Because there is x-ray involved, you will need a prescription from your physician and you may also need advance approval from your insurance company before making your appointment.
If you’re over 65 and haven’t already had a bone density test, you should talk with your health care provider and get one. Even the Medicare welcome package includes bone density screening as one of your benefits.
If you’re under 65 and have risk factors for fracture, you should also get a bone density test.
Besides family history as a strong risk factor, there are many other factors that should influence your decision to get a bone density test.
- Broken a bone with little trauma as an adult?
- Taken in small amounts of calcium throughout your life?
- Got small bones and low body weight?
- Had 2 or more alcoholic beverages a day?
- Consumed large amounts of caffeine (coffee, tea, and soft drinks)?
- Had a reduced level of estrogen at an early age?
- Not stopped smoking?
- A low level of physical activity?
- Had thyroid or parathyroid problems, such as hyperthyroidism and hyperparathyroidism?
- Been on a “bone depleting” drug like steroids, chemotherapy, epilepsy medication or a variety of other drugs for a chronic condition?
Speak with your health care provider. With their knowledge of your health, lifestyle, and the medications you are taking, they can give you the best advice about testing.