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Bone Density Scanning

Friday, November 28, 2014

At 63 yo, I've never had a bone density scan: first is scheduled for today. Apparently most people get these done in their 50s . . .

Given my height (I "claim" 5'9" but that may involve semi-permanent heels!!) and shoe size (9-10) I would have thought it's self evident: could not have any bone density issues.

And I don't have any of the indicia -- Latin background, incipient dowager' hump etc.

But my new doctor told me that I'm "thin" (!!!!! what? who? me?) and she wanted a base line bone density number just for monitoring purposes.

Oh my I was flattered!

Apparently it's an easy-peasy process, just involving a slide into a scanner . . . most difficult thing for me is finding something to wear today that involves nothing at all metal. No zippers, no bra hooks, no belt buckles etc. Which makes it fast fast fast -- no need even to disrobe into one of those cute li'l gown and robe combos.

All right then. We just received word a few days ago that a good friend had a slip and fall in the garage and shattered her knee cap. Yikes, painful! And . . . I would not have thought she had any bone density issues either; but apparently that's a factor.

So -- if you haven't had a bone density scan: probably a good idea?

Also new-doctor recommended: daily calcium, daily Vitamin D supplements -- and I'm doing that now too.

(And: weight steady! But I'm not thinking this is the "plateau" for lowest achievable purposes just yet . . . )
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I've had 2 bone density scans at ages 51 and 65. Hips are still fine, back somewhat into osteopenia.

    My mother had serious osteoporosis and took Fossamax for years. Fortunately, with all her falls she never broke anything.

    At this latest physical I decided to skip any more scans and just keep taking the preventive measures suggested. I haven't lost any height (5'6"). Also, I'm so far past menopause, when most of the decrease happens, that I'll just take the chance. Time will tell.

    I just don't want the side effects (some potentially serious) of the drugs. My one regret is that I wasn't aware of the danger 30 years ago. Doing something positive then would have lessened the risk.

    I hope you get a good report.
    1954 days ago
  • _LINDA
    Thin, for sure. Yes you are. Those cute outfits you have simply wouldn't look good on a heavier person. Wishing you a good bone density result!
    1954 days ago
    The doc called you thin? Woo Hoo!! Glad you are getting scanned. I had one quite a few years ago and my doctor said she'd never seen anyone my age with bones as dense as mine!! Passed that one with flying colors. Hope you do, too.
    1954 days ago
    I too have had this done several times. AND, like a few of the readers, I have the bones of a much younger person.
    1954 days ago
  • NANCY-
    Wow! She said thin. Congrats!!!
    It is strange what we now need to pay attention to.
    WTG on taking care of you!
    1954 days ago
    My mom has osteoporesis so I have had several bone density tests even though my insurance doesn't pay for them. My bone loss is significant (osteopenia) but hasn't worsened for years. Weight-bearing exercise is key, as well as the Vitamin D and Calcium supplements. (I'm terrible about drinking milk, but am quite faithful with my pills....)

    Hope you get good news!
    1954 days ago
    Hope you get good news on the bone density tests. I had hysterectomy at age 45, so they did the base line test then. I have had 3 total. Great news so far at age 66. And I haven't lost any height. I take a calcium supplement with my morning coffee. Dr. Oz mentioned once (as I remember it) you should not take a calcium tablet with a meal or other vitamins as the calcium will cancel out some of the other nutrients. So I have it first thing as I am making my coffee. Then half an hour to an hour later I eat my oatmeal, fruit, 2% milk and vitamins. Seems to be working for me. Good luck! emoticon
    1955 days ago
    That's great you're getting a bone density test! I got mine last month! I hope you have a fabulous Friday!
    Hugs and love,
    1955 days ago
    Good for you, getting the bone density test and getting a "thin" diagnosis from your doctor! But thinning bones is not a good thing. Right after I fell and broke my foot in 2007, which followed a broken wrist in 2006, I started regime of calcium & D, tests every 2 years, and medication. And best of all - walking is great for your bones! I am down an inch, no doubt mostly from comprised spine...but we do lose bone so do what you need to do to keep your body (and bones) in tip top form!
    1955 days ago
    I too have had a bone scan for a baseline a few years ago and it was easy-peasy! Thinking about my closet I can't think of a thing that I could wear that didn't have snaps, zippers, etc. and I MOST CERTAINLY would not go w/o my bra (OH MY!).

    I also am 63 and 5/9" and the info everyone shared in the comments set my mind to thinking that I will request a follow-up scan in another year. I have had no problems with shrinking that I have noticed and I tend to take after my father, but my mother lost many inches. It was shocking!

    The one thing I do have mixed feeling about is the Calcium. As someone in the medical field I am confused about why someone would take a supplement that isn't required? Not everyone needs to take Calcium based on age plus taking extra Calcium can have some adverse effects. I would recommend that you do a web search about the pros and cons before you start off doing something just because you were told to. This is, of course, all IMHO.

    1955 days ago
    So far so good, though I think I do have all the risks included (including my mom with osteoporosis). I do not tolerate calcium supplements. I hope you hit the normal range! Let us know, please. Best wishes.
    1955 days ago
    I always schedule the dexa at the same time as the mammogram because they are done at the same place. The gown is the required costume. As long as it's warm enough in there, it doesn't matter.
    1955 days ago
    I have had bone scans every few years. Mine are in the normal range but the density decreased after I lost weight. That is good advice.
    1955 days ago
    Yeah, it's a good idea to do the bone density, especially for women. Had mine done. Those of us who walk usually have fairly dense bones. But tall(ish) and willowy can be indicators, and I believe Anglo-Saxon women as well as Asian women have a higher incidence of osteoporosis than women of other ethnic backgrounds.

    Hope you have a wonderful result. (And yes, D and calcium are always good.)
    1955 days ago
  • no profile photo EVIE4NOW
    I gave up and just wore their little gown lol. Think I was mid 50's when I had it done. It did show some thinning in my thigh bones but that was it. Even now I am still at my level of shortness I've always been (5'2'). That does make me happy since I really can't afford to lose any of my height lol. The good news about being short... I am never expected to change a light bulb! Hope your outcome is good.
    1955 days ago
    Definitely get that bone scan! You just don't know what's going on in that precious body!

    Bone Density scans are indeed easy peasy. You lie on the table, they align your hips as they need to for the exam and then a machine overhead takes the pictures of the right hip and spine. I fell asleep!
    1955 days ago
    I'm just reaching 50 and my primary care encouraged me to start taking calcium. I get queasy from vitamins and supplements, so look for the gummy vitamins. I found a calcium supplement that is so good that I have to remind myself that it isn't candy and I can't keep eating it!

    I hope the scan comes back that you are fine. With all the weight bearing exercise you do, I'd think you'd be in good shape.
    1955 days ago
  • GLORYB83
    A great test to have done. I get it regularly now that I'm near 80 ... doesn't hurt and may help!
    1955 days ago
    No worries on the scan. Fast, painless... I have had three or four, over the years. My first baseline was when I first started going to the doctor and he took my medical history and turned white when I mentioned the age at which I'd ceased menses. Yeah. That's one of those indicators, too.

    And since this is one of the medical issues that I *do* have, I can say it's well worth taking a baseline, so it can be monitored. The bone loss I was already experiencing helped them figure out the parathyroid problem, and get it taken care of, back in 2009. The loss has slowed since then, but it hasn't stopped, so I see more of these scans in my future. Better to know than not to know. And the best things I can do for it (weight bearing exercise and calcium/D/magnesium supplements) I'm already doing.

    As you said in an earlier blog... I'd kick myself if I WASN'T doing what I can. Hope you get great results. emoticon

    1955 days ago
  • no profile photo CD14895051
    I had one done last year (age 58) and the doc told me that I have very large, dense bones "like a 20-year-old." It must be genetic though not from my mother's side who has small, fragile bones. My twin sister is equally petite.

    The scan solved the riddle why I could model (when I was in my 20's) at 5'5" and 140 lbs. I guess some of us really are "big boned." emoticon

    I did however, drop to 5'4-3/4" over the last few decades. So, just call me the incredible shrinking woman in every respect.

    1955 days ago
    1955 days ago
  • GABY1948
    LOVE your blogs...humorous with LOTS of info!

    You know I'm older than you and I had my first about 2 or 3 years ago (my memory's worse than yours). It was so much EASIER than I thought it would be too.

    You are way taller than I. I would kill to be that tall. My story is sadder than yours...I USED to be 5'6" but had two back surgeries (1986 & 1988) so went down to 5'5" for years (they told me it was because of the surgeries).

    Then a couple years ago (when I lost the MAJORITY of my weight) my doc started measuring every time I went it. I thought they were LYING when they kept coming up with 5'4"!!!! Off for the bone scan. I came back with OSTEOPENIA which is before osteoporosis but had to start the Calcium plus D regimen. I still have a hard time with shrinking TWO inches...do you KNOW how much thinner I would be with that height? Take GOOD care of those inches of height you have!

    I know all will be fine for you...I couldn't imagine you SHORTER....you are graceful at ANY height, though! emoticon emoticon
    1955 days ago
    The Bone Scan is one of the easiest tests I've had. Good luck!
    1955 days ago
    Another humourous blog by The Awesome Watermellen!

    I'm scanning today too...I'm scanning the left-over quiche, wondering how much would be an "appropriate" serving for breakfast!

    I hope you find just the right outfit to wear to your scan, b/c you just wouldn't be stylin' in one of those gown/robe combos...and hope your 5'9" still holds true. (from your formerly 5'8" friend)!!

    1955 days ago
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