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Body Composition Analysis

DEXA

BodyScan Ireland uses the very latest, medically developed DEXA (dual energy X-ray absorptiometry) technology to quickly and accurately measure the amount of body fat, lean tissue and bone in each major part of your body – arms, legs and trunk. That means you can set specific targets for body composition and track your progress.

Measure Body Fat

One of the useful elements of the DEXA scan is that it also indicates regional body fat distribution—i.e., fat tissue percentage in left arm versus right arm, trunk, left versus right leg and most importantly, android versus gynoid fat. Regional fat distribution tells you where fat is located, which is just as important as how much total fat you have, if not more so. Carrying too much fat in the wrong area can make you more disposed to serious health problems. For example, seeing the ratio of android/gynoid fat distribution (fat carried on the waist or apple shape versus fat carried on the hips or pear shape) will give you a good indication of proneness to illnesses. Excess fat around the abdomen and trunk and inside the abdominal cavity potentially puts you at greater risk for metabolic disorder, heart disease, and/or stroke.

The body composition scan does give information about your bone density but this is only an indication and not a definitive, diagnosable result - for that you would need to have a Bone Density Scan.
Nevertheless, if the bone density indication was unusually high or low then we would advise you to discuss the result with your GP, who may recommend that you have a bone density scan.

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DEXA boasts accuracy, reproducibility, safety, speed, and simplicity. Having your body fat tested at regular intervals, especially during periods of dieting, can be a helpful tool on your journey.

No other technique can match the accuracy of DEXA.  You’ve seen the scales at gyms that claim to be able to read your body fat accurately (also known as bioelectrical impedance scales). You’ve probably tried skin-fold testing, in which a trained professional uses skin-fold calipers to pinch certain areas of the body, and measure the thickness of the fold. Unlike mirrors, scales, skin-fold calipers and bio-impedance monitors, DEXA leaves nothing to tricks of the light, bad calibration, human error or what you had for lunch.

A scan takes approximately seven minutes. You’ll lie on a padded bed fully clothed, while the scanner passes over your body. You will not feel anything during the scan. All you have to do is lie there and remain still.

DEXA uses a very low dose of ionising radiation (X-rays) to measure your body composition. It is equivalent to less than one day’s normal background radiation.

Although DEXA emits a very low amount of radiation, always inform the operator if there is a chance of pregnancy.

Once the scan is complete, a highly detailed report will be generated showing your precise body composition – fat, lean mass and bone – in each part of your body. We will discuss your results with you and answer any questions you may have.

Your trainer or coach can also use the information in your body composition report to target specific areas for improvement when creating your training plan. Follow-up scans will track your progress.