What is a Bone Mineral Density Test

As you grow older, you experience difficulty walking and start to feel pain in the joints. This is because your bones start to become brittle and weak.

This condition is called osteoporosis, translated as “porous bones.” Like most other conditions, osteoporosis, too, can be detected early, helping you improve your quality of life as you age.

Bone Mineral Density Test – Meaning

The Bone Mineral Density Test, also popularly known as the Bone Density Test, helps you detect osteoporosis quickly. In most cases, you don’t realize you have this condition until your bones start falling apart. That’s why you must take this test to check the thickness of your bones at the right age and start taking the required medication, as per your doctor’s recommendation.

Don’t worry; this is a painless test that takes much less time to complete. It is like the normal X-rays you usually do when your doctor wants to check something. This X-ray will tell you how dense your bones are. Healthy bones are very dense and full of calcium and other minerals. The thicker your bones are, the fewer their chances to break.

Who should take the test?

Almost all adults can take a bone density test in Bangalore, or wherever they live. However, older women are more prone to osteoporosis than men. Therefore, your doctor may recommend you take a bone density test if you:

  • A woman of at least 65 years of age or a man of at least 50 years of age
  • Are at least 50 years old and going through the menopausal or postmenopausal stage
  • Have undergone surgeries for organ transplants
  • Have broken a bone after you turned 50
  • Have problems with periods (stopped abruptly or irregular cycles before you hit menopause)
  • Experience constant back pain, due to which you have trouble keeping up a straight posture
  • Have started becoming shorter by at least 1.5 inches or more
  • Have trouble balancing your hormone levels

Types of bone density tests

Irrespective of whether you take a bone density test in Bangalore or any other place, the test will usually include checking the bones in your hip, forearm and spine regions. The bones in these places are the most susceptible to breaking apart when you have osteoporosis. Your doctor may ask you to take one of the two types of bone density tests, as explained below:

  • Central DXA 

This Dual Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry test checks the density of your hip and spine bones. Though it takes only around 15 minutes to complete this test, it is costly, mainly because of its accuracy. The X-Ray machine’s rays pass through your bones, and the final report reveals your skeleton with the findings of your bone density details. Your doctor will start the necessary treatment based on the result of this test.

  • Peripheral Test

This test is cheaper than the above-mentioned one because it is not very detailed. It examines the density of the bones around your fingers, wrist and heels. This device is not as huge as the X-ray machine used for the Central DXA test. This device is portable and easy to use, so more people can scan their bones this way. Some doctors also recommend the peripheral test as a preliminary test to check patients’ osteoporosis intensity. So, this test can form the base for his recommendation of a Central DXA test. Some abnormalities in the peripheral test can make the doctors recommend the detailed Central DXA test for you to check for the problems thoroughly, and start the right treatment for you.


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