What is a DEXA Scan?

Many people come to Stark already vaguely familiar with our services- nutrition, blood work, personal training, with the notable exception of our DEXA machine. DEXA stands for Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry, and it is one of the most accurate methods for measuring body composition. It can differentiate and measure bone mass, lean muscle, adipose tissue, and organ mass. It is the gold standard for measuring body composition and yet, very few know what it is before arriving at Stark! If you are curious and want to know more about this fascinating tool and what it can do, then you’re in the right place!

DEXA scan results over time

What Does a DEXA Scan Measure?

A DEXA scan uses X-Ray technology to measure the amount of fat, muscle, and other tissues in your body. It provides an extremely accurate assessment of your body composition because it specifically measures your bone density as well as your organ mass. This means that it can provide an accurate estimate of how much fat and muscle you have in each area of your body, which is huge when it comes to understanding and improving your health. For example, fat stored in your butt or thighs poses fewer health risks to you than fat stored around your organs, otherwise known as visceral fat.

How Does a DEXA Scan Work?

The process consists of lying down on a table as the arm of the machine moves an imaging device over the area being tested—your body. The machine sends two X-Ray beams through your body at different amounts of energy- one beam passes through easily while another beam is absorbed more readily by denser material like bone tissue. The ratio between these two beams provides highly accurate measurements that are then used to calculate percentiles such as fat mass and lean mass percentages, as well as total body weight and total body fat weight.

What are the Benefits of a DEXA Scan?

Having an assessment done with a DEXA scan allows you to understand your current state of health without having to guess what percentage of muscle vs fat you actually have in certain areas of your body. This type of detailed information can be particularly helpful if you are looking to improve performance or make lifestyle changes such as starting a new exercise program or changing up your nutrition. Additionally, many people prefer to use this when tracking body composition changes over time, as the results are simple to compare and more precise than other methods like skinfold calipers or bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA).

woman measuring her waist

Are DEXA scans safe?

DEXA scans are non-invasive and safe for most people. They have been used in the medical field since the 1980s and have been proven to be an effective way to measure body composition. The radiation dose involved with a DEXA scan is so low that it is comparable to the amount of radiation you would get from eating a single banana. There is one important caveat to this relatively safe test- it is recommended anyone who may be pregnant avoid DEXA scans for the entirety of their pregnancy as a safety precaution, as X-Rays can damage the development of unborn children.

Overall, getting a DEXA scan is an effective way for people who want to gain insight into your personal health without relying on guesswork or inaccurate methods like skinfold calipers or BIA devices. You can also track progress over time with this detailed information showing exactly how your body is changing with improved lifestyle habits such as exercise or nutrition – something that cannot easily be measured with other methods alone! Whether you’re looking for guidance in making healthier choices or simply want greater insight into your own well-being, consider taking advantage of this technology at Stark today!