How common is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is one of the most common and debilitating chronic diseases, and a global healthcare problem. One in three women and one in five men over the age of 50 will suffer an Osteoporotic fracture.
How can I find out if I have Osteoporosis?
As Osteoporosis has no obvious symptoms other than a fracture when the bone is already significantly weakened, it is important to go to the doctor if any of the risk factors apply to you.
How can I prevent weak bones?
Although heredity plays a large part in determining whether you will be at heightened risk of Osteoporosis, certain lifestyle factors play a key role in helping to build and maintain strong bones. The best way to help prevent weak bones is by starting with good exercise and healthy eating habits in childhood and maintaining these good habits as an adult. Ensure that you get enough calcium and vitamin D each day, eat a healthy diet, do regular weight-bearing exercises, don’t smoke, and only drink alcohol in moderation.
How can I help my children build bones?
Help your children get enough calcium and vitamin D, so they are building strong bones while young. Encourage your children to have a balanced diet with sources of calcium and protein. Milk and other dairy foods are among the richest and most readily available sources of calcium in the diet. Educate them about the importance of weight-bearing exercises and the effects of smoking and excessive alcohol on bones.
What are the treatments for Osteoporosis?
There are a number of effective treatment options that have been shown to act quickly (within one year), to maintain bone density and to reduce the risk of having fractures. It is important that the choice of treatment be tailored to a patient’s specific medical needs and lifestyle and your doctor can advise. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT), although not specifically for the treatment of Osteoporosis, has also been shown to have a beneficial effect on bone. Calcium and vitamin D supplements are also usually prescribed, to ensure adequate intake, and to ensure maximum effectiveness of the drug therapy.
What are the benefits ?
• DEXA scans are non-invasive (no needles or injections).
• The examination is quick and painless.
• DEXA is widely available, easy-to-use and less expensive than other imaging methods.
• DEXA scanning gives an accurate assessment of your osteoporosis risk.
Can I take medication before the examination?
Yes, you should continue to take all medication.
Can I eat before the examination?
Yes, including foods that contain calcium.
How much radiation am I exposed to?
The amount of radiation is about the same as you would get naturally from two or three days of daily life. It is approximately 1/10th the amount you would receive from a chest x-ray.
Can I have a DEXA scan if I am pregnant?
No, this test should be avoided during pregnancy.
How long will it take?
We allow half an hour for the appointment.
Am I too young to have this type of examination?
Osteoporosis can affect anyone at any age but is more common in older people.
Who should have a Bone Density test?
• Women during and after menopause
• People who exercise excessively resulting in loss of periods or weight loss.
• People of Caucasian or Asian ethnicity
• Small boned or thin people
• Elderly people
• People with a family history of Osteoporosis
• Men with low testosterone levels.
Do I need a referral from my Doctor?
Yes, if you wish to make an appointment, we would request a referral simply because it gives clinical information to help us with your examination.
Why pay for a private scan?
There are a number of good reasons but the main ones will be that you may be seen more quickly than waiting for an NHS appointment, you may be able to choose a time and location that is more convenient for you and we may offer examinations that are not available through your local NHS hospital.
Who does the scan?
All examinations are performed by qualified and experienced DEXA Technicians or Radiographers all of whom are regularly audited and assessed for clinical competence and consistency.
How will I get the results?
You will be sent the report within a few days.
Will my details be treated confidentially?
Yes. We comply with all current legislation surrounding the security and confidentiality of patient data so your details will only be seen by authorised personnel.
Can I bring a friend with me?
Of course. We understand how worrying any medical examination or appointment can be.