Bone Health

Millions of women over 50 have osteoporosis – a dangerous thinning of the bones. In fact, your chances of breaking a bone because of osteoporosis are one in two. That’s higher than your chances of having a heart attack, a stroke and breast cancer combined.

Make bone health a priority. Starting right now.

HOW WE CARE FOR YOU

Bone is living tissue.

Osteoporosis occurs as we age, when the creation of new bone doesn’t keep up with the deterioration of old bone. Bones become so weak and brittle that a simple bump into furniture or even a sneeze can cause a fracture.

Osteoporosis is often referred to as the “silent disease” because you can’t feel your bones becoming weaker. Caucasian and Asian women – especially those who are past menopause or slight of frame – are at highest risk.

Although common, osteoporosis doesn’t have to be an inevitable part of aging. Our bone health experts – doctors, nurse practitioners and bone densitometry- certified technologists – can help determine your risk of developing osteoporosis and help you prevent it.

Bone density tests are easy and painless, and take only 15 minutes or so. You simply lie on a cushioned bed while a mechanical arm passes over your body.

We use Dual-energy Absorptiometry, or DXA, to safely and accurately measure your bone strength, vulnerability to fractures and risk for osteoporosis. The test targets your lower spine and hips—the two areas most susceptible to breakage.

Our team will review the results with you and discuss your need for any treatment—including changes in diet, exercise and medications.

If you answer yes to more than a few of these questions, you should consider getting a bone density test.

  • Are you 50 years or older?
  • Are you postmenopausal? Or have you had an early or surgically induced menopause?
  • Are you Caucasian or Asian?
  • Are you petite and thin?
  • Do you have a family history of osteoporosis?
  • Do you have a history of broken bones that were not trauma related?
  • Do you smoke cigarettes?
  • Are you a heavy drinker? (more than two drinks several times a week)
  • Have you taken steroids or thyroid medication for six months or more?
  • Do you have chronic kidney problems?
  • Have you taken immunosuppressive medications or chemotherapy?
  • Are you a couch potato?

Bone density testing is offered at our Mechanicsville and John Rolfe Commons locations.

  • Please arrive at least 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment time to complete a bone density questionnaire.
  • Bring a list of your medications and vitamin supplements, including dosages.
  • Wear loose, comfortable clothing—no metal snaps, closures, hooks, zippers, etc. T-shirts and sweats work best.
  • Do not take calcium supplements the morning of your test.
  • You may eat and drink as usual.
  • No x-ray studies with contrast in the seven days leading up to your appointment (IVP, upper GI or barium enemas or swallows, CT scans with oral contrast)
  • If you think you’re pregnant, tell us immediately.

 

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