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A dexa scan is a test to determine early stages of bone loss associated with osteoporosis, a disease in which bone density decreases, making bones brittle and prone to fracture.


Why should you have a bone density scan?

A bone density test uses X-rays to measure calcium and other bone minerals that are packed into a segment of bone. The bones that are most commonly tested are in the spine, hip and sometimes the forearm.

With bone loss, the outer shell of a bone becomes thinner and the interior becomes more porous. Normal bone is strong and flexible. Osteoporotic bone is weaker and subject to fracture.

What will bone density scans tell your doctor?

Simply put, it can tell your doctor how strong your bones are. It helps him to identify if you are at risk for bone fractures. It can also help him to identify if you have osteoporosis -a disease that occurs when your body loses bone density.

Although osteoporosis is more common in older women, men also can develop the condition. Regardless of your sex or age, your doctor may recommend a bone density test if you've:

Lost height

Fractured a bone.

Taken certain drugs

Received a transplant

Had a drop in hormone levels