You can find out if you are at risk for osteoporosis – a bone disease common to women, especially after menopause – through a bone density test. Bone density screenings are offered in nine Ballad Health locations, four in Tennessee and five in Virginia.
How is bone health different for women?
The Silent Disease
Osteoporosis and related bone disorders affect 27 million American women, 75 percent of whom don't even know they have it. While some bone loss can be expected as part of the normal aging process, osteoporosis is a dangerous disease. It occurs when bones become porous, brittle and likely to break. Half of women past menopause have or are at high risk of developing osteoporosis.
The good news is that testing is quick, easy and painless, and there are many different treatments available that can reduce the risk of fractures.
How are bone health issues diagnosed?
Bone Density (Dexa Scan, Bone Densitometry)
Bone densitometry measures the density of bone material to determine if there is an Increased risk of fracture or osteoporosis. The bone densitometer uses small amounts of X-rays to measure the amount of bone material in the spine, hip or whole body. Test results will be compared to that of a young person, when bone is at its strongest, and to the bone density of people your own age. This gives the physician a basis to determine if you are at risk of osteoporosis fractures. There are several ways to reduce your chance of fractures, and your physician can discuss these with you.
Are You At Risk?
Your chances of developing osteoporosis are greater if you are female and answer "yes" to any of the following questions:
Do you have:
- A family history of osteoporosis
- Chronic intestinal disorders
- A sedentary lifestyle
- Thin or small framed
- Approaching or past menopause
- Milk intolerant or have a low calcium intake
- A cigarette smoker or drink alcohol in excess
- Taking thyroid medication or steroid-based drugs for asthma, arthritis or cancer
For more information about osteoporosis, treatment options and bone testing, ask your physician or call the National Osteoporosis Foundation at (800) 231-4222.
Bone Density Test (Dexa Scan) Locations
Indian Path Hospital: (800) 231-4222
Johnson County Community Hospital: (423) 727-1128
Sycamore Shoals Hospital: (423) 542-1395, option #6
Women's Health and Imaging Center, Med Tech Park: (423) 979-3888
Dickenson Community Hospital: (276) 926-0319
Johnston Memorial Hospital Women's Center: (276) 258-2700
Norton Community Hospital: (276) 439-1380
Russell County Hospital: (276) 883-8000
Smyth County Community Hospital: (276) 378-1000