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What is Densitometry?

Bone Densitometry is a method of measuring the calcium content or density of bones - the lower the density of calcium the greater potential for fracture in the future. Normally used as a form of screening, using low dose x-rays, the Bone Densitometry test is safe, painless and accurate.

Our bones start to lose strength after the age of 30, partly due to the ageing process. The rate of calcium loss varies greatly and women are at particular risk after menopause. The procedure takes from 30 to 45 minutes to complete. The test results will be discussed with you and then conveyed to your General Practitioner.

What are the reasons for screening?

  • Early menopause, absence of periods or low female hormone levels
  • If you are undergoing steroid tablet treatment
  • Thyroid or parathyroid overactivity
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • If you have a family history of osteoporosis, particulary if you are of lean build, have back pain or have sustained a fracture.

What preparation is needed?
None. You can eat and drink normally before the test. It should not be necessary to undress for the examination.

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