About one-fourth of all women develop osteoporosis after menopause or by the time they’re 65 years old. The doctors at Capital Women’s Care offer advanced osteoporosis testing using the DEXA scan, which is recommended for postmenopausal women and women of any age who are at risk for osteoporosis. All women are welcome to schedule bone density screenings at the Capital Women’s Care office in Rockville, Maryland. If you’re not a patient, you’ll need a physician’s referral, then a report will be sent to your doctor. For more information about osteoporosis, please call or book an appointment online today.
Osteoporosis is a condition that occurs when your bones become weak and brittle because you don’t produce enough new bone to replace old bone that’s naturally lost.
The most common causes of osteoporosis are:
Throughout adulthood, your bones stay strong by constantly discarding old, weak, or damaged bone and replacing it with new bone. If you lose more bone than you can replace, you start to develop osteoporosis. Most women start to gradually lose bone density around age 40.
Your chances of developing osteoporosis rise dramatically when you reach menopause. Estrogen helps regulate bone metabolism, so when your levels of estrogen drop, bone loss accelerates. You can lose 40% of your spongy inner bone and 10% of the hard, outer bone in the years following menopause.
Osteoporosis is the top cause of broken bones in postmenopausal women, often causing compression fractures in the spine, hips, and wrists. Your bones can become so fragile that fractures develop from normal, everyday activities.
Bone density testing is a noninvasive procedure performed using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, or DEXA. The team at Capital Women’s Care proudly offer DEXA scans to their patients and all women in the community -- you just need a referral from any physician.
The DEXA scan uses a very small dose of radiation to evaluate bone loss. It shows whether you have osteoporosis, as well as your risk of developing it so that a plan can be developed to prevent the problem.
Your doctor may prescribe a medication – bisphosphonates – to slow down or prevent bone loss. Following menopause, you can also stop bone loss with hormone replacement therapy to restore estrogen.
You’ll also benefit from dietary changes or by taking supplements to get your recommended dietary allowance of calcium and vitamin D. Additionally, weight-bearing exercise is a key part of managing or preventing osteoporosis, as the tension between muscles and bones triggers bone building.
If you’re interested in bone density testing, call Capital Women’s Care or book an appointment online.