GP Care provides a private osteoporosis diagnosis and screening service to detect low bone density. If you are found to be at risk of developing osteoporosis, you may be able to make changes to your lifestyle to prevent bone fractures later in life.
The service is provided from a Bristol based clinic at a price of £75. Please call GP Care on 0333 332 2106 to book an appointment.
What is osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a condition which reduces bone density, leading to weak bones which can break easily. Wrists, spinal bones and hips, in particular, are commonly affected.
Osteoporosis affects around half of the UK population by the time they reach 75 years of age. The condition is more common in women but 1 in 5 men also develop the disease.
For women there is a 1 in 6 lifetime risk of sustaining a hip fracture. The impact of a hip fracture is that even after 12 months around 80% of patients are still unable to carry out tasks such as shopping, gardening or climbing the stairs. Hip fractures are also the cause of more than 1,150 premature deaths in the UK each month. Source: National Osteoporosis Society.
Osteoporosis has no cure but its symptoms can be treated. However, early screening from the age of 50 can determine whether or not you are at risk of developing osteoporosis.
How is osteoporosis detected?
Osteoporosis or the onset of the condition (osteopenia) can be detected by having a scan to measure bone density. A DEXA (dual energy x-ray absorptiometry) scan is a common, reliable and safe method of measuring bone density. Only this type of test can diagnose osteoporosis before a bone fracture occurs.
Is a DEXA scan safe?
A DEXA scan exposes you to no more than a day’s normal amount of natural radiation. A computer attached to the scanner produces a “T-score” from which your risk of osteoporosis is calculated along with other health factors. A low T-score indicates that the bone is less dense and is therefore weaker and at higher risk of fracture.
What does a DEXA scan involve?
A central DEXA scan involves you lying on your back while a scanner passes over the area to be tested, usually your hip, spine or wrist.
Before the scan you will be asked to remove your jewellery and any other clothing which includes metal so that the results of your scan are not affected.
Patients who may be at increased risk of developing osteoporosis include:
- Post-menopausal women;
- Men with low testosterone levels;
- People who have a family history of broken bones or osteoporosis;
- People who are taking medicines which may cause bone density loss, such as recent steroid use for over 3 months;
- People who have conditions which affect the absorption of food such as inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis) and coeliac disease.
A DEXA scan, also often referred to as a DXA scan, detects your risk of developing osteoporosis before symptoms occur. Early detection will allow treatment of the disease therefore preventing broken bones. Getting enough calcium and vitamin D and taking regular exercise are all steps you can take to prevent osteoporosis in the future.
Where can I have a DEXA scan?
GP Care is offering osteoporosis diagnosis and screening at a specialist clinic within Concord Medical Centre, Braydon Avenue, Little Stoke, Bristol. BS34 6BQ.
Concord Medical Centre is an NHS registered medical centre. DEXA scanning is offered to patients on a private basis at a cost of £75.
How do I make an appointment?
Please call GP Care on 0333 332 2106 to book an appointment.
Our dedicated service team is available Monday to Friday from 8.00am to 6.00pm.
Download our Osteoporosis Screening Patient Leaflet.
For more information about osteoporosis, call the National Osteoporosis Society on 0845 450 0230 or view their website at www.nos.org.uk. The National Osteoporosis Society is the only UK-wide charity dedicated to improving the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of osteoporosis.