What to Expect During a Bone Density Test in Singapore
A bone density test is a medical test that measures the strength and density of your bones. It is an important test for assessing the risk of osteoporosis, which causes bones to become weak and brittle, making them more likely to fracture. In Singapore, bone density tests are available at various medical clinics and hospitals. If you are scheduled for a bone density test in Singapore, here is what you can expect.
Preparing for the Test
Before your bone density test, your healthcare provider will provide you with instructions on how to prepare. You may be asked to avoid taking calcium supplements, multivitamins containing calcium, or other medications that may interfere with the test results for 24 hours before the test. You may also be asked to wear loose, comfortable clothing and avoid clothing with metal zippers or buttons.
During the Test
A bone density test is a quick and painless procedure that typically takes 10-15 minutes to complete. The most common type of bone density test is a dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) test. During a DXA test, you will lie down on a table while a scanning device passes over your body. The scanning device emits a small amount of radiation to measure the density of your bones.
The test usually focuses on the bones of the spine, hip, and sometimes the forearm. You may need to change positions during the test, such as lying on your back, side, or stomach. You will need to remain still during the test to ensure accurate results.
After the Test
After completing the bone density test, you can resume your normal activities immediately. Your healthcare provider will discuss the test results with you, including your bone density score and any further evaluation or treatment recommendations.
Interpreting the Results
The results of a bone density test are usually reported as a T-score or a Z-score. The T-score compares your bone density to that of a healthy young adult of the same sex. A T-score of -1.0 or above is considered normal, while a T-score between -1.0 and -2.5 indicates low bone density or osteopenia. A T-score of -2.5 or below indicates osteoporosis.
The Z-score compares your bone density to other people of the same age, sex, and body size. If your Z-score is significantly below average, it may indicate that you have a condition affecting your bone health, such as hyperparathyroidism or cancer.
Suppose your bone density test indicates low bone density or osteoporosis. In that case, your healthcare provider may recommend lifestyle changes, supplements, or medications to prevent further bone loss and reduce the risk of fractures. You may also need to schedule follow-up bone density tests to monitor your bone density over time and ensure your treatment plan works.
A bone density test is a quick and painless procedure that can help assess the risk of osteoporosis and guide treatment decisions. If you are scheduled for a bone density test, following any preparation instructions provided by your healthcare provider to ensure accurate test results is important. After the test, your healthcare provider will discuss the results with you and recommend any necessary follow-up tests or treatments. If you are at risk of osteoporosis, talk to your healthcare provider about scheduling a bone density test and maintaining good bone health.
The basics of bone density tests
Bone density tests are vital to diagnosing osteoporosis and decreasing the chances of a bone fracture. Essentially, medical professionals use a machine to accurately measure the density and mass of a specific bone in the body, which can help determine if you are suffering from osteoporosis, or should otherwise be concerned about bone fractures.
Bone density tests can also be useful for monitoring the process of your osteoporosis over time, and determining what effects any medications may be having on your bone health. Doctors often recommend bone density tests for:
- Men who are 70 and older
- Women who are 65 and older
- Men and women in younger age groups who exhibit certain risk factors
- Patients whose x-rays show a spinal break or spinal bone loss
- Patients with height loss of at least 1/2 inch in a year