To detect osteoporosis in its early stages, a DEXA scan can be performed. DEXA scans use special X-rays to measure how many grams of calcium and other bone minerals are packed into a segment of bone. The higher your mineral content, the denser your bones; and the denser your bones, the stronger they are and the less likely they are to break.
This simple 10-minute procedure compares your bone density to that of the average bone density of a 30-year old healthy woman. If you are over the age of 50 with a family history of osteoporosis or symptoms such as unusual fractures, you should consult with a physician to determine if you need a DEXA scan.