Knowing about the health of bones is very important. This is an integral element of the health profile of a person. Information about the bone health will lead to the diagnosis and possible corrective measures about potential risk for fractures and diseases like osteoporosis.
The exact status of the bone can be analysed through a bone mineral density (BMD) test, which is considered to the best to determine bone health. This test can not just identify osteoporosis, but also measure the response of a body to the treatment to the disease.
The most widely conducted BMD test is called a dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry, or DXA test. It is painless — more like taking an x-ray of the body. The test can bring out the exact bone density, especially at the hip and spine. Though no bone density test can be absolutely accurate, this one is so far the closest to having a foolproof prediction about possibilities of a person having fracture.
How the BMD test is done?
The DXA test measures the bone mineral density and compares it against a normal or standard rate to create a score for the person being tested. This is called T-Score, generated against the ideal or peak bone mineral density of a healthy 30-year-old adult. The ideal score is 0 and differences from the ideal score is marked in standard deviations or SDs. The most SDs go into negatives, it mean BMD is low and risk for fracture is high.
T-Score between +1 and -1 are considered normal and healthy and any score less than -2.5 means the person tested is suffering from osteoporosis. The greater the negative number, the intensity of the affliction increases.
However, the treatment protocol for low bone density is done through a combined reading of T-Score with Z-Score, which a comparison of the bone density of a person in same age bracket as the person being tested. Z-score will help to determine whether an underlying disease or condition is causing bone loss.