Dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry, also called a “DEXA scan” uses an enhanced form of x-ray technology that measures bone density. It is commonly used to diagnose osteoporosis, a disease characterized by the thinning and deterioration of bone tissue and loss of density, and to assess an individual’s risk for developing fractures.
Determine your Osteoporosis Risk
If you answer “yes” to any of the questions below it does not mean that you have osteoporosis. Positive answers simply mean that you have clinically-proven risk factors that may lead to osteoporosis and fractures.
- Have either of your parents been diagnosed with osteoporosis or broken a bone after a minor fall (a fall from standing height or less)?
- Did either of your parents have a stooped back (dowager’s hump)?
- Are you 60 years old or older?
- Have you ever broken a bone after a minor fall, as an adult?
- Do you fall frequently (more than once in the last year) or do you have a fear of falling because you are frail?
- After the age of 40, have you lost more than 3 cm in height (just over 1 inch)?
- Are you underweight (is your BMI less than 19)?
- Have you ever taken corticosteroid tablets (cortisone, prednisone, etc.) for more than 3 consecutive months (corticosteroids are often prescribed for conditions like asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, and some inflammatory diseases)?
- Have you ever been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis?
- Have you been diagnosed with an over-active thyroid, overactive parathyroid glands, type 1 diabetes or a nutritional/ gastrointestinal disorder such as Crohn’s or celiac disease?
- Do you regularly drink alcohol in excess of safe drinking limits (more than 2 units a day)?
- Do you currently, or have you ever, smoked cigarettes?
- Is your daily level of physical activity less than 30 minutes per day?
- Do you avoid, or are you allergic to milk or dairy products, without taking any calcium supplements?
- Do you you spend less than 10 minutes per day outdoors, without taking vitamin D supplements?
- Did your menopause occur before the age of 45?
- Have your periods ever stopped for 12 consecutive months or more (other than because of pregnancy, menopause, or hysterectomy)?
- Were your ovaries removed before age 50, without you taking Hormone Replacement Therapy?
- Have you ever suffered from impotence, lack of libido, or other symptoms related to low testosterone levels?