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T score Z score. How bad?
BrenRog posted:
I just had my first bone density screening 2 days ago. It was at a local health fair given by the local hospital and health dept. They used small portable ultrasound machine. One lady tried 5 times to get a reading on my wrist bone and it kept aborting. Another lady tried and got the same, so she then did it on my finger. The reading was T score - 5.5 Z score -5.0 They told me to see my doctor. I did a little research and see this is a bad number, and I'm wondering how bad? I am 56, female, postmenopausal, slim built. I had and was successfully treated for Breast Cancer 5 years ago.
My diet has been low in calcium, and up until now I had not been taking calcium supplements, although I have been taking One a Day for women 50+ for the last 2 years ( contains some calcium). I am also taking triamterene/HCTZ for blood pressure control. Non smoker. I exercise at least 30 minutes 3 to 5 days a week, and am an avid power walker.
Tomato05 responded:
I would get a proper DEXA scan do at a reputable clinic if I were you. I don't think portable measuring devices are all that reliable.
bonebabe responded:
OK, here's the scoop. Forget the finger. Doesn't count. The wrist aborting could be because there wasn't enough bone to measure.

Forget Z-scores. Once you're postmenopausal you only are concerned with T-scores.

You need a DXA regardless of your screening score. The test you had was a screening not a diagnostic test. You will never have that sort of test repeated. If you're at a health fair and a bone density screening ultrasound is offered, keep on walking. Not for you anymore.

The fact that you're postmenopausal is reason enough to have a DXA. It's time to get a good baseline. My hunch is that your bone density scores will be low. You need to get in 1200 mg of calcium each day in diet and/or supplements. The body will absorb about 500-600 mg at a time so spread it out. You also need 1000 IU of Vit D.

I'm also thinking your doctor may prescribe Evista for you as it has no effect on breast tissue and is given to breast cancer patients who have no history of blood clots.

Go to the National Osteoporosis Foundation website ( ) for more information so that you can have a productive talk with your doctor when you get your test results.
BrenRog replied to bonebabe's response:
Thanks! I have a appointment with my doctor set up, and will have a Dexa scan. I started taking 600mg calcium with vitamin D twice a day.
bonebabe replied to BrenRog's response:

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For more information, visit the National Osteoporosis Foundation website