Bone Mineral Density
What To Think About
- Experts disagree about which bones are best to use for BMD measurements. Bones in the Reference lower spine Opens New Window Reference Opens New Window and Reference hip Opens New Window Reference Opens New Window are tested most often. These bones generally have the most bone loss and are more likely to fracture. Sometimes bones in the wrist are measured. Ultrasound screening is done on the bone in the heel.
- A BMD measurement should be done only when the information provided by the test will affect treatment decisions. BMD does not need to be measured more often than every 2 years to find out how well treatment is working.
- Using DEXA to measure bone mineral density is replacing older methods, such as dual photon absorptiometry (DPA).
- Regular X-rays cannot detect mild bone loss. A bone must lose at least a quarter of its weight before a regular X-ray can detect the problem.
- If your bone density is lower than normal, you can increase bone density and strength by exercising, lifting weights or using weight machines, Reference getting enough calcium and vitamin D, and taking some medicines. For more information about how you can increase your bone strength and density, see the topic Reference Osteoporosis.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference August 30, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Reference Carla J. Herman, MD, MPH - Geriatric Medicine
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