There are several ways to determine if you need to take a bone supplement, such as a calcium or vitamin D supplement. However, it's important to note that you should consult with a healthcare professional before taking any dietary supplement. They can evaluate your specific needs and recommend the best course of action based on your health history, current condition, and any medications you are taking.
One way to determine if you need a bone supplement is to have a DEXA (dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry) scan. This type of scan uses a low-dose x-ray to measure the density of bones in the spine, hip, and sometimes the forearm. It is considered the most accurate method for measuring bone density and can be used to diagnose osteoporosis, a condition characterized by low bone density and an increased risk of fractures.
Another way to determine if you need a bone supplement is to have a blood test to check your levels of calcium and vitamin D. Your healthcare professional can use these results to determine if you have a deficiency and recommend a supplement.
Risk factors that may indicate you need a bone supplement include being female, having a family history of osteoporosis, smoking, and having a low body weight or a diet low in calcium and vitamin D. Additionally, sedentary lifestyle, alcohol consumption, and taking certain medications like glucocorticoids and anticonvulsants are also risk factors for low bone density.
It is recommended that women over the age of 65 and men over the age of 70 should have a DEXA scan to check for osteoporosis, but those with risk factors may need to be screened earlier. If you have any concerns about your bone health, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional.
Consulting with a healthcare professional, undergoing a DEXA scan, or having a blood test can help determine if you need a bone supplement. Additionally, certain risk factors such as being female, having a family history of osteoporosis, smoking, and having a low body weight or a diet low in calcium and vitamin D, may indicate the need for a bone supplement as well.