Only available at the SSEP Bella Vista Clinic.
DEXA Body Composition Scans
SSEP now use DEXA Scans to provide an opportunity for our patients to know more about their body composition and establish an accurate baseline from which we can plan and monitor progress towards your goals.
With the DEXA Scan we will determine the distribution of body fat, muscle and bone density to help determine a way forward for you to achieve your goals, whether that be:
At SSEP we provide the following services:
Body Composition Scans using DEXA technology
Bone Density Scans using DEXA technology
Resting Metabolic Rate Test
These services are currently available at the SSEP Bella Vista Clinic. You can book an appointment or talk to us for more information on how the DEXA Scan can help you.
What is a Dexa Body Scan and How Does It Work?
DEXA Body Scans are recognised as a leading system in monitoring body fat and muscle mass via a body composition assessment.
It helps us bring light to your current baseline and hence develop an action plan for you to reach your goals and monitor your progression by providing accurate readings of:
- Body fat distribution
- Muscle mass
The DEXA Scan technology works by passing dual x-ray beams across body tissue at differing energy levels. It is completely pain free and only lasts for around 10-15 minutes all together.
The result of the scan is an accurate reading and visual representation of your body composition, including whole body and specific body regions like arms and legs – a feature that no other technology is currently providing.
What is Body Composition?
Body composition is essentially the distribution of fat, muscle and bone in the body. Knowing your body composition becomes important when working towards goals that involve strength, fitness, weight gain/loss and health.
You may want to consider the DEXA body composition scan if you are tracking changes made from:
- Medical Conditions
To give an example of the application of body composition let’s look at weight loss. When exercise and diet are changed for weight loss it’s common to see your weight on the scales decreasing, however often there’s a significant amount of muscle loss as well.
It’s important to monitor your body composition during weight loss to ensure you’re maintaining a healthy level of muscle mass to avoid injury.
DEXA Bone Mineral Density Scan
The Bone Mineral Density Scan is a tool designed to diagnose osteoporosis, osteopenia, and therefore risk of fracture. You will need a referral from your GP to commence BMD testing.
Individuals with the following risk factors may want to talk with their GP about a referral for a BMD scan:
- Menopausal/post-menopausal women
- Family history
- Medical history
- Low Vitamin D and Calcium levels
- Lifestyle factors e.g. smoking, diet, physical inactivity
Osteoporosis is a disease that causes the bones to lose density and become weak, resulting in brittle bones that are at higher risk of fracture
DEXA scans are used to determine the strength and mineral density of a person’s bones, giving an insight into your bone health. The results will be sent to your GP. Knowing the early signs provides the opportunity to stop it from progressing. If osteoporosis is diagnosed, periodic testing will be performed to determine if bone density has changed.
If you have been referred by your GP for a Bone Density Scan you may be eligible for your test to be covered by Medicare. If you have private health insurance your test may be covered depending on your level of cover.
Resting Metabolic Rate Test
The Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) Test is quick, simple and non-invasive test that will accurately determine how many calories your body burns while at rest.
Common RMR calculators are inaccurate and can give results that under or overshoot your RMR by up to 200 calories. This may negatively impact the rate at which you can achieve your health and fitness goals.
There is a direct correlation between the amount of oxygen you consume and the number of calories that you burn.
Hence, the RMR Test is performed using a machine that measures the difference in concentration of oxygen in the air that your breath in and breathe out, while taking into account factors such as temperature, pressure, and humidity in order to get the most accurate results possible.
When preparing for the Resting Metabolic Rate Test:
- Do not eat or drink for at least 5 hours before the test.
- Avoid exercise for at least 12 hours prior to the test.
- Avoid alcohol for at least 24 hours prior to the test.
- Do not smoke the day of or at least 5 hours prior to the test.
- Do not ingest caffeine or any stimulants on the day of the test.
- Refrain from taking any dietary supplements or pre-workouts that can increase metabolism.
Once we get the results of your RMR we can apply these to an eating plan that will help your reach your health and fitness goals, whether that be to gain, lose or maintain fat or to build muscle.
How Will a DEXA Scan Help Me?
A DEXA Scan is a great resource for providing highly accurate information about your bone density and body composition. No matter what your age, knowing your results can help you improve your health and reach your goals.
Making lifestyle changes can reduce the risk of diseases and improve your well-being. The test results can be used to determine your caloric intake and energy expenditure. This can help you lose fat and gain muscle.
Periodic monitoring will track your progress. The results allow you to change your dietary requirements and activities as needed.
What to Expect
Before the Procedure
There isn’t any preparation before the procedure. You may eat and drink normally. However, stop taking any calcium supplements for at least 24 hours. Do not wear tight clothing. Instead, choose something that is loose fitting. Avoid clothing that has any metal components such as buttons and zippers. Metal will interfere with the test, so it must be removed.
If you are also having the Resting Metabolic Rate Test performed, see the preparation requirements listed.
During the Scan
During a DEXA scan, you will lie on your back on the scanner. A technician will help position you so the scanner will accurately scan your hip and lower back. If for some reason you are unable to have your hip and/or back scanned, we can scan your wrist. The procedure can usually be completed within 10-15 minutes.
When performing a body composition analysis, your whole body will be scanned.
During the scan, you will be asked to lay completely still. Moving will result in blurry images.
DEXA Scan Results
A DEXA scan is extremely accurate and will give measurements to one tenth of a gram for the following measurements:
- Bone Mineral Density, Mass & Area
- Muscle – Density, Mass & Area
- Fat – Density, Mass & Area
- Fat %, Lean % & Bone %
- Android/Gynoid Ratio
- Fat Mass Index
- Energy Requirements (Basal Metabolic Rate)
- Visceral Adipose Tissue, Mass, Area & Volume
The image below is an example of a visual representation that the DEXA scan produces. This particular image shows fat distribution. The fat is displayed by the grrenish coloured dots on the body, with the more yellow dots showing fat with more density.
The blue areas show lean tissue and appear as a darker blue where the tissue is more dense.
Safety and Precautions during a DEXA Scan
During the scan, people should remain completely still to prevent blurry images. The scan is painless and relatively quick, lasting between 10-15 minutes and taking no more than 30 minutes.
The DEXA scan is safe for most people. However, there are a few exceptions. The test uses X-ray energy, so there is minimal exposure to radiation. Pregnant women should talk with their GP first.
Contact Us for More Information on Getting a DEXA Scan in Sydney
If you are looking for a DEXA scan in Sydney call or email our Bella Vista Clinic. At Sydney Sports & Exercise Physiology, our team is highly experienced and has worked with people of all ages. If you are interested in improving your health and learning more about your body, contact us today to schedule your DEXA Scan.