When you have RA, you are at a higher risk for developing osteoporosis . Other aspects of living with this disease may also contribute to the risk: a sedentary lifestyle, taking steroids and being low on vitamin D. If you're taking certain stomach medications to deal with side effects from your RA meds, you can add another risk factor. All of these contribute to lowering your bone density, i.e., how thick or heavily packed with minerals your bones are. The higher your bone density, the stronger your bones are and this makes them less likely to break. Being aware of the state of your bones can help you prevent bone loss or treat any bone loss you may already be experiencing.
DXA stands for Dual-energy X-ray Absorptiometry. It uses very low dose x-rays, about 1/10 the radiation you get in a chest x-ray. The US Preventative Services Task Force currently recommends bone density tests or DXA scan for all women over the age of 65. If you are younger and have not yet entered m...
What is a Bone Density Test? How does the doctor choose where to scan you (wrist, ankle, hip)? What is the difference between this and a bone scan?
What is a Bone Density Test?
A bone density test is an examination by either special x-rays or ultrasound to determine how much bone mineral content (calcium and other minerals) is present in any section of bone. The higher the mineral content, the denser the bone. This is one of the ways to determine the risk of fracture.
What are the different types of bone density tests and what are the differences between them?
There are various types of tests available, peripheral and central . The peripheral devices measure the finger or ankle, and these central devices measure the spine and hips.
The peripheral devices are significantly cheaper and are easier to use; however, they are often used for screening for they do not measure the actual areas where fractures occur. This i...
Your bones are not dead, static pieces of framework; your bones are alive and can be a source of pain. When you think about bone pain, you might remember a time when you broke a bone. But there are other times when bone pain happens. And when you do experience bone pain, there are some specific treatments to relieve it too.
Let’s first start with the list of catastrophic conditions that can cause bone pain. On top of that list is the most feared of all, cancer. Primary bone cancer or cancer that has spread to the bone (metastatic cancer) is very painful and is the first problem to rule out. Blood test, biopsies and imaging studies might all be necessary to find this sinister cause of bone pain. An equally concerning problem that leads to bone pain is a bone infection ( osteomyelitis ). In other parts of the world, tuberculosis (TB) is the most common cause of bone infections. But even in parts of the world where TB is almost unheard of, bone infections are not unheard of es...
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