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Bone Density Scans for Osteoporosis

 
Osteoporosis is diagnosed with a bone density scan. This bone density test is a simple scan that is a measure of the density of your bones, usually at the hip and spine. The test involves you lying flat, fully clothed on a padded table and the arm of the machine passes over your body and will usually take approximately 10-15 minutes. You will only be referred the test if your GP first assesses your risk factors for osteoporosis before referring you for a test.

Who should have a bone density scan?

If you are over 50 with risk factors, you may need a bone check up with a bone density scan.  You are more likely to fracture a bone in the future if you bone density is low.  If you are under 50 and you have certain some risk factors you may also be required to have a bone density scan.
The sooner you find out if you have low bone density or osteoporosis the earlier you will be able manage your bone health in collaboration with your doctor. This action will help keep your bones strong, it can slow bone loss and reduce the risk of breaks.

What will the result of a bone density scan tell me?

A bone density scan will determine if your bones are in the range of
  • Normal
  • Low bone density (called osteopenia) or Osteoporosis.
  • This will ultimately determine if any action is needed to improve your bone health.

Foods that are good for your bones

Vitamin D, calcium as well as other nutrients that are important for bone health.  The food that you eat will therefore make a difference to your overall health as well as bone health.
These include:

  • Dairy products such as low-fat and non-fat milk, yogurt and cheese. Some dairy products are fortified with Vitamin D.
  • Fish.  Canned sardines and salmon (with bones) Fatty varieties such as salmon, mackerel, tuna and sardines.              
  • Fruits and vegetables such as collard greens, turnip greens, kale, okra, Chinese cabbage, dandelion greens, mustard greens and broccoli, beet greens, okra, tomato products, artichokes, plantains, potatoes, sweet potatoes, raisins, papaya, oranges, orange juice, bananas, plantains and prunes, capsicum, oranges, grapefruits, strawberries, pineapples, dark green leafy vegetables such as kale, mustard greens, turnip greens.
  • Fortified Foods.  Calcium and vitamin D are sometimes added to certain brands of juices, breakfast foods, soy milk, rice milk, cereals, snacks and breads.
 
 
 

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  Nutrition
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