What are DEXA Scans?

What are DXA Scans?

Dual-Energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DXA) is a technological method of measuring a person’s bone mineral density and body composition with precision accuracy.

DXA scans provide an accurate calculation (in the 1-2% margin of error range) of body fat, including both regional body fat distribution, as well as the more dangerous visceral body fat. Scans also provide a precise determination of lean tissue (muscle mass and total bone density) that can be monitored to detect changes related to lifestyle, diet, exercise, and weight training. Lean tissue insights can also be used to calculate resting metabolic rate and assist in determining the appropriate amount of calories or protein intake a patient needs.

The following list is a run down of what DXA scans can do:

  • Discover muscle gain and fat loss specific to areas within your body
  • Track your results from your diet or fitness plan in specific parts of your body with follow up scans
  • See if your bones are at risk of osteoporosis and discover your overall bone health
  • Learn if you could be susceptible to future complications

Why Get a DXA Scan?

Alternative methods such as BMI, Bioelectric impedance, Bod Pod, and hydrostatic weighing are often used incorrectly as a surrogate for body composition health. These kinds of methods can be misleading, with margins of error in the 5-15% range.

One of the main roles of DXA services is to provide patients with rapid results about the composition of their bodies. DXA scans can also help determine if bones are susceptible to osteoporosis (a disease that causes bone weakening) or help to decide what changes related to a patient’s lifestyle, diet, or exercise program should be made.

DXA body composition measurements are precise — in the 1-2% range. We trust you will find this service most valuable in reaching your goals for health and fitness, as well helps prevent serious diseases. The following list details other reasons why you should consider a DXA scan:

  • Visceral fat is only measurable with a DXA scan and can identify risk of metabolic syndrome health issues
  • Provides feedback that can help you lose stubborn body fat, build more muscle, and optimize your health and fitness
  • Provides additional information that BMI and alternative testing methods cannot

Additionally, your skeletal system is one of the most indispensable parts of your body. It provides your body with structural support and the functional ability to move. Getting a DXA scan should be as routine as a yearly physical. Our bones never stop adapting and growing, which means that each year your bones are going to be in a different state than they were the previous year. Routinely keeping up with the health of your bones is vital as you get older because bones become more brittle as we age. The results that you get from a DXA scan provide you with early opportunities to change your diet and exercise patterns to better prepare for the future.

The DXA Process

During your DXA scan you’ll be placed on a padded table where an x-ray device will scan your body from underneath. An imaging device is located above the body. The procedure is completely safe as the x-ray emits no more radiation than you would typically receive from stepping outside on a sunny day. Tests are quick and painless and are performed on an outpatient basis. The machines that we use to measure your body composition are comfortable and open, so you don’t have to worry about any discomfort or feelings of claustrophobia during the procedure. The entire process takes around 10-15 minutes.