Osteoporosis is a disease that causes bones to become fragile and prone to fracture. One out of five women over the age of 50 has osteoporosis. At Houston Methodist, these odds motivate us to place great importance in offering comprehensive care for osteoporosis. Houston Methodist uses state-of-the-art, noninvasive technology to measure bone density and assess the overall health and strength of your bones. This advanced evaluation system helps identify bone weakness and consider treatment options as early as possible, before it becomes a problem.
Osteoporosis occurs most frequently in postmenopausal women, and the vast majority of patients have no symptoms until a bone actually breaks. You can be proactive with your health care by taking steps to prevent osteoporosis, having a bone density scan and talking with your doctor about other ways to keep osteoporosis from slowing you down.
Although the exact medical cause of osteoporosis is still undetermined, there are some factors known to play a role in the disease. Women who are advanced in age, have a slight build and have estrogen deficiency — such as that developed during menopause — are most susceptible. However, you can take the following steps to help reduce the risk of osteoporosis:
- Exercise regularly
- Minimize caffeine and alcohol consumption
- Stop smoking
- Maintain an adequate intake of calcium and vitamin D
Bone Densitometry (DEXA) Scan
Bone densitometry is a radiological test that is used to diagnose osteoporosis by measuring bone loss. The DEXA (dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry) scan compares your bone density with two different types of normal values: the T-score compares your bone mineral density values with those of the young, normal patient and the Z-score compares it with an age and body-type matched normal patient. A lower score will indicate that you have lower bone density than normal. The higher the density, the stronger the bone is.
The test is very important for women who are going through menopause. Because of their lack of estrogen, bones begin to weaken. Men are also at risk for developing osteoporosis.
Our physicians at Houston Methodist specialize in managing osteoporosis at the following convenient locations: