The DEXA Scan is the “gold standard” test that will tell you how likely you are to break a bone. However, this common procedure is filled with problems, errors and mistakes. The results are totally unreliable.
That’s why these four little letters – DEXA – can turn out to spell – DISASTER.
DEXA scans are reported as T-scores and Z-scores. The T-score is a comparison of a person’s bone density with that of a healthy 30-year-old of the same sex. The Z-score is a comparison of a person’s bone density with that of an average person of the same age and sex.
It’s those T-scores Big Pharma loves so much… a T-score of -2.5 or lower qualifies as osteoporosis. A T-score of -1.0 to -2.5 signifies osteopenia, meaning below-normal bone density without full osteoporosis.
If the results of your DEXA scan show a low T-score – even just a few points lower than a healthy woman in her 30s – well, then it’s time to pull out the prescription pad and get you started on those bone density drugs… you know the kind we’ve told you about before like Boneva, Prolia and Fosamax… the ones who can actually INCREASE the risk of bone fractures. Or take Miacalcin, which according to its label has not demonstrated the ability to reduce fractures at all.
The truth about the accuracy of DEXA scans is that the only thing they can actually predict with any accuracy is that you do have bones. The rest is a massive guessing game.
This scanner calculates bone minerals – namely calcium – by hitting your bones with an X-ray beam and measuring the darkness of the shadow that’s cast. Then it calculates your T-score based on that estimate.
And lots of things can – and do – go wrong with it.
For one, smaller bones show a lighter shadow, and the machine will “say” you have less calcium, and that means a low T score. In fact, mineral testing has shown that the scanners sometimes underestimate the bone density by up to 33 per cent!
No wonder experts say it’s just about the most unreliable medical test you can get.
Here’s just how crazy this test is:
- Different brands of scanners can give results that vary as much as 20 per cent. And that can make the whole test meaningless as bone changes are measured in very, very, small numbers.
- You can get a different result each time due to seemingly small things, such as the X-ray technician’s technique, the way you lay on the table or even the kind of clothes you’re wearing.
As I mentioned before, when your T-score is a bit low, that’s when the prescription pad comes out… and of course, your doctor will want to see if the drugs he prescribed are “working.” So he’ll order one of these DEXA scans every 2 years – or less.
But the follow-up test will be as pointless as the first one you had… That’s because the DEXA scan is so unreliable that experts say it takes around 10 years to overcome the test’s margin of error to find out if the drug is even doing anything for you!
So don’t put yourself through all the worry and false results this test can cause… not to mention the risky drugs you will have to take.
What you really need to do instead is keep your bones strong in the first place. And there are some simple ways to do that. Ways that really work!
Regularly taking vitamin D is a very important one. Another is taking vitamin K supplements made from natto or nattokinase. Vitamin K works synergistically with vitamin D to protect bones. And adding vitamin K is especially important if you’re taking calcium.
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“Questioning medicine: DXA scan overuse” Sarah Wickline Wallan, August 21, 2014, MedPage Today, medpagetoday.com