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Bones Test Without a Radiation Dose
Alternative Test for Your Bone Mineral Density

Are you seeking an alternative test to DEXA scan results for bone mineral density testing? You're not alone. Even though the medical community considers the DEXA (bone mineral density) test to be the gold standard in diagnosing bone loss, there are reasons to use other tests.

For example, the DEXA test creates exposure to ionizing radiation, and even though it's reported to be a low dose, many people are uncomfortable with being exposed to any more radiation than they absolutely have to be.

And then, there's the uncertainty about what the DEXA scan results actually mean. One example is concern about inaccuracies: if a different machine was used than previously, scores can be higher or lower, not due to the actual density of bones, but due to the equipment that measured them.

Also, there's the T score Z score issue. Many people question the validity of comparing an older woman's bone density score to the average bone density of a 35 year old woman, which is what the T score evaluates. Better, they say, to use the Z score, which compares bone density of the patient with that of others her own age. After all, you woudn't expect to compare the keeness of a 65 year old's vision with that of a 35 year old - some decline is expected with age and is not in that case cause for aggressive treatment with medications.

These and other reasons are why many people want a different test. Do such things exist?

The short answer is, 'yes', some other tests do exist. That said, it's important to know that these other tests are going to give a different answer than a DEXA answers because each of these tests asks a different question.

A question answered by DEXA scan results is "how dense are my bones?" A DEXA scan can also address, "Does it appear that I'm gaining or losing bone?"

Two alternative tests answer a different question, which is "Does it appear that I am I breaking down bone right now, and if so, how much?"

To answer that question, by-products of bone breakdown can be measured in the urine. These tests have several advantages: they have the possibility of uncovering a bone loss process in its earlier stages; they carry no risk of exposure to x-rays or photons; and they are far less expensive than DPA or DEXA.

Before interpreting the results, however, you should know that measurements can vary by up to 40 or even 50% from one day to the next - not because the tests are inaccurate, but because bone loss rates can vary that much from day to day, and even hour to hour!

One such test measures the level of calcium excretion in the urine. However, if the test shows a higher rate of calcium excretion, that still doesn't mean the calcium is being taken from the bone. For example, the body could be dumping calcium due to high protein intake where the body is attempting to get rid of some calcium to balance phosphorus ratios, and the high score has nothing to do with bone loss at all.

Also, a great deal depends on when in the course of the bone breakdown process the tests are taken: urinary calcium is increased in the initial phases of bone depletion, normal later, and low when the bone bank calcium deposits are drained.

Another urine test measures pryidinium crosslinks, which are metabolic products that show up in the urine when bone type I collagen is being broken down. Again, this is a test that takes a 'snapshot' of the bone loss process at the moment the test is taken.

Normal laboratory values for these test people are still being determined to discover normal levels for people of different ages.

Therefore, interpreting these results remains a matter of opinion.

Still, for a variety of reasons, such alternative test results can be valuable in attempting to discover status of the mineral density of your bones - and doing so without a radiation dose!

Pamela Levin, R.N.
June 17, 2011

Source: http://emotionalnutrients.com/Bones-Test-Without-a-Radiation-Dose.html  ↑

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Tags: bones test DEXA scan results t score bone mineral density t score z score mineral density alternative test z score


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Pamela Levin is an R.N. and a Teaching and Supervising Transactional Analyst who has been in private practice offering health improvement services for 40 years.

She has over 500 post-graduate hours of training in clinical nutrition, herbology and applied kineseology.

She has published many professional journal and lay audience articles and has an international reputation in the fields of emotional development, emotional intelligence and Transactional Analysis.

For her work in these areas, she was awarded the prestigious Eric Berne Award by members of the International Transactional Analysis Association in 72 countries.

She has lectured and trained both lay and professional audiences all over the world.

Her work is continues to be used  throughout North and South America, The UK, Europe, Asia and Australia.

She has personally researched the key emotional nutrients™ she makes available through this site.

They have consistently been demonstrated to be the core nutrients people need to feed all the six parts of their emotional selves. 

People from all cultures and languages in all parts of the world have used them since she first made them public in 1974 to feed their emotional selves, move from surviving to thriving, release limiting beliefs, improve parenting skills and more.