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Bone Mineral Density - Dr Vivek Baliga Article For Patients

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Dr Vivek Baliga discusses the bone mineral density test. What is the test, why is it done, how is it done and how is it useful. For the full text article, visit http://heartsense.in/bone-mineral-density-test-dr-vivek-baliga/

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Bone Mineral Density - Dr Vivek Baliga Article For Patients

  1. 1. BONE MINERAL DENSITY Dr. Vivek Baliga, Consultant Internal Medicine
  2. 2. BONE MINERAL DENSITY As we get older, our bones naturally get a little thinner and the density of the bone is reduced. The loss of bone mass and the thinning of bones makes it very susceptible to breaking and fracture. It is therefore important to ensure the bones are strong and healthy. Bone health can be easily assessed through a bone mineral density study, also called a BMD study.
  3. 3. WHAT IS A BMD TEST? A BMD (Bone Mineral Density) test is a test used to determine the thickness and strength of the bones. It measures the quantity of calcium and other minerals in the bone that makes it strong.When assessing the bone density, only a particular part of the bone is assessed. The commonly studies bones are the spine, forearm and hip bones.
  4. 4. WHY IS A BMD TEST DONE? A BMD test is performed to assess the presence of a condition called osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is also called ‘brittle bone disease’. It is a condition where the bones have lost all their vital minerals and become thin and brittle.
  5. 5.  Bone fractures from minimal trauma. Sometimes even a violent cough or a sneeze can cause bone fractures.  Loss of height. If you think you are getting shorter, then you may have a compression fracture of the spine. A loss of around 4 cm needs investigating.  Patients taking steroid medication for prolonged periods of time can develop bone thinning. A BMD will help determine whether there is osteoporosis or not. WHO NEEDS A BMD TEST?
  6. 6.  Transplant recipients may be on medication that can thin the bones. A BMD will help determine how fragile the bones are.  Post menopausal women who are experiencing bone pain and weakness. Early menopause is also an indication.  Strong family history of osteoporosis  People who consume large amounts of alcohol regularly  Patients on hormone replacement therapy for prostate cancer or breast cancer. WHO NEEDS A BMD TEST?[CONT..]
  7. 7. NORMAL RESULTS OF A BMD TEST When you look at a report of a BMD test, you may find 2 different terms used – T score and Z score. The T score is more commonly used in practice. It compares the density of your bone to those of healthy young women. The Z score is used less frequently. It compares the thickness of your bone to others individuals of the same gender, age, weight and race.
  8. 8. NORMAL RESULTS OF A BMD TEST [CONT..] T score  The normal scores for the T score is more than – 1. It may be 0 or 1 or even more.  A score of less than – 1 indicates bone thinning.  – 1 to -2.4 is called osteopenia. This is the early stage of bone thinning.  > -2.5 is called osteoporosis. This is a more advanced stage.
  9. 9. NORMAL RESULTS OF A BMD TEST [CONT..] Z score  A Z-score of less than -2 indicates an alternate cause for bone thinning other than age.  By evaluating your T and Z score, your doctor will be able to tell you if you have osteoporosis or not, and whether you need any treatment.
  10. 10. WHAT AFTER THE BMD TEST?  If your BMD reveals you have thin bones, then your doctor will likely prescribe vitamin D and calcium supplements. These should be taken as prescribed to keep the bones strong.  You will also be asked to exercise regularly. Walking regularly can improve the health of bones and make them stronger.
  11. 11. THANK YOU!

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