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Women's Health Osteoporosis Testing
osteoporosis testing

Osteoporosis Testing

​About ​ ​​​Bone Density Testing 

The only way to determine the health of your bones is to have your bone density measured. Bone density testing is available at our SSM Health Centralia and Mt. Vernon, Illinois campuses ​​​with a physicians referral

A bone density test measures two things. First, it measures the amount of bone mass you have - your bone mineral content (BMC) - then it measures how tightly it is packed - bone mineral density (BMD). A low reading in either category indicates that at some point in your life not enough bone was formed or too much bone ​was lost. 

There are several reasons to have a bone density test: 

  • ​To determine if you have low-bone density before a fracture occurs 
  • To predict your chances of bone fracture in the future 
  • To confirm a diagnosis of osteoporosis if a fracture has already occurred 
  • To help you and your doctor decide what prevention or treatment steps are best for you 
If you have osteoporosis, several treatments are available. For example, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is sometimes used to slow the rate of bone loss. Talk to your doctor about the benefits and risks of HRT. Other treatment options are available, including the hormone calcitonin and drugs, such as alendronate. Your doctor will recommend the best strategy for you. In addition, your doctor will work with you on diet and exercise measures to keep your bones strong.