Having osteoporosis can be very difficult. Those with a low bone density are at a much greater risk of suffering major bone damage resulting from a fall. The risks of major breaks and injuries are increased substantially when you have osteoporosis. The good news is that there is something that can be done about it. While the majority of people who suffer from this condition are women in their sixties, everyone is at risk of developing it. That’s why it’s important to get tested early to find out your osteoporosis T scores early so that you can take preventive action if you’re at risk.
What Is an Osteoporosis T-Score?
The osteoporosis T score is a bone mineral density (BMD) test that measures the density of your bones comparing this to the measurements of a healthy 30-year old adult. The test is used to identify if you have osteoporosis and if you are at risk of developing it. It’s sort of like having an x-ray of your bones; it is painless but very effective at identifying possible problems early on. While no test will be 100% right all of the time, the BMD test can give you a very good picture of what your bone health is now and what it will be like after several years.
What Do the Numbers Mean?
The osteoporosis T scores can tell you a lot about your bone health and let you know if you need to start taking preventive action to protect your bones. Ideally you would want to see a 0 score, which indicates that your bones are pretty healthy like that of a young adult. When the score drops into the negative range, your bones are weaker than they should be. For example, a score of -1 to -2.5 tells you that your bone mass is low. Although this number does not mean that you have osteoporosis, it’s a warning sign that you need to take action to stop the deterioration before it becomes more serious. A score of -2.5 or below will get you a diagnosis of osteoporosis. The lower the score, the more severe the condition is.
Your osteoporosis T scores enables your medical team to determine the best treatment option. If your bone mass density is not so low that it is classed as osteoporosis, there are things you can do to slow down the deterioration or even to reverse some of the damage. This can be done with simple lifestyle changes like starting a healthy diet that is rich in vitamin D and calcium, and incorporate weight bearing exercises into your daily routine. This can include walking, jogging, and even dancing. If your score puts you in a high-risk category you may also need to take medication to build up and strengthen your bones.
Even if you have received a diagnosis, there are things that can be done to slow down and reverse some of the damage done to your bones. Without understanding what your bone health is, it is difficult to know to what extent you can improve your health. Therefore, it is very important for everyone over the age of 60 to have their bone density tested.