What is a DEXA Scan?

Health Education
5 mins
What is a DEXA Scan?

Our bones are one of the most essential parts of our bodies. They support us, protect our organs, allow us movement and mobility, store minerals, and even produce blood cells. This is why bone health is crucial to our overall well-being. If you have never heard of a DEXA scan, this test is vital to maintaining bone health.

We have gathered top details for what you need to know about DEXA scans. Let’s take a deeper look.

DEXA Scan Near Me: The Essentials

DEXA stands for Dual Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry and is a diagnostic imaging test that measures the density and composition of bones in the body. Before researching “DEXA scan near me,” consider these need-to-knows.

Typically, this scan is used to detect osteoporosis, which is a condition characterized by diminished bone density (i.e., strength). This increases the risk of bone fractures. Additionally, this scan is painless and non-invasive. It utilizes low-dose X-rays to create images of the bones. Luckily, the test only takes about ten to thirty minutes, providing precise results. 

Some call the DEXA scan the “gold standard” of measuring bone density. Compared to other density tests, it delivers pristine, accurate results. This is because it measures bone density at both the spine and the hip, two high-risk areas for fractures. 

Lastly, the DEXA scan provides a T-score. A T-score compares your bone density to the average bone density of a young, healthy adult. The T-score is used to determine the presence of osteoporosis, which is a score of -1.0 or lower.

What Is a DEXA Scan, Continued 

So, what is a DEXA scan? Now that we have an understanding of the basics, there are a few other crucial elements. Before scheduling your next scan, you may want to consider these details.

Understanding Osteoporosis

It is important to understand osteoporosis and how it can affect the body. It is characterized by a decrease in bone density, which increases the risk of broken bones. Often, this condition can progress without any symptoms before a fracture occurs. It is common in older women but can affect people of all genders and ages. 

Risk factors include age, family history, low physical activity, smoking, and calcium intake. Osteoporosis can be treated with lifestyle changes, medication, and supplements to increase bone density. 

How the DEXA Scan Works

These scans work by passing two low-does X-ray beams through the body. It measures the amount of X-ray energy absorbed by the bones. 

The DEXA scan uses one high-energy X-ray and one low-energy X-ray. Then, the amount of energy absorbed by the bones depends on their density. In addition, this scanner can create a detailed image that shows the specific density of the bones.

Who Should Get the Scan?

Age is a significant risk factor, so this scan is recommended for people who are over the age of 65. More specifically, women over the age of 65, postmenopausal women, and men over 70 are most at risk. A family history of osteoporosis or a personal account of fractures as an adult are also indications that you should get tested. 

The scan can also monitor the effectiveness of treatment for osteoporosis and bone density changes. This is helpful for people who receive long-term treatment with drugs that affect bone metabolism. 

Before and After Your Scan

Ensure that you inform the radiologist of medications, drugs, or supplements you are taking before scheduling the scan. Also, notify your radiologist if you are pregnant. 

In addition to this, some supplements can affect the results of the test, such as iron. You should also avoid taking calcium supplements or eating calcium-rich foods, which can affect results. Lastly, wear comfortable clothing without metal.

After, your results are usually available within a few days. A radiologist will interpret the results and assist in how to read your T-score. 

Looking for a Reliable Imaging Center?

Tools for detecting and monitoring osteoporosis are vital. The DEXA scan is a game changer, offering a quick and painless way to understand your diagnosis. It will accurately deliver results and assist you and your medical team in managing osteoporosis.

We at BASS Medical Group are ready to assist in your next DEXA scan. With our state-of-the-art imaging center and top-of-the-line doctors, you will experience a luxurious medical experience. 

Contact us today to learn more and schedule your following scan.