A bone mineral density test or bone density test is an x-ray exam that determines the amount of calcium and other minerals in the bones. The greater the number, the better. The test is useful for determining if an individual has osteoporosis, and can tell doctors how advanced the condition is and what treatment to propose. Often, people do not realize that they have "brittle bones" until they have fallen and broken one. Bone density tests are fairly quick and painless.
Osteoporosis risk increases as we age, especially in post-menopausal women. The drop in estrogen and the shift in hormones leads to the deterioration of bones. Lack of calcium at any age can also increase the risk of brittle bones. Some prescription drugs have a negative effect on bone density and calcium absorption.
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