DEXA- short for dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry- is a type of medical imaging scan that utilizes low-powered x-rays to show how dense our bones are. The results of these tests tell whether a patient is at risk for osteoporosis (a bone disease in which the bones of a body becomes brittle) or if they have any fractures. As per the majority of medical professionals, this test is one of the most inexpensive and easy ways to diagnose osteoporosis.
DEXA SCAN- An Overview
DEXA scans examine the mineral content of bones to see in what condition they are. These tests are also recognized as DXA tests and densitometry tests. Patients will be asked to lie down on the x-ray table where a medical professional will position their body according to the part of the body that will be scanned. The DEXA machine will then pass over the body where two low-level x-ray radiations will pass over the body.
The test translates the result of the test in the form of graphical and pictorial forms. Bones can be seen in white whereas the muscles will be shadowy figures in the background. The results are then examined by the physician or a radiologist who can recommend treatment if you need one.
Why Would You Need A DEXA Scan?
As per a report by International Osteoporosis Foundation, approximately 8.9 million fractures happen due to osteoporosis. Every one in three women is more likely to get fractures due to brittle bones as compared to men who have the ratio of one in five, aging over fifty. People who should be more aware of their bone health are:
- Individuals reaching older age. The majority of the people with older age are more likely to be affected with osteoporosis as per the IOF.
- Individuals with a family history of osteoporosis. If there is anyone in your family suffering from osteoporosis then it puts you at a risk too.
- Individuals who have faced any prior fractures. People with previous bone injuries are at an 86% increased risk of developing any kind of fracture in the future.
- Individuals whose vertebral fractures were not recognized due to ignorant clinical attention. In Europe, 29% of these fractures go unnoticed as per a survey on the thoracolumbar radiograph.
- Individuals suffering from chronic diseases. People suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, liver disease, diabetes, and kidney disease are at a risk to develop osteoporosis.
How Should You Prepare For A DEXA Test?
There isn’t anything special one has to do before a DEXA scan. You can eat, drink, and go about your day as you usually do. Unless the healthcare provider you’re seeing suggests you something, you shouldn’t be worried about having to do anything. You’ll be asked about your medical history of any bone-related injuries, family history, and medications you’re taking-if any.
For the test, it is advised to wear something that doesn’t have any metallic zipper, buckle, or button. If you’re on medication that has calcium then you’ll have to stop taking it 24 hours before you are scheduled for your DEXA test. Let your doctor know if you’re pregnant so that the radiologist will use low-level radiations to keep the unborn safe.
DEXA Scans are just like every other x-ray scan so if you’ve ever gotten one you know how it goes. There isn’t anything to be concerned about. All you would have to do is change into a hospital gown, lie down on the x-ray table, and get your scan done.
DEXA Scan Procedure
A DEXA scan takes about 20-25 minutes. The only discomfort the patients will feel will depend upon how they are positioned but that’ll only last a few minutes. Other than that the patients won’t feel anything.
DEXA or DXA tests offer high precision. Healthcare professionals regard these tests to be very accurate for detecting osteoporosis. All machines for these scans are thoroughly checked for their precision in measuring the minerals of bone. One thing that patients have to keep in mind is that all DEXA machines are different so it is best to get the scans done on the same machine.
DEXA Scan Results
As soon as you’re done with your scans you should be able to go on about your day without a hitch. Healthcare professionals will examine the medical imaging received from the DEXA scans and then provide a report stating the condition of your bones, the treatment they should get for it, medications, and diet plan to lower the risks of fracture. As a patient, it is important that you know exactly what your condition is and how can you prevent it from worsening.
When an x-ray scan is recommended to you, it is important that you ask your healthcare provider why did they recommended it to you, where do they suggest that you should have this test conducted, are there any preparations that you should do for this test, would you need any other test with this one, and what results should you expect from this test.
If you are scheduled for DEXA scan NJ then head to AQ imaging network to get exceptional medical imaging services. AQ modern diagnostic imaging network streamlines a full range of imaging services that utilize top-of-the-line technology. With innovative solutions, they aim to make healthcare as accessible as it can be, provide the best care to the patients and put their safety as the first priority.
DEXA scans are widely accepted for being the best in diagnosing fractures or osteoporosis. Stats show that age is a big factor for the bones to get weak and brittle. However, to not share the fate of the majority, it is imperative that we adopt a holistic approach towards eating and include healthy ingredients in our meals. It is not to say that we forsake the joy of eating but maintain a balance in our diets where we enjoy our indulgences but also give the food to our body that keeps it in the best shape. Along with a healthy diet, daily physical exercise is also important.