Do You Need A Bone Density Test?
Quick. Answer these two simple questions.
1. Are you a postmenopausal woman or a man age 50 or older?
2. Have you recently broken a bone?
If you answered “Yes” to both questions, it’s time to talk to your doctor about having a bone density test to check for osteoporosis. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, a bone density test is the only way to diagnose osteoporosis, which occurs when your body loses bone mass. As a result, the bones become weaker and more fragile. Women ages 65 and older and postmenopausal women younger than 65 who have risk factors for osteoporosis should also have a bone density test, which is painless, non-invasive and usually takes only 15 – 20 minutes.
Osteoporosis is called the “Silent Thief” because it has no symptoms. Women are four times more likely to develop the disease than men. Indeed, it is estimated that half of all women will break a bone because of osteoporosis. The bones can become so weak that just bumping into furniture or sneezing can cause a break. That’s the reason it’s so important to determine if you are at risk.
Risk Factors for Osteoporosis:
Over age 50
A family history of osteoporosis
Low body weight/being small and thin
Loss of height
Not getting enough calcium and vitamin D
Not eating enough fruits and vegetables
Eating too much protein, sodium and caffeine
An inactive lifestyle
Drinking too much alcohol
Source: National Osteoporosis Foundation