Body Composition Assessment
When embarking upon any fitness or weight-loss program, having baseline measurements against which you can assess your progress is essential. Body composition scanning using DEXA will give you exactly the start you need.
DEXA is the gold standard for body composition measurement. The scanning system measures lean muscle, fat and bone mass for the whole body and individual regions with 99% accuracy. This makes it more accurate than Underwater Weighing, Bodpod, Bio-electrical Impedance and Skinfold measurements. It also uses significantly less radiation than CT scanning, less than a one way flight from Perth to Sydney!
EVEN THOUGH THE RADIATION LEVEL IS LOW, PREGNANT WOMEN OR THOSE WHO THINK THEY MAY BE PREGNANT SHOULD NOT HAVE A DEXA SCAN.
Researchers, professional athletes, sporting teams, physicians and dietitians around the world use the DEXA scanner.
Why have a DEXA Scan?
There are many reasons you might chose to have one. Perhaps it's to track fat loss on a weight loss program; lean tissue (muscle) on a strength and conditioning program or simply out of interest to ensure it's what it should be from a health perspective.
YOU CAN USE THE INFORMATION TO:
Evaluate whether your body composition is appropriate for your sport; position in a team; your health and your goals.
Establish baseline measurements to monitor the effectiveness of your strength, conditioning, weight management and nutrition program.
Monitor body fat loss or lean mass gains if on a weight management or fitness program where you are trying to improve your body composition.
Track your body composition levels throughout rehabilitation to ensure you’re not losing too much muscle or gaining too much fat.
Get a measure of your bone mineral content in specific areas, so you can track rates of bone loss and determine future fracture risks.
Reduce the risks of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol if your body composition indicates that you are at risk.
How does DEXA work?
DEXA scans use a very low level of x-ray consisting of two different beams, one HIGH INTENSITY and the other a LOWER INTENSITY.
The LOWER INTENSITY BEAM beam is only absorbed by soft tissue (muscle & fat).
The HIGHER INTENSITY BEAM is absorbed both by bones and soft tissue.
The differences in absorption are used to determine bone mineral density (BMD) and body composition values.
What to expect on the day of the DEXA scan?
You will be required to lie still for 6-8 minutes on the scanning bed. A low dose of radiation is used to measure your body composition. Please advise the operator if you have a joint prosthesis or other implants in situ. Please go to the bathroom and empty your bladder before the scan. Here are a few other instructions:
EATING AND MEDICATIONS: Eat normally and aim to be well hydrated the day before the scan. Avoid taking any supplements with creatine. All other medications or supplements are fine.
EXERCISE: Do not exercise before your scan, you can exercise after it.
CLOTHING: Please bring along loose, thin and comfortable clothing to wear, such as a t-shirt and sport shorts or pyjamas. Avoid wearing compression sports clothing, bras with metal lining (a sports bra is preferable) and ensure your clothing has no zippers, belts or metal studs.
METAL OBJECTS: Remove all metal objects including mobile phones, keys, hair pins and clips, piercings, jewellery, watches and objects in pockets. If you have any piercings that cannot be removed, you can still complete your scan.