There’s a lot that changes as we age, and our bone health is one of those things! For many women, aging can mean bone density loss, which if left untreated can lead to serious health complications such as bone fractures, loss of mobility, and debilitating pain.
The main result of bone density loss is the bone disease Osteoporosis, but thanks to advanced imaging technologies such as the DEXA Bone Density Scan, women suffering from bone density loss can now be diagnosed and treated before symptoms arise.
Many patients may wonder, what does bone density consist of, exactly? Why do bones weaken? And why does bone density loss matter? In order to understand bone density loss, Osteoporosis, and the importance of early detection, we have to answer these questions.
Our bones are living tissue that are constantly broken down and replaced throughout our lives. As we age, certain factors cause the regeneration of bone tissue to slow so that it cannot keep up with the amount that is being broken down. This causes the tissue inside our bones to become sparse and weak.
The factors that tend to cause bone density loss are:
- Aging: Unfortunately, the process of getting older often causes our bodies to absorb the calcium and phosphates in our bones, which makes them weaker.
- Menopause: A common cause of bone density loss for women is a drop in estrogen levels during menopause.
- Drinking Alcohol: Regular alcohol consumption has been proven to weaken bones.
- Smoking: Smokers generally tend to have low bone density mass.
- Long-Term Chronic Illnesses: Rheumatoid arthritis, chronic kidney disease, overactive parathyroid gland, and other diseases often cause our bones to become weaker over time.
- Medications: Hormone-blocking treatments, steroid medications, and some medications used to treat seizures and epilepsy, among others, can seriously debilitate bone density mass.
We may not think of our bones often but they are extremely vital to our health. When we begin to suffer bone density loss a lot of things become more difficult. For one, bone density loss makes our bones extremely susceptible to fractures. In serious cases, a simple sneeze or a cough can cause a fracture.
Bone density loss does not immediately cause Osteoporosis, though, it simply lets us know the risk we run of developing Osteoporosis in the future. Being able to assess our bone health early on is extremely important. That’s why most radiologists recommend annual bone density scans for women over 65.
Even if there are no symptoms, bone density scans can detect whether or not your bones have been losing mass. Early detection can help manage your bone density loss and prevent the serious side effects of Osteoporosis.
At Rosetta Radiology, our Women’s Imaging Division specializes in bone density scans and when you book an appointment with us, you get your consultation and diagnosis right from the radiologist who read your images. If you or someone you know is over 65 or suffering from bone density loss, reach out and contact us for more information on our bone density scans and treatment options.