An important test with a funny name, a DEXA scan — short for Dual Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry — can help evaluate your risk for osteoporosis. This simple, painless and non-invasive test uses low-dose x-rays to check for signs of bone mass loss or calcium depletion during menopause or post-menopause. Testing is usually done on the spine and hip and takes about 20 minutes.
The results of your DEXA scan are given to your physician who will review the test and discuss the results with you. If you are diagnosed with osteoporosis, it’s not too late to take steps to slow bone loss and even build new bone. Treatment may include altering your diet, starting strength-bearing exercise and eating more calcium-rich foods. Sometimes, people need medication to treat the disease.
Talk with your physician to see if you should have a DEXA scan to check your bone health. Or, if it’s been 24 months or more since you’ve had this test, ask your doctor about having another scan to update your progress.