and Women's Center, Inc.
Suites 204 & 205
Columbia, MD 21044-2979
What is a DXA scan?
The Dual Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry (DXA) scan measures the density of bones at several sites including hips, spine, and wrist. This information is useful in assessing risk for osteoporosis and fractures. It is a useful tool because it provides information that helps us intervene to prevent some of the skeletal deformities that can result in severe pain, disability, and death among elderly women. The radiation exposure from DXA is extremely low, equivalent to that of ambient radiation (or about the same radiation exposure that you would get if you spent a day outside working in your garden).
Terri Fabula, our new Clinical Densitometry technologist and consultant, has outstanding credentials with years of experience, and she will be a great help to you.
- A message about your DXA bone density scan »
- Osteoporosis: Prevention and Treatment
(Dr. Jeri Shuster explains how to maintain bone health as we age) »
- Calcium & Vitamin D — How much & How to »
Sara Bos, RN,
Clinical Densitometry Technologist
Assess your risk for osteoporosis
• Do you have a small body frame? Y / N
• Do you weigh less than 125 lbs? Y / N
• Are you postmenopausal? Y / N
• Do you have a family history of osteoporosis? Y / N
• Are you of caucasion or asian descent? Y / N
• Do you have a diet low in calcium? Y / N
• Do you participate in 30 minutes of exercise/day?
Y / N
• Have you broken a bone from standing height?
Y / N
• Do you take any of the following classes of medicines? Y / N
cortisone, prednisone, steroids
ulcer, GERD medication
SSRI antidepressant medication
Assess your risk for fracture (FRAX):
DXA in our office:
Your DXA scan will be done by Terri Fabula. To learn about Terri's vast experience and credentials, please click on her photo above.
On the day of your scan, please wear comfortable clothing that does not contain any metal (no zippers, snaps, buckles, hooks, or underwires). Do not take any calcium supplement the day of the scan as the DXA computer could mistake the bright white tablet for bone. You may wish to bring your calcium and Vitamin D supplements with you so that we can evaluate dosages.
The scan will take approximately 20 minutes to complete. It will include at least two sites. Usually we study both of your hips and your lumbar spine (mid-low back where the back curves inward). Depending on the findings and your medical and surgical history, we may also measure your wrist bone density.
Patients often have questions about calcium and Vitamin D. There are so many different dosages and formulations available on the market that it can become confusing. We have found a product that contains calcium and Vitamin D is dosages that are consistent with current recommended daily allowance: TheraCal D2000. Suggested use is two tablets twice a day. You can enroll in the TheraCal Continuity Program and order online at: www.Theralogix.com/wh or by calling (800) 449-4447. If you include our privider referral code (PRC): 111065, you will receive a discount from the manufacturer.
Waiver for DXA scan:
Most insurance companies cover DXA scans for postmenopausal women every two years if there is a diagnosis of low bone density or osteopenia. Most will cover the study every year for a diagnosis of osteoporosis or for specific medical conditions (e.g. steroid medication).
Please print and sign this waiver, and bring it to your DXA exam:
Recommendations for maintaining and improving bone health:
Calcium: Recommend 600 mg twice each day. Calcium is absorbed best if taken along with food and with Vitamin D. Many women find it very constipating and may benefit from the addition of Magnesium. Calcium is also contained in foods including dairy products or calcium fortified foods. Calcium should not be taken within three hours of thyroid replacement hormone.
Vitamin D: Recommend 1,000 IU each day. (Some physicians recommend up to 4,000 IU daily for the combined benefits of enhancing bone density and anti-oxidant or potential cancer risk reduction).
Exercise: 30 minutes each day of weight bearing. For example, while swimming provides good cardiovascular exercise, it does not cause us to bear weight on our long bones. Walking, by comparison, puts weight on long bones and helps maintain or increase bone mass.