DEXA scans are a versatile tool that provide a broad snapshot of your health. A DEXA machine measures the three critical health markers of bone density, body composition, and visceral fat. Once you complete a test, how you use your DEXA scan results will depend on what your focus area is and your overall health goals.
DEXA scan results will assess your bone mineral content, assigning a T-score to indicate where your bone density ranges. Here is an overview of what your T-scores mean:
Above -1 = Your bone density is considered normal
Between -1 and -2.5 = Your score is a sign of osteopenia, a condition in which bone density is below normal and may lead to osteoporosis
Below -2.5 = Your bone density indicates you have osteoporosis
With the DEXA scan results for bone density, you can understand your risk level for osteoporosis and take preventative measures, or track the effects of treatment if you already have it.
Your body composition measurements will be broken down into percentages of body fat and muscle mass. Your body fat percentage is the weight of your body fat mass in relation to your total body weight. A high percentage of fat can lead to health conditions such as type 2 diabetes or obesity, while a low percentage of fat can lead to osteoporosis, irregular menstruation or loss of bone mass.
A higher muscle mass is important for maintaining strength, mobility, balance, and supporting the joints, especially as you age. Higher muscle mass also increases the rate at which you burn energy, helping reduce excess body fat.
If your body fat is not in a healthy range or you wish to increase your muscle mass, you can use your DEXA scan results to make changes to your nutrition plan and exercise regimen. Over time, you can take additional tests to track your progress and meet your goals.
Visceral fat is the fat that surrounds and protects vital organs, such as the liver, pancreas and kidneys. It is not visible on the outside of the body, so your DEXA scan results are the best way to keep an eye on the amount of visceral fat in your body. Too much may lead to serious health problems, such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes or hypertension. If your DEXA scan results reveal too much visceral fat, you can take preventative measures early, before it leads to chronic disease.
Take Control of Your Health: Schedule A DEXA Scan
Whether you’re looking to crush your fitness goals or get a snapshot of your general health, DEXA scan results can help. DEXA scans are available at a variety of hospitals, clinics, fitness centers, and more. Schedule an appointment online, and take control of your health.