Now Playing What is a bone density test? Do I need one?
What is a bone density test? Do I need one?
This test is painless and uses a machine to estimate the bone density in your hip, spine and sometimes other bones. It’s most valuable when you’ve had a repeat in two years so you can see how quickly your bones are changing.
You should have a bone density test around menopause because the 4-7 years after menopause is a time of accelerated loss.
It’s important that your bone scans be done on the same exact machine. Make sure to ask your doctor.
The person reading your bone scan should be certified by the International Society of Clinical Bone Densitometrists.
Your bone density is either normal, osteopenia (the grey zone) or osteoporosis (which means you’ve got to be treated). Severe osteoporosis means you have osteoporosis and you’ve also broken a bone.
A t-score of -1 or less indicates low bone density. BUT, the most important number is your rate of change, because some people have naturally low bone density, but their bone is stable, vs. someone with high bone density who is rapidly losing bone.
If your results are ambiguous, you may need a frax test.