A popular myth among many Americans is “most people don’t need to worry about osteoporosis.”
According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, an estimated 10 million Americans suffer from osteoporosis and another 44 million have low bone mass, putting them at greater risk for breaking a bone. According to population projections from the U.S. Census Bureau, there will be 72 million baby boomers (women and men age 51-72) in 2019. Studies show that one in two women, and up to one in four men over age 50 will break a bone due to osteoporosis in their lifetime. Weak bones are NOT a normal part of aging. Osteoporosis causes bones to become weak and fragile so that they break easily. These can be life threatening and a major cause of chronic pain and long term disability. Some of the risk factors for Osteoporosis are:
- Being over 50
- Being female
- Family history of osteoporosis
- Low body weight-being thin and small
- Broken bones or height loss
- Having an inactive lifestyle
- Not getting enough calcium and vitamin D
The Imaging Department at Windom Area Health is here to help you. We have one of the newest models of DEXA scanners out there and can do quite a few things with this machine. Besides checking for bone density we can also use this machine to look for a vertebral fracture assessment and for whole body fat composition. The vertebral fracture assessment (FRAX) will take a picture of the entire spine and the machine analyzes it for a risk factor based on density. This helps the radiologist when they are interpreting the DEXA scan. The whole body fat composition analysis is used to determine the amount of body fat that you have in your body. This is especially helpful for those that are trying a new weight loss program. You can track how your body is changing based on the body composition analysis that is done prior to starting your weight loss program. Another scan can be done about ½ way through the program and then one done at the completion of the weight loss program. This will compare and track the fat that is lost during the weight loss program. It is also helpful to athletes, especially wrestlers. They would benefit the most from this program, as they can determine if they are able to lose weight or if there is no fat to be lost.
Pay attention for upcoming information on osteoporosis and ask your provider if they feel you should have a screening DEXA scan to check for osteoporosis. Feel free to contact us at 507-407-3271, if you have any further questions.
Blog Written By: Valeri Wilkening, Imaging Director