How it’s tested
Through a short imaging machine like an X-Ray or CT Scan. It tests bone density in hips/limbs, and spine.
Why you should test it
Typically speaking, as women, we associate low bone density with ageing and a by-product of menopause once oestrogen levels start to deplete. If however you are an active woman, and have participated in fad diets (who hasn’t?), and trained at a high intensity whilst in a calorie deficit, you fall victim to the Female Athletic Triad (FAT), which is the measure of energy expenditure being greater than energy intake causing a deficit that can cause or lead to abnormal menstrual cycles, and as a result of this, ceased or low production of important sex hormones, oestrogen and progesterone.
These low oestrogen levels can lead to early stages of osteopenia and osteoporosis. Alarm bells that may draw your attention to this are injuries associated with impact based exercise. How often do you hear of someone suffering from a stress fracture? It’s quite common in young female athletes and potentially a sign that bone density could be low. The importance of a well-balanced diet being rich in Calcium and Vitamin D, and sufficient enough in energy to support your activity level is extremely important to maintain healthy bones.