Radiation-Free Osteoporosis Bone Scan Testing Coming to North Texas
Since the late 1980s, bone mineral density scans (DEXA) have been the only way to determine the risk of osteoporosis, a disease marked by significant bone loss and reduced bone strength that can lead to an increased risk of fractures. Conventional DEXA testing uses X-ray scanning to measure the strength and thickness of the bones.
The health professionals of Trinity Functional Medicine Group, with locations in McKinney, Frisco and Dallas, have introduced Echolight radiation-free bone density scanning to their practices. The technology achieves readings that go beyond conventional DEXA assessments to help providers recommend preventive measures to halt the loss of bone mineral density.
Trinity is comprised of Krishna Cheeti, who owns and co-owns OsteoStrong locations in Frisco and Dallas; naturopathic physician Dr. Sowmya Sridharan, founder of Hygieia Wellness Clinic; and Dr. Michael Einsohn, founder of the Thermography Center of Dallas. They formed Trinity to offer Echolight as an option to better serve their patients and referrals from other practitioner
Echolight was developed in Italy in 2010 after years of research and work with medical specialists that treat certain conditions which can affect bone health. It uses ultrasound technology with radiofrequency echographic multi-spectronomy (REMS), a U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved, non-invasive, radiation-free technology that precisely measures the density and strength of the bones.
“One of the prime benefits of Echolight technology is that it’s radiation-free,” explains Cheeti. “Because it's an ultrasound, a report with full results is available immediately after the test.” With traditional DEXAs, patients have to wait for results until the scan is interpreted by a radiologist.
Einsohn notes that conventional bone density tests calculate results scores by comparing the condition of a patients’ bones with those of their own age group, but also to an average young person between the ages of 25 to 30 years old with healthy bones. These age comparison, known as the T- and Z-scores, may be misleading, he observes. “So, as holistic practitioners, it will be helpful to compare the Z-scores instead of T-scores to arrive patients at true bone health.”
A trained Echolight technician uses an ultrasound wand to scan the lumbar vertebrae and proximal femur while the patient lies flat on an exam table. Echolight generates a report that includes body mass density (BMD) along with T-score and Z-scores.
Sridharan sees many patients that have been diagnosed with osteopenia or osteoporosis. “They feel like they're so fragile that they will break,” she says. “But we tell people that you cannot really compare yourself with a 30-year-old. Once you get past your reproductive years, your body just doesn't have the same kind of bone density due to the body's natural ability to prioritize the use of resources, as post-menopausal women do not need to carry children. Having children or fluctuating weight can also affect bone structure. Those differences are not talked about as often.” The Echolight technology allows her to give an accurate assessment about a patient’s bone strength and density. She can also make recommendations on ways to protect bone health if a problem is detected.
Nutrition and Early Detection
Sridharan emphasizes that healthy bone density is about more than calcium. “Magnesium, phosphate and other minerals are important to build bone density. Just focusing on one mineral like calcium keeps us from really helping people develop bone strength.”
Some people have the mindset that bone scans aren't necessary until they are older. “The reality is that the younger you have the Echolight scan done, then you have a baseline. Osteoporosis is a hidden disease because by the time you wait until you're older to have testing, you discover you have that condition and it’s been developing for at least 20 to 30 years. It doesn't happen overnight,” Einsohn emphasizes.
Sridharan adds that knowing bone density is not just for post-menopausal women, but for cancer patients because chemotherapy and radiation can also impact bone health. People with gastrointestinal issues can have absorption issues that impact bone health. Women on hormone replacement therapy or that are diabetic need to get their BMD measured. Regardless of age or medical history, early scanning can offer prompt detection, allowing patients to work with providers on nutrition protocols for optimal bone health.
For appointments and more information, call 972-999-1765 or visit BoneHealthRev.com.