DEXA Body Composition is critical for overall health and athletic performance. An excessive amount of body fat is a risk factor for heart disease, type II diabetes, and countless other issues affecting people today. For bone health, new developments in DEXA technology are leading to improvements in diagnosing osteoporosis. Doctors are now able to more accurately determine future fracture risk in patients.
How does a DEXA scan work?
Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA, previously DEXA) is a means of measuring bone mineral density (BMD). Two X-ray beams with different energy levels are aimed at the patient’s bones. When soft tissue absorption is subtracted out, the BMD can be determined from the absorption of each beam by bone. Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry is the most widely used and most thoroughly studied bone density measurement technology.
In real life, you lay down on a machine with your feet together and your arms by your side. You sit still for 10-15 minutes while a machine slowly moves from your head to your toe, centimeter by centimeter.
You can hear the machine “clicking” as the little ray goes back and forth across every inch of your body. You don’t feel anything. It doesn’t hurt or sting. You don’t need to wear any protective garments, as it’s not a dangerous scan.
What does a DEXA scan measure?
Everything. It measures your bone mass, your muscle mass, your fat mass, and your height. It measures the weight of your head, your torso/truck, and each of your legs and arms.
A DXA scan will tell you how dense your bones are. In fact, DXA scans were originally designed and marketed to measure women for signs of osteoporosis, as woman’s bone mass decreases with age.
A note on the difference between visceral v subcutaneous fat.
A DEXA Body Composition scan will tell you how much visceral fat you have. Visceral fat is the adipose tissue that surrounds your internal organs. It is the fat that kills you.
Subcutaneous fat is the fat that sits under your skin. People who get caught up in, “What’s my body fat %?” are shocked and upset when they get a DEXA Body Composition scan done. They are shocked because other standards of measuring body fat underestimated body fat.
Is a DEXA Body Composition scan safe?
A cross-country flight will expose you to more radiation than a DXA scan will.
So, yes, a DEXA Body Composition scan is safe – safer than flying on an airplane.
How do you prepare for a DEXA scan?
There are no hard and fast rules, although it’s advised to not play with your hydration levels. Don’t drink more (or less) water than usual. Skip your caffeine or other thermogenic on the morning of your exam. Don’t eat for 8-12 hours before your scan. Wear loose fitting, comfortable clothing, as you’ll be laying down in a machine for 15 minutes.
You don’t feel the scan at all and it’s not dangerous.
Call us at 512-467-2727 to schedule a DEXA Body Composition today!
1 Scan $75
3 Scan Bundle for $215
VO2 MAX Test $115