At PrimaNora Medical Centre the evaluation of bone health is essential components of our patients’ wellness. Bone is living tissue made up of specialized bone cells and plays a structural role in the body. Bone formation and bone resorption take place throughout life up until mid 30s where bone resorption occurs at a faster rate than bone formation, in both men and women. Consequently, there is a gradual decrease in bone mass as we age. Excessive loss of bone mineral leads to a condition called osteoporosis.
Today millions of men and women worldwide are suffering from osteoporosis. As the healthcare costs associated with osteoporosis can be staggering, the effect on your quality of life can be also devastating. Fortunately, osteoporosis is detectable and treatable with safe and non-invasive testing.
What Is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a degenerative bone disease that primarily affects post-menopausal women. Literally meaning “porous bone”, osteoporosis is characterized by a decrease in normal bone density due to loss of calcium and collagen. As the bone becomes porous and fragile, the risk of fractures is greatly increased. Unfortunately, the loss of bone occurs ‘silently’ and progressively.
- The key to avoiding severe effects from osteoporosis is prevention. Women may protect themselves from severe bone loss by maintaining a balanced diet rich in calcium, performing the regular weight-bearing exercise (such as aerobics and walking), limiting alcohol intake, not smoking, and considering hormone replacement therapy.
- Osteoporosis may be diagnosed by a bone mineral density (BMD) test. BMD test measures the amount of calcium and collagen in specific regions in the bones.
- PrimaNora Medical Centre offers the premier Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry test (DEXA). DEXA is a quick, painless test that accurately measures a patient’s bone density. It measures the spine, hip and total body. The accuracy ranges from 85% to 99%.
- The test is a safe examination involving an extremely small dose of radiation. It delivers less than a tenth the dosage of a chest x-ray. Like any medical procedure, please inform our doctor if you are pregnant.
Who Are At Risk?
Before a woman reaches 30 her body gains more bone than it loses. Around 30, this process balances out.
However, the onset of menopause (and a decrease in the female hormone, estrogen) around 50 years of age may speed up the rate of bone loss. If bone loss become severe, a women may develop osteoperosis.
Patients Recommended for Bone Mineral Density Measurements:
- All women older than 65 regardless of risk factors.
- Post-menopausal women who present with fractures.
- Women considering therapy for osteoperosis, if bone mineral density (BMD) testing would effect the decision.
- Women who have been on hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for a prolonged period of time.
- Men and women having thyroid disorders, hyperparathyroidism, hypogonadism and diabetes.
- Post-menopausal women with at least one additional risk factor (other than menopause).