A bone density scan—also called a DEXA scan —is used to determine if you have or are at risk for osteoporosis. If you have already been diagnosed with osteoporosis, your doctor may refer you for a bone density scan to determine if your treatment is working or if your condition is getting worse. This test can performed quickly at an imaging center in San Antonio and is completely painless.
Your bone density results are expressed as T-scores. If your T-score is -1.0 or greater, then your bone density is normal. T-scores between -1.0 and -2.5 suggest that you have low bone density. If your T-score is -2.5 or less, then your doctor may diagnose you with osteoporosis. If you are sent for a DEXA scan after you have already been diagnosed with osteoporosis, your doctor will check to see if your T-score has improved, which suggests that your treatment is working. If your T-score has gotten worse, it means you have suffered further bone loss and may need another kind of treatment.
Ahead of your appointment at the imaging center, it’s a good idea to find out if there are any special steps you need to take to prepare. Some exams, such as X-rays, typically require no special preparation. On the other hand, combined PET/CT scans do have several requirements. Always defer to the instructions of the radiologist in San Antonio if they differ from the following do’s and don’ts.
Do follow the dietary restrictions.
The day before you go to the imaging center, you’ll need to follow a limited carbohydrate diet if you aren’t diabetic. This means you should limit grain-based foods like bread, pasta, and tortillas. You should also limit potatoes and other starchy vegetables. Avoid sweets entirely, including soda. If you have a morning appointment, you’ll be asked to avoid eating anything after midnight. If you have an appointment scheduled at or after noon, you can ask the radiologist for additional guidance on dietary restrictions.
Don’t forget to share your medical information.
It’s crucial that your radiologist has your full medical history. He or she especially needs to know if you are diabetic, pregnant, possibly pregnant, or breastfeeding. If you are diabetic, you may be asked to have your blood glucose levels as close to 100 mg/dL as possible prior to the test. If your blood sugar is too high, you might have to reschedule the exam.
Do request a sedative if you think you’ll need it.
The PET/CT scan requires you to lie on your back and to remain as still as possible for the duration of the scan. If you anticipate having problems meeting this requirement, you should feel free to request an oral sedative. If you do use a sedative, you’ll need a responsible adult to accompany you. You’ll also have to refrain from driving that day.
Don’t neglect to take prescribed medications.
If you take prescription medications, you may take them with water only. You should not take over-the-counter medicines like antacids, cough syrups, or cough drops. Avoid mints, candy, and multivitamins.
Do give plenty of notice for a rescheduling.
The radioactive tracer required for a PET/CT scan must be specially made shortly before your appointment, since it has a short half-life. If you must reschedule your exam, call the imaging center as soon as possible.
A DEXA scan is an advanced form of radiology that is used to detect bone loss and is the current standard when it comes to measuring bone mineral density. If you’re wondering if you could benefit from a DEXA scan in San Antonio , then you should know that several factors can make someone a good candidate for this type of bone density test.
Your physician may have you visit a radiologist for a DEXA scan if you have been diagnosed with osteoporosis, your X-rays show a vertebral fracture, you’re a post-menopausal woman and not on estrogen therapy, or you’re a post-menopausal woman who weighs less than 125 pounds or is under 5’7” in height. Also, you may be a good candidate for this type of bone density test if you have a parathyroid or thyroid condition, high collagen levels in urine samples, type 1 diabetes, liver disease, or kidney disease. Finally, your doctor may order a DEXA scan if you have a medical condition known to cause bone loss or a history or family history of hip fractures or smoking.
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive condition for which there is no cure, but early detection and treatment can greatly slow the development of the disease. In the past, diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease early has been difficult, but PET scan s are changing that. Thanks to this kind of medical imaging in San Antonio, early Alzheimer’s diagnosis is possible, which gives patients and their families more time to enjoy life without symptoms and to plan for future care needs.
PET scans are helpful in early Alzheimer’s diagnoses because they allow a radiologist to detect minute changes in the brain’s chemistry that are associated with the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. By recognizing these changes, your doctor can begin treatments, often when symptoms are very minimal. Although the treatments cannot cure Alzheimer’s or ultimately stop it from worsening, early intervention can dramatically slow the progression of cognitive decline.
Radiologists in San Antonio routinely take X-rays to look for many different health problems, including bone fractures, blood clots, and tumors. If you have concerns about the safety of X-rays , feel free to discuss them with a radiology specialist at the imaging center. You may be reassured to know that X-rays help diagnose more cases of cancer than they cause. In addition, the amount of radiation used in modern X-rays is minimal.
You can learn more about X-rays by watching this informative video. You’ll learn how X-rays were first discovered and how they were initially used for an incredible range of purposes, including non-medical activities. Fortunately, modern radiologists know a great deal more about using X-rays safely.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a useful tool for diagnosing many different health problems, including tumors, infections, and internal injuries. Patients undergoing an MRI near San Antonio should contact the imaging center ahead of time to discuss their concerns if they have claustrophobia. The radiologist can coach you through every step of the exam to help you have a positive experience despite claustrophobia.
Consider Seeing a Therapist
A therapist cannot help you overcome claustrophobia overnight, but it can be helpful to speak with one before your appointment at the imaging center. A therapist can help you get to the root of your fears and give you some advice on coping with the enclosed space of the MRI machine.
Ask About Medications
Anti-anxiety medications might not be appropriate for every patient, but they might help those who suffer from physical symptoms like the symptoms of panic attacks. If your claustrophobia is severe and you’re concerned that you won’t be able to lie still throughout the exam, you might consider talking to your doctor about using an anti-anxiety medication. Before taking these medications, be sure to ask the doctor if you’ll need to have someone else drive you to and from the imaging center.
Learn About the Exam
Some people with claustrophobia find that becoming fully informed patients allows them to cope with MRI exams. Don’t be shy about asking the radiologist questions about the equipment or the procedure. Let the radiologist know what he or she can do to help you have a positive experience. For example, you might benefit from receiving estimates during the exam of how much longer it will take.
Listen to Music
Patients undergoing MRI scans can often listen to music. MRI machines are rather noisy, which can add to a person’s anxiety. Music will help block out the noise. Listening to relaxing music can even help ease muscle tension.
Distraction is often effective when dealing with claustrophobia during an MRI exam. While you’re lying on the table, you can mentally recite the verses of a favorite poem, compose a mental to-do list, or ponder what to make for dinner during the rest of the week. With the help of distraction, the exam will be over in no time.
Often used in the diagnosis of osteoporosis and other conditions that involve bone loss, a DEXA scan is a type of bone density test. Do you have an upcoming appointment for a DEXA scan near San Antonio? If so, then there are a few steps that you can take to prepare for your test.
For a minimum of 24 hours before your appointment, do not take any calcium supplements. When you go in for your scan, you should be prepared to remove your eyeglasses and any jewelry. Also, consider wearing comfortable clothing, so it will be easy for you to change into a gown if you are asked to do so.
If you have recently undergone any testing that required contrast dye injections or ingesting barium, or if you had a CT scan or radioscopy, then let your physician know, as this may call for a delay of your DEXA scan appointment. Finally, if you are a woman and if there is any chance that you are pregnant, be sure to alert your physician or X-ray technologist.
A DEXA scan, also called a dual energy X-ray absorptiometry, is a method of medical imaging used in San Antonio to measure bone density. If you have osteoporosis, your doctor may recommend bone density testing so that he can assess the strength of your bones and determine if you are at risk for suffering from a break or a fracture. Here is some information about who can benefit from having a DEXA scan.
Women Who Are 65 or Older and Men 70 or Older
As you age, your bones begin to lose calcium, and become weaker and more brittle. This increases your risk of bone fractures and breaks. Once women reach the age of 65 and men reach the age of 70, they should receive regular DEXA scans at a medical imaging center. This will allow their doctors to analyze their bone strength and assess their osteoporosis risk.
Women Who Are Post Menopausal With Risk Factors for Osteoporosis
Even if you are woman who is under 65, you should discuss DEXA scans with your doctor once you are post-menopausal, if your doctor has identified any risk factors of osteoporosis in your medical history. A common risk factor of osteoporosis is a medical history of repeated bone fractures. A history of steroid use can also predispose to bone loss. Certain lifestyle choices also increase your risk of osteoporosis, including excessive alcohol or caffeine consumption, smoking, or physical inactivity.
Anyone with Osteoporosis Risk Factors or with a Condition Associated with Osteoporosis
In addition to the above osteoporosis risk factors, certain medical conditions are also associated with the development of osteoporosis. Some medical conditions can cause a vitamin D deficiency, which is a risk factor for osteoporosis. Low estrogen levels, hyperparathyroidism, and hyperthyroidism are additional risk factors. Medication such as prednisone and Dilantin can cause bone loss and DEXA scans can help your doctor monitor your risk level.
Your health is important, and it’s up to you to take good care of yourself so that you can lead a long, healthy life. Things don’t always go according to plan, however, and your doctor might recommend an MRI, CT scan, or digital x-ray in San Antonio depending on what’s happening with your health. If your doctor advises you to have an imaging test, remember that you have a choice of where to have the exam. A free-standing imaging facility like Concord Imaging will often have lower prices for the same tests using the same high-tech equipment that hospitals use. Talk to your doctor about your preferences for medical imaging—after all, it’s your health, your money, and your choice. Take a look at this infographic to learn more about patient choice for medical imaging near San Antonio, and share with your friends and family.
A dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry test, or DEXA scan, is a commonly used tool to diagnose osteoporosis and evaluate the treatment of this medical condition. If you are anticipating undergoing medical imaging near San Antonio, it can be helpful to understand what to expect. When you arrive at your medical images appointment, you will be asked to change into a hospital gown. You’ll lie on a table while an “arm” passes over you to measure your bone density. As the medical images are taken, you will not feel any discomfort.
You can hear more about DEXA scans by watching this video. This radiology expert offers an in-depth explanation of why your physician may have recommended a DEXA scan. You’ll learn about the risk factors of osteoporosis and you’ll hear a discussion of the safety of DEXA scans.
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