Bone Health in Women and How a DXA Scan Can Help
Bone health is an extremely important topic in women’s health, especially in women over the age of 30 and those in menopause. As we age, our bone density peaks at the age of 30 and then begins to sharply decline after that.
At Touchstone Imaging, we are focused on patient care, especially in women who face the risks of osteoporosis as they age. For women’s health promotion and disease prevention, we provide a bone density DXA scan to assist in diagnosing those who may have low bone density. Follow along as we explore bone health in women and how a bone density scan is imperative for women’s health prevention related to bone density.
Why Are Women More Prone to Low Bone Density?
Women begin to lose bone density later in life, primarily at the inception of menopause. Oftentimes, menopause and low-bone density go hand-in-hand and result in osteoporosis. Low-bone density is an outcome of hormonal changes, as these fluctuations during menopause affect your body’s natural ability to build strong, healthy bones.
Estrogen is the major hormone culprit when it comes to bone loss in menopausal women. Estrogen both preserves calcium in the body and prevents bone breakdown, and in the menopause transition, a woman will lose roughly 10 percent of her bone mass, and some even up to 20 percent. While losing bone density is a normal part of life for aging women, there are many things you can do to help preserve and even possibly build bone mass.
Bone Density DXA for Women’s Health Prevention
A bone density DXA is recommended if you’re at risk for osteoporosis, you’ve been diagnosed with thinning bones and women over the age of 65. A bone scan isn’t necessarily needed in postmenopausal under the age of 65, but you run a greater risk factor for osteoporosis if you’ve experienced the following:
- A bone fracture in adulthood
- Weigh less than 127 pounds
- Currently a smoker
- Having a family member with osteoporosis
What exactly is a bone density DXA?
A bone density DXA is a scan that can detect bone loss at an early stage. If you suffer from osteoporosis, it gives inclination overtime, how fast the disease is advancing.
A scan is administered as a person lies on their back, while an x-ray technician positions the scanner towards your body, similar to teeth imaging at the dentist. The radiation emitted is very low, about one-tenth the amount of a chest x-ray. A snapshot of bone density is taken within the spine and hips, and other sites as well.
Women are prone to low bone-density because of various lifestyle choices and risk factors and the decline of estrogen (a bone supporting hormone) as they go through menopause. Getting a bone density DXA scan can be preventative in finding thinning bones and great for monitoring women with osteoporosis to track its progression.
Stay tuned for part two, where we explore how bone density DXAs are evaluated and factors that can help support bone health.