Understanding Bone Density Test Results
DEXA stands for: Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry. This bone density test uses X-rays to measure how many grams of calcium and other bone minerals are packed into a segment of bone. The higher your bone mineral content, the denser (stronger) your bones.
A bone density test is used to:
- Identify decreases in bone density before you break a bone
- Determine your risk of broken bones (fractures)
- Confirm a diagnosis of osteoporosis if you’ve experienced broken bones
- Monitor osteoporosis treatment
Your bone density test results are reported in two numbers: T-score and Z-score.
T-score – The T-score is your bone density compared to that of a healthy 30 year old adult of your sex. This is measured in the number of units [standard deviations (SD)] that your bone density is above or below the optimal bone density. The more SD’s below 0 (indicated as negative numbers) the lower your bone mineral density and the higher your risk of fracture.
A T-score greater than –1 is considered normal. A T-score between –1 and –2.5 is considered osteopenia, below normal and may be a sign of coming osteoporosis, and less than –2.5 means osteoporosis.
Z-score – Your Z-score compares your bone density to that of someone your age, weight, sex and ethnic origin. A SD below -1.5 could indicate that outside factors are contributing to bone loss. These factors may include low calcium, low vitamin D, diabetes, depression, caffeine, high salt intake, Hemocchromatosis, medications, alcohol, lack of exercise, Celiac’s disease, lead exposure, smoking, aluminum, IBS, cadmium exposure.
What Can You Do For Low Bone Density?
- Stop Smoking
- Exercise – Resistance training is essential for strong bones.
- Calcium/Magnesium/Vitamin D/Vitamin K – All these are essential for strong bones, however the only way to know how much you should take and what other factors may be blocking absorption is thru diagnostic testing.
- Make an Appointment – A comprehensive diagnostic health analysis will help determine any underlying causes or dysfunctions contributing to your low bone density. Years of eating sub-optimal foods, engaging in inadequate exercise, poor lifestyle habits and living in a polluted environment leads to the gradual development of disease. The only way to know how your body is functioning and what nutrients it is lacking is thru diagnostic testing. Set up your initial consultation with Dr Burdorf. Our office number is 480-951-5006 or schedule online for a consultation with Dr. Burdorf.