When someone has osteoporosis, the body is unable to create enough new bone to replace the loss of old bone, leading to low bone mass or low bone density. A bone density test can therefore help medical professionals diagnose this condition.
Bone density scans that can check bone mineral density include:
- Standard X-rays
- DEXA scans (dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry)
- Specialized CT scans
Tests with low bone density results signal a bone disease like osteoporosis or osteopenia. Osteopenia is a condition characterized by low bone mass, and it is not as severe as full-blown osteoporosis. While many people with osteopenia eventually develop osteoporosis, not everyone does, highlighting the importance of early diagnosis and treatment.