Getting DXA results. OK to ask?

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Megrose489
Megrose489 Member Posts: 779
edited 24. May 2015, 11:10 in Living with Arthritis archive
After being found Vitamin D deficient last year and with a family history of osteoporosis, I'm finally having a DXA Scan next week. As it's my gastroenterologist who has requested it and I don't know how long I will have to wait for an appointment with him to find out the results, I'm now wondering if the radiographer will be willing to print out the figures for me on the day.

Are radiographers used to people asking for the results and is it OK to ask? How common is it to be able to get the results on the day? I'd be interested in other people's experiences.

Meg
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  • theresak
    theresak Member Posts: 1,998
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    I've never had an answer from the radiologist, but won't a copy go to your GP? My DEXA scan results were with my doctor in a matter of days.
  • Megrose489
    Megrose489 Member Posts: 779
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    That's good to know, thank you. I'm just a little anxious about it all. It doesn't help that Mr Megrose is having his gallbladder removed in the same hospital, on the same day as I'm having the scan! It's going to be a busy day!

    Meg
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,731
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Of course you're anxious, especially with a poorly husband too.

    I agree with Tezz that the GP should have the results fairly quickly. You can always ask the person doing the scan how long it will be before he gets it.

    Sometimes the 'scanner' is a radiologist and they are qualified to read them but usually (I think) they're radiographers who are only qualified to take them.My DXA scan was done by a radiolographer and I had to wait for the results but I've had different scans done by radiologists who've told me what's what straight away.

    I hope all goes well for both of you.
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • daffy2
    daffy2 Member Posts: 1,636
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    The wait for the DEXA results will depend on how busy Radiology is as someone has to write a report on the figures.They should tell you at the appointment. My first scan the report took more than a fortnight to be written, the second one 3 days according to the dates on the paperwork. On both occasions I was told to allow 3 weeks for the report to be with the GP, although 2nd time around they said that it would be worth checking with my surgery as they had been getting them done more quickly.
    Whatever the wait I hope it's good(or at least not bad!) news.
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Of course you are concerned and who wouldn't be? I am lucky in that my DXAs were done within the rheumatology unit and I was given the answers there and then because they were administered by a rheumatology nurse who was qualified to scan and interpret. In your shoes I would ask - you may well receive the standard non-committed reply but don't be afeared to chase things up. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • hileena111
    hileena111 Member Posts: 7,099
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi
    I've had a couple of DEXA's and had to wait for the results.
    There is no harm in asking just don't get your hopes up.
    If your GP doesn't get in touch with you soon {Ask them how long they think it will tae before the GP has them} you ring reception and ask if the results are back?

    Love
    Hileena
  • elnafinn
    elnafinn Member Posts: 7,412
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi Meg

    I had a dexa recently and was told then it would take 3 weeks until my GP got the result. That does not mean it will take that long where you are though. If you are not told on the day of your Dexa, do ask when your GP will have been notified. I have never been told the result on the day.
    A copy will go to your GP for sure for your files. You are entitled to a copy so do ask your GP if you would like to have one.

    Elna x
    The happiest people don't have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything.

    If you can lay down at night knowing in your heart that you made someone's day just a little bit better, you know you had a good day.
  • Megrose489
    Megrose489 Member Posts: 779
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Thank you all for your replies. I know I'm perhaps being impatient, but it's taken me a year to finally get this scan - my GP couldn't/wouldn't refer me, so I'm really pleased that the gastro kindly referred me, even though it's not really his field.

    I'll definitely ask for the figures and see what happens and I will also ask when the GP will have the report. Thank you so much for your help.

    Meg
  • barbara12
    barbara12 Member Posts: 21,281
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Good luck Meg..I suppose these scans have to be looked at by specialist..but that doesn't mean it will take long, the scans I have had have been back within the week..
    Love
    Barbara
  • Megrose489
    Megrose489 Member Posts: 779
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    So, I had the scan today and it turns out that I've got osteopenia. The figures, and the questionnaire I filled in which shows any potential risks for osteoporosis, now go to the rheumatologist who then writes a report to my GP. So, we'll see what happens. I'm not sure if it will mean more medication or not.

    I asked about the DXA figures and the technician was quite happy to write them down for me, so pleased about that.

    If it's not one thing...

    Meg
  • hileena111
    hileena111 Member Posts: 7,099
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi Meg
    It will depend on your GP I suppose.......mine said just life changes would be enough no tablets necessary but when it turned into osteoporosis that was a different matter
    Just wait and see what he says


    Love
    Hileena
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    It's just as well you pushed for the scan, yes? I think it a good thing that this has been discovered, as far as I understand it osteopenia is the forerunner to osteoporosis so hopefully changes can be made to reduce the risk of developing the latter. My rheumatologist is usually pretty prompt to write her letters (I'm copied in) so I hope you are able to see someone about this soon to talk things over and maybe develop a plan of attack. :wink: DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • theresak
    theresak Member Posts: 1,998
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    I`m glad you found out your results, and hope you can discuss options with your GP soon.
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,731
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Definitely good that you got the scan, megrose. I already had osteoporosis by the time I got mine. You might get given the calcium-plus-vit D tablets. You chew them and they go down very easily like a crumbly sweet - and just as sweet so maybe a good slug of water afterwards for your teeth's sake :wink:
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • Megrose489
    Megrose489 Member Posts: 779
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Thank you for your replies. I was told that it will probably be two to three weeks before my GP and the consultant receives the report, so we'll see. The person who did the scan did ask if I had an appointment with the consultant, which I don't, so maybe I'll hear sooner rather than later.

    Thanks again. I really appreciate your support.

    Meg
  • Megrose489
    Megrose489 Member Posts: 779
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Just had another thought. It was the gastroenterologist who referred me for the DEXA and the rheumatologist will be writing a report to be sent to the gastro and my GP.

    Does anybody have any idea who I will actually see, or talk to, about treatment etc.? Maybe I'm wrong, but I didn't think it was the gastro's field. Will I have an appointment with the rheumatologist? Or, will I go to see my GP? Just wondered if anybody knew how it worked.

    Meg
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    I don't know how it works but, based on my experience, it may come under the remit of your rheumatologist (it was mine who asked for my initial scan because of taking oral steroids and she who put me onto alendronic acid, I was recalled as a matter of course a few years later). Time will tell, Megrose, and don't be afraid to chase if you haven't heard anything after a month. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,731
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    For what it's worth (probably very little :roll: ) my GP requested my scan and he gave me the results and prescribed the Calceos (and Alendronic Acid which I opted not to take).
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • Megrose489
    Megrose489 Member Posts: 779
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    This morning I got a copy of the letter which has also been sent to my GP. It details the results and the only recommendation from the rheumatologist is that I am to have a repeat scan in 3 - 4 years, which is good.

    So, I've made an appointment with the GP for next week and will be asking him if I need medication - maybe not, but I want to be sure. I'm going to start taking the Vitamin D supplements again - the senior GP at the surgery told me I didn't need to take them any more when my level was found to be 75 nmol/L, which is at the low end of 'Replete' (Replete is 75 - 150). I'm also going to try to see if I can have regular blood tests to check my Vitamin D - maybe six-monthly or annually. Again, the other GP told me I could only have another blood test if I was feeling ill. Granted, that was before I had the DEXA scan.

    Does that sound all right to you? And do you think I need to add anything else to the list? :)

    Meg
  • daffy2
    daffy2 Member Posts: 1,636
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    As VitD is stored in the body, I've worked out a regime of taking supplements through the winter and then assuming that I will top up during the summer as I'm outdoors a lot. I'm fortunate in that I don't have to consider drug issues with the sun, and years of experience have taught me how to be careful not to get burnt. If we had a bad summer, or I was unable to get out for any length of time I might consider supplements then as well. This is based on the result of my follow up test and discussion with the GP. As it's 2 years since the last test I shall try for another NHS one this September, when my levels should be highest, to make sure this is still working.
  • hileena111
    hileena111 Member Posts: 7,099
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi
    I had osteopenia, went for another DEXA scan and it was discovered I had osteoporosis.
    I had asked previous to the DEXA could I have a Vitamin D test....GP said no they weren't regularly done. I persevered and got one. It was very low.
    Last week she was making an appointment for my regular blood tests....{twice a year} and I said does that include the Vitamin D test? She said No....I asked could I hae it and she said {again} it was not a regular test. I said you told me that the last time and it was very low and you put me on meds. She checked back and then said OK I'll write it down for the nurse to do the Vitamin D one as well and we'll see if the meds have helped.
    Having them done next week......we'll see what that brings.
    Sometimes you do have to be polite but stick to your guns :wink:

    Love
    Hileena
  • elnafinn
    elnafinn Member Posts: 7,412
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi Meg

    I would be surprised if your GP would prescribe an OP drug if the rheumatologist says otherwise but by all means ask. I am pretty sure that if you are dx with osteopenia no drugs are offered or so I am given to understand. A good idea to keep a check on your Vit D though via blood tests. Have you discussed with the GP how much calcium you have in your daily diet? Weight bearing daily exercise is important too, if you are able to do so. Anything is better than sitting.

    Elna
    The happiest people don't have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything.

    If you can lay down at night knowing in your heart that you made someone's day just a little bit better, you know you had a good day.
  • Megrose489
    Megrose489 Member Posts: 779
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Thank you all for your replies.

    Daffy2 - I hope you manage to get your blood test sorted for September. I must admit, I don't get outside a lot, which probably has resulted in part towards my low Vitamin D. Must try harder this summer!

    Hileena - I hope that your blood test goes well next week and things have improved. I think I'm going to have to put my teacher's voice on to get the blood tests regularly, but I feel I've got a good case.

    Elnafinn - Calcium was something I hadn't really thought about, so I'll add it to the list for discussion! I saw a physiotherapist last week re my fibromyalgia and arthritis and we talked about weight-bearing exercise. So, now I've started walking every other day and have also joined a weekly tai chi class. I'll be running around like a spring lamb in weeks! If only! :D

    Meg
  • elnafinn
    elnafinn Member Posts: 7,412
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi Megrose

    Me too! I joined a lovely Tai Chi class just over a year ago and I purchased a Omron pedometer which is now my best friend and goes everywhere with me, except the shower and bed! ;) I aim for 10,000 steps per day but do not always reach my target and sometimes "borrow" from the previous day, if you know what I mean! ;) I love to see "the waving hand" if I reach the 10,000 steps mark. I did take time to build up to this. Even 6,000+ steps is good.

    I cannot walk fast but have read this is not totally necessary. Good if you can do brisk walking but if not, still excellent exercise. Standing on one leg and then the other is a brilliant weight bearing exercise and very difficult. I cannot even contemplate doing this with my eyes shut. ;)

    Do let us know how you go on at your GP appointment. Well done, you for being pro-active. :)

    Elna
    The happiest people don't have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything.

    If you can lay down at night knowing in your heart that you made someone's day just a little bit better, you know you had a good day.
  • daffy2
    daffy2 Member Posts: 1,636
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    If you ask the GP about calcium intake you may well get the standard response of supplements, so it would be worth looking at the NOS site for tools to work out what your diet is providing. Unless you have a very restricted diet it is unlikely your intake is deficient(and now you are addressing the VitD issue, even more unlikely) and there are ways to boost it quite easily with food without necessarily going down the increased dairy route. There are some things which can affect how much of the calcium in food your body can actually use - spinach and rhubarb are notable ones - but a good mixed diet, not relying heavily on any one item, should be adequate.
    The weightbearing exercise thing can be a bit of a conundrum for arthritis folks can't it? My scoliosis has always meant being careful with anything that jars the spine and OA knees and ankles/feet added in the last couple of years haven't helped.