Bone density tests are easy, painless and noninvasive. Your doctor will use these results to test for and monitor conditions such as osteoporosis.
There are several types of bone density testing, but the preferred method for accuracy is the dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) scan. This test will require little preparation on your part. Typically, there is no need to alter your normal routine. The only exception is if you take a calcium supplement, your doctor may ask that you stop taking it 24 hours before your testing. It is also important to inform your doctor if you have recently had oral contrast or nuclear medicine testing, as it may interfere with the scans. As with any imaging, please let you doctor know if you may be pregnant.
During the test, you will lie on a padded platform while an imagine machine passes over your body taking images of your bones. It is a simple procedure that emits about 1/10th the radiation of a chest x-ray.
The results of this test are usually in the form of a score known as a T-score or Z-score. Your doctor will review the results with you at a follow up appointment.
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