Bone Mineral Density (BMD)

Bone Mineral Density (BMD) measures the amount of mineral patter per square centimeter in bones to asses the risk of vertebral fractures, kyphosis, and osteoporosis in men and women.

Bone Mineral Density (BMD) is a test given for patients to discover the cause of bone fractures or their risk for getting bone fractures in the future. Bone Mineral Density tests measure the amount of mineral matter per square centimeter of bones. Most males and females, when they are young, have sufficient bone mineral density that their bones are very resilient and able to hold up well when playing hard and engaging in aggressive activities such as running and playing football. When we get older, our bone mineral density decreases. Elderly males and females experience significant bone density loss, and females are at an increased risk for bone density loss upon approaching menopause.

Though our adult bones are the backbone of our body, they are not simply an unchanging structure that frame our body. The bones are our primary source of our white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets, and they are constantly remodeling themselves by breaking themselves down and building themselves up. The bones lose minerals to the bloodstream and reabsorb these same minerals in order to regulate the amount of these minerals in the bloodstream and for remodeling bones to replace worn out cells with new ones. When this process is working properly, our bones remain very strong and resistant to fractures except in the event of heavy collisions and trauma. The health of the body depends on a couple of factors:
  1. The right chemical composition of certain elements and substances in our blood.
  2. A balance between osteoblast activity, that involves the absorption of minerals such, as Calcium, Vitamin D, and Biophosphates to make new bone, and Osteoclast activity which involves the reabsorption of these same minerals into the bloodstream.
When the metabolism between the bloodstream and the skeleton is in balance, our bones remain strong, even in the weight bearing bones such as the femur, humerus, and lumbar vertebrae. The Hormones of the body, such as estrogen and progesterone, regulate the rate of osteoblast and osteoclast activity, depending on the needs of the body. Often, this balance may be disrupted in females as they approach middle age, or specifically menopause. When hormone levels such as estrogen decrease, the rate of osteoclast activity begins to outpace the rate of osteoblast activity. This means that minerals are absorbed into the blood at a faster rate than they are absorbed to add minerals to the bones. Eventually mean peak bone mass diminishes to the point where the bones may lose their shape, or to fracture. When the bone mineral density (BMD) diminishes to a certain point, the condition is known as osteoporosis. The most common form of osteoporosis, is postmenopausal osteoporosis.

Postmenopausal osteoporosis is also known as primary type 1 osteoporosis. Secondary type two osteoporosis is also known as senile osteoporosis. Senile osteoporosis occurs twice as often in women as men, and typically affects men and women 75 and older. There is also a condition known as secondary osteoporosis, which involves the destruction of bone due to long-term treatment of diseases with corticosteroid (steroid) medications.

Osteoporosis is the most common cause of kyphosis, or stooped back (humpback). Kyphosis involves the excessive curvature of the thoracic spine forwards, towards the front of the body. The best prevention against this type of condition is prevention, which can be done through a combination of medications, exercise, and diet to maintain or increase bone mineral density of bones of the body.