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Bone Density Testing

Our bones are constantly changing, growing in strength and size throughout our childhood and into our later 20's. Around the age of 30 our bones reach their peak and begin a slow natural decline in mineral density and strength.

Osteoporosis is a condition where bones become weakened to the point of breaking. The condition is caused by many factors including age, however a wide range of other influences such as inflammatory bowel disease, digestive disorders and commonly used medications amongst many others can all contribute to a reduction of bone mineral density and the development of osteoporosis.

achilles

Who may benefit from a Bone Density Test

Women

If you break a bone after the age of 50
If you are aged 65 or older
If you are menopausal with risk factors for osteoporosis
If you are postmenopausal with risk factors for osteoporosis

Men

If you break a bone after the age of 50
If you are aged 50-79 with risk factors for osteoporosis
If you are aged 70 or older

Some risk factors ** that may lead to the development of Osteoporosis

being a women, smoking, eating disorders, irregular periods, steroid medications, laxatives, diuretics, antacids, lack of exercise, too much exercise, early menopause, digestive disorders, alcohol, caffeine, being underweight, being slim and small boned, becoming shorter with age, never had a child, post menopausal, a number of common medications, thyroid disorders, immunosuppression

The detection of less than optimal bone density is the first step in the prevention of osteoporotic fractures as it allows the opportunity to minimise or alleviate known risk factors and to develop a positive lifestyle and dietary practices that help to maintain existing bone density and potentially increase bone strength at any age.

** Having one or a number of these risk factors does not mean you will develop osteoporosis however they do increase the chances of its development.

Undertaking a Bone Density Test with Green Apple Nutrition

Green Apple Nutrition utilise the GE Achilles Express utrasonometer * for the measurement of bone density. This unit is used extensively throughout the world and has proven to be an important, reliable and accurate tool in the detection and monitoring of bone mineral density.

The test involves the completion of a questionnaire to assess current or historic risk factors for the development of osteoporosis followed by the ultrasound bone density test. The test is safe, non invasive and painless requiring only the placing of your dominant foot into the unit and the application of an alcohol based fluid to your heel to allow the ultrasound waves to travel unimpeded through your heel bone.

Contraindications to taking the test

  • Skin infections affecting the area to be scanned
  • Current or historic fracture of the heel bone being tested

* Indications of use as stated by General Electric

'The Achilles Express ultrasonometer measures ultrasound variables of the os calcis to provide a clinical measure called the STIFFNESS INDEX. The STIFFNESS INDEX indicates risk of osteoporotic fracture in postmenopausal women comparable to bone mineral density (BMD) as measured by x-ray absorptiometry at the spine or hip. STIFFNESS INDEX results expressed as T-scores are used to assist physicians in the diagnosis of osteoporosis in the same way as are T-scores obtained by x-ray absorptiometry. Either the STIFFNESS INDEX T-score or x-ray absorptiometry T-score can be utilized by a physician, in conjunction with other clinical risk factors, to provide a comprehensive skeletal assessment. The STIFFNESS INDEX has a precision error in older women comparable to that of x-ray absorptiometry which makes it suitable for monitoring bone changes'

Test results

Test results will be discussed with you and you will be provided with a copy of your result for your own records. If your test result indicates a bone density of -1 or less we will advise you to speak with your GP or other health care adviser regarding your test and your doctor may advise you to undertake further investigations such as a central DEXA test of the hip and / or spine.

The test results are presented in the form of a 'T score'

Normal Bone Density (T score = 0 to -1)
Osteopenia - low bone density ( T score = -1 to -2.5)
Osteoporosis (T score less than -2.5)

The World Health Organisation defines normal bone density to be within 1 Standard Deviation of the young adult. The lower a person's T-score, the lower the bone density. A T-score of -1.0 is lower than a T-score of 0.5 and a T-score of -3.5 is lower than a T-score of -3.0.

Should your initial test indicate a reading that nears a T score = -1 we will conduct a second test on your alternate heel in order to evaluate the need for further medical investigation, no additional cost is involved as this is undertaken to ensure our test results are as accurate a possible.

The next step

Test results will be discussed with you and you will be provided with a copy of your result for your own records. If your test result indicates a bone density of -1 or less we will advise you to speak with your GP or other health care adviser regarding your test and your doctor may advise you to undertake further investigations such as a central DEXA test of the hip and / or spine.

Osteoporosis, are you at risk?

50% of women and 20% of men will suffer a fracture after the age of 50

How Healthy are Your Arteries?

According to the British Heart Foundation cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease and stroke accounted for nearly one third of all deaths in the UK in 2010

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