Bone Density Test

A bone density test can be a very important detection tool that can help to uncover serious health issues at an early stage, increasing the likelihood of successful treatment. The pros of undergoing one of these tests may include the timely diagnosis of osteoporosis. Knowing that a patient is dealing with this serious issues can mean the prescription of needed medications. Steps can also be taken to help to minimize the chance that an individual will suffer painful fractures and breaks. If a patient is undergoing treatment for osteoporosis, the effectiveness of this treatment can be determined through these scans as well. For many patients, scans of this nature will not tell the whole story and additional tests may be required. Women who are age sixty five or older will most frequently undergo a bone density test. When a post menopausal woman suffers a fracture, a scan of the bones may also be called for. Long term use of hormone replacement therapy can also make a woman a good candidate for testing. These tests can utilize x-rays to determine the number of grams of calcium as well as other minerals that are in the patient's bones. Many patients do not know that they are suffering from osteoporosis until they experience a bone fracture. Timely scans and tests can help to uncover a problem in time for effective treatment.

There are a number of different types of tests that measure bone density. A BMD, or bone mineral density test may use a computed tomography, or CT scan. It may also utilize ultrasound technology. This type of bone density test will be used to measure the presence of minerals in the bones. Loosing a degree of bone mass can be an unfortunate side effect of natural aging. This is because existing bone will break down faster than new material can be manufactured. With the loss of important minerals such as calcium, the bones become much more porous and more light in weight, making them much weaker and more vulnerable to breakage. Another type of bone density test is the dual energy x-ray. The strength of the patient's bones can be reflected in how x-rays pass through the bone tissue. The stronger the bones, the better the rays can pass through. The dual energy ex-ray will usually be used to measure bones in the spine and the hip. A DEXA x-ray is similar but it will usually be used to measure bones in the arms and legs. Dual photon absorptiometry, or DPA tests utilize radioactive matter. In addition to these technologies, ultrasound and CT scans can be used to measure the strength of bones.

For many patients, the cost of a bone density test may be picked up by MediCare. If a woman has already experienced menopause, she may be at a higher risk for osteoporosis. MediCare will cover the cost of these tests when this is the case. Patients who are taking medications for osteoporosis may also need to be scanned periodically and if those patients have MediCare, the tests will be covered. Osteoporosis is a serious health condition that can occur as the bones age. Bones will become weaker and less dense, making them much more susceptible to fracture. Women tend to much more likely to suffer from this condition than men. Genetics may play a part as well. With timely diagnosis, patients can take steps to help to ward off the effects of this disease. There are also certain physical conditions that may require a bone density test. Medicare will cover the expenses related to these tests if the patient suffers from hyperparathyroidism, as well as spinal fractures and abnormalities. Patients who are on corticosteroid treatments for a long period of time they will also be eligible for coverage. The Bible illustrates the attitude of praise that is appropriate for believers. "I will give thee thanks in the great congregation: I will praise thee among much people." (Psalm 35:18)

Anyone who is facing a bone density test should know that they do not need to expect to experience any measurable amount of discomfort or pain. These tests are also relatively fast and require very little advance preparation. The bones that are targeted in these scans will usually be the ones that are the most likely to be broken in a fall. That would include the femur, the hip, wrist and forearm bones, and the lumbar vertebrae. During these scans, a patient will lie down on a large machine, or may stand if a smaller, more portable machine is being used. If a woman is concerned about diseases such as osteoporosis, she should consult her doctor to see if she needs to undergo a test of this nature.

A physician will usually explain to the patient what to expect when the results of a bone density test are reported. Results will usually be reflected in something called a T-score. The T-score compares the patients actual bone density to what is considered normal. For example, a score that is above -1 is considered within the normal range. A score that is between -1 and -2.5 means that the patient has some health issues that could lead to osteoporosis. Any score that is below -2.5 indicates a full blown case of osteoporosis. With early detection and careful follow through on treatment, patients can help to keep bones healthy and serious disease at bay or under control.

Natural Treatment For Osteoporosis

Natural treatment for osteoporosis is sought by millions of older adults who don't want to deal with the side effects of the drugs that are often used as a standard chemical regimen against the onslaught of this bone disease. Osteoporosis is a disease in which bone density is decreased, making the sufferer more likely to have fractured bones from seemingly routine activities. It is estimated that almost thirty million women in America are at risk because of already having this disease in some form or another. It is a very slowly progressing disease and many people do not know that they have it until after a bone break occurs. And while women are four times as likely to have the disease as men, males are also susceptible to the disease. So the products for natural treatment for osteoporosis are of great interest to its sufferers as well as to the purveyors of such products.

This disease is not difficult to spot in its later stages. An older woman has often had her height shortened considerably by the disease and often she may be hunched over as a result of deterioration of her spine. Estrogen in women helps to encourage bone mass, but when it dwindles at menopause, the bone loss begins in earnest. By the time women are in their seventies, over half have developed osteoporosis. White women are more prone to this disease than African-Americans, and Oriental women are thought to be at greatest risk, but not enough studies have been done to verify the assumption. Women who have had early menopause, a hysterectomy or little or no menstruation are at much higher risk for this disease. As a result, natural treatment for osteoporosis is gaining more and more attention, given the dangers of synthetic estrogen.

Natural treatment for osteoporosis can begin quite early in life for women in the form of preventative measures. Medical experts advise for women to begin a weight bearing exercise program long before menopause onset. This means resistance training such as light weights or rubber band resistance exercise. Getting enough calcium can help to prevent the onset of the disease is an important lifestyle regimen that includes teenagers getting at least thirteen hundred milligrams of calcium each day. Those from nineteen years of age to age fifty should get a thousand milligrams a day and postmenopausal women should get twelve hundred milligrams of calcium each day. Taking vitamins and supplements while exercising and eating right are all important for a long and healthy life, but Jesus says it can all be for naught. "What shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?" (Mark 8:36, 37)

One of the first places a physician will turn in talking about natural treatment for osteoporosis is in the area of a person's diet. There are four big no-no's for diets that are designed to help curb bone loss: caffeine, alcohol, smoking and colas. All of these things ingested into the body actually decrease bone mass. A diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables is very much encouraged with a very real concentration on foods that have a high amount of vitamin D. These include dairy, sardines and cooked greens. If possible, a few minutes of exposure to the sun are a really good idea on a daily basis or taking a D supplement is acceptable.

Many doctors are quick to remind those who have osteoporosis that it is not a calcium deficiency that causes the disease but rather a mineral imbalance. That is why just taking a lot of extra calcium doesn't stave off the disease. If a person is on several prescription drugs there needs to be a strong awareness that the drugs can very well funnel off calcium from the body so a good talk with one's physician needs to be part of the agenda to stave off osteoporosis. The loss of bone mass in older people is a serious thing to consider since twenty percent of those who suffer a hip fracture die within a year of complications and within a year another sixty percent of persons who fall and suffer a hip break must have constant help in their daily lives. Natural treatment for osteoporosis, if a person is not taking a drug such as Boniva, must be high on the priority list of health concerns and practices for a senior adult, especially women.

The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) has produced information that might be of interest to women who have reached menopause and looking beyond natural treatment for osteoporosis. Estrogen therapy has long been promoted as an answer for bone mass loss in post menopausal women. Yet JAMA says that a long study has shown that there was no significant difference in the instance of hip fractures between those women who took estrogen and those who did not. If estrogen therapy is not that effective, taking a drug product such as Boniva may be considered, but even that product has side effects. Boniva, along with Fasomax, Actonel, Zometa and Aredia are all biophosphates, and there have a number of cases in which the users of these osteoporosis therapies have caused what is known as bone death in the jaw and others who have suffered from severe pain and debilitation as a result of the medication. Knowing that is true, men and women, especially with very slight builds and bone structure, should consider all the benefits of natural treatment for osteoporosis.

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