DEXA scans offer a myriad of benefits to suit your individual health and wellness goals. DEXA scans are the gold standard for measuring bone density, body composition, and visceral fat. How often you need to get a new DEXA scan will depend on your area focus. Here is a breakdown of what DEXA scans are most commonly used for, and how often you should plan to schedule them.
How Often to Schedule a Bone Density Scan?
The DEXA scan is the standard way to screen for osteoporosis by measuring bone mineral density. Based on consensus among physicians, DEXA scans should start at age 65 for healthy women and men not at particular risk for osteoporosis. After that, you should undergo a new scan every 2 to 5 years, depending on your osteoporosis risk factors.
If you’re younger than 65, you should consider getting a DEXA if you have risk factors such as past bone fractures, rheumatoid arthritis, low body weight, or are on medications that affect your bone density. Unfortunately, recent evidence has shown that only 30-50% of eligible women get a bone density test. This can lead to serious complications related to osteoporosis such as bone fractures in the spine or hip, back pain, lost height, and hunched posture.
How Often to Monitor Your Body Composition?
Getting a baseline measurement of body composition with a DEXA scan can give you an overall picture of your health. From there, you can create a plan to achieve specific goals in body fat percentage and lean muscle mass. Regularly measuring your body composition allows you to track your progress and assess the effectiveness of a nutrition and fitness plan.
After your initial DEXA scan, how often you return for a follow-up will depend on your individual goals. As a general rule, it takes the body around 4 weeks to show significant change in lean muscle and body fat after implementing a new plan. Most nutrition coaches recommend their clients measure their body composition with a DEXA scan every 4-5 weeks to make sure their plan is working. However, scheduling DEXA scan a few times a year might be enough if you’re just working towards better overall health.
Find A DEXA Scan Location Near You
DEXA scans provide valuable information throughout your journey towards better health.
Take control of your health by scheduling a DEXA scan near you.