures, however, is higher.
- Body Weight and Structure of Bones – Smaller framed women have less bone density to begin with, and therefore have less to lose with age. The same is true for men with lean, smaller frames.
- History of Broken Bones
- Alcohol Consumption and Cigarette Smoking – Heavy alcohol consumption can contribute to decreased bone mass and propensity to fractures. Nicotine and free radicals from smoking actually kill the osteoblasts (bone-making cells) and damage blood vessels, leading to poor oxygen supply.
- Diseases and Conditions – Some diseases can lead to osteoporosis, including Rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, diabetes and multiple sclerosis.
- Some Medications – Long term use of certain prescription medications can interfere with calcium absorption and therefore contribute to bone loss. These include some medications for the prevention of seizures, depression, cancer, gastric reflux and some steroids.
As part of your personal health care plan, our Concierge Physicians at My Concierge MD can help you determine any such risk factors, and lead you on the best path toward improving your bone health and reducing these risks.