Bone density scans are administered to people for the purpose of measuring bone strength, and for determining whether any bone loss has occurred. The actual procedure is called a DEXA scan, and it’s similar to an x-ray in the manner in which its administered. It’s a good idea to have the procedure performed if you are over the age of 40, and it’s even more important if you are in a greater risk pool for developing bone loss.
Osteoporosis, the gradual reduction of bone mass which can cause brittle bones or weak bones, can lead to fractures and breaks which could be especially debilitating at an older age, so this can definitely be a serious problem for people at greater risk of developing bone loss. Although women are statistically more susceptible than men to developing osteoporosis, there are still good reasons for men to have a bone density scan performed periodically.
Any male who has rheumatoid arthritis is considered to be at greater risk for developing osteoporosis, and these two factors combined could have a highly negative impact on a man’s quality of life. If you are a person who has even a mild case of rheumatoid arthritis, it would be worth your while to have a bone density scan performed, so that you can be sure you are not at risk for even greater problems associated with bone loss. Many people who have rheumatoid arthritis are at least subject to developing ostopenia, which is a relatively mild case of bone loss.
A big risk factor for developing bone loss are some of the lifestyle choices which men might make. Smoking or drinking heavily are two of the behavioral choices which can make a person more prone to developing osteoporosis, and if you are a person considered to be underweight for your body type, that is an additional factor which could well enhance your risk of bone loss.
If if any of these three are typical of your own lifestyle, and certainly if more than one of them are, you should have a bone density scan performed periodically to ascertain whether any bone loss is developing. Although this may not exactly be a lifestyle choice per se, you are also at greater risk of developing bone loss if you have ever been obliged to take corticosteroid drugs for a period lasting longer than three consecutive months.
Any male who has a parent on either side who experienced osteoporosis is at greater risk for developing the condition themselves. Another inherited risk factor is having one or more parents who broke a hip in their senior years, because this seems to be passed on to offspring as an increased risk of developing bone loss. If you don’t know about your parents’ possible exposure to either of these conditions, you should make a point of asking, because either or both factors can be strong contributors to the potential for osteoporosis developing at some point in your own lifetime.
Avoiding bone loss
One of the best ways of keeping your bones strong is by exercising in a way that forces your bones to bear the whole weight of your body, such as by walking or jogging. Weight-lifting is another activity which contributes to strengthening your bones, provided that you can do it for at least 30 minutes daily. Your body needs calcium and Vitamin D to keep your bones healthy and strong, so make sure you’re getting the minimum adult daily requirement of these elements, either through milk and other dairy products, or through dietary supplements. On the side of things you should not do – don’t drink heavily and don’t smoke, because both are known contributors to bone loss.
Cenegenics Boston provides DEXA screening to help detect osteopenia/osteoporosis before a fracture occurs. The information will help predict chances of a future fracture, and can be used to monitor treatment.