Current update on DXA Whole Body Scans for weight loss and health

Current update on DXA Whole Body Scans for weight loss and health

Complete Medical Services is the leading provider of bone density equipment.

Typically when thinking about DXA (‘dexa’) equipment, the first thought is simply a bone density scan that is synonymous with osteoporosis. While it is true that DXA is the best way to detect osteoporosis, it is also the case that DXA technology provides even more.

In fact, a recent article published in the Wall Street Journal  emphasized that DXA is the industry standard for measuring body composition.   The author of the article also highlighted how a full body scan procedure gives far more data than the traditional methods of looking at Body-Mass Index (or BMI).

“A DXA scan (pronounced dexa) is commonly used to measure bone density, but recently has been increasingly used to measure body composition … available at a growing number of spas, hospitals and doctor’s offices”

Body Composition is the foundation for a person’s overall health and wellness. Specifically, body composition testing determines how much of your body is fat and how much is lean mass – calculating the ratio of one’s fat to lean mass.

DXA will provide a very detailed analysis that will identify the percentages of body fat, lean mass, and bone mass, as it relates to total weight.  The report provided is extremely detailed, showing this breakdown of information per region of the body.

So who should use DXA for body composition analysis?  Everyone!  If you are the average person that is trying to maintain or improve fitness levels, or if you are overweight and want to track weight loss progress. Athletes in training who want to track small or large changes, increasing or decreasing lean mass, targeting each region of their body.

In addition, seniors should use DXA, to address their loss of lean mass, or more accurately sarcopenia.  Sarcopenia, defined as the loss of muscle tissue, is a natural part of the aging process.  A process which begins in a person’s 30’s, and will occur in those that are inactive or active. Those who are inactive can experience lean muscle loss on average of 3% to 5% every 10 years, and for seniors, the rate of muscle loss accelerates.  Loss of lean-muscle is accompanied by loss of strength.

In the past, there have been a number of common methods other than DXA for checking body composition. These have been available for some time, mostly  inaccurate, and provide very little data. DXA on the other hand is a very advanced technology, providing extremely detailed and precise full body measurements. Today, industry medical specialists point to DXA as the ‘Gold Standard’ for body composition analysis. 

The Wall Street Journal article showcased certain product models, the GE Lunar iDXA and GE Lunar Prodigy, adding that the DXA technology scans for Visceral Fat as well.

 Both of GE’s machines, the Lunar iDXA and Lunar Prodigy … estimate how much visceral fat you have, a measure that can help predict risk for diabetes and cardiovascular disease”

Visceral Fat is the fat accumulation between the organs, and a precursor to cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer.  Thus far, only a CT scanner could measure Visceral Fat.  DXA technology, on the other hand, provides an extremely precise measurement, in a short time frame, without the need to expose the patient to high radiation doses from a CT scanner. 


     New Prodigy P3-P4

            GE Lunar iDXA                                 GE Lunar Prodigy

DXA is being used by more and more hospitals, universities, professional sports teams, and office based physicians to provide precise and detailed body composition reports. These facilities are choosing DXA technology and equipment for both accuracy and functionality. 

“Among methods now available for measuring body composition, DXA “would rank among the top,” says Dympna Gallagher, director of the body composition laboratory at Columbia University Medical Center in New York.”


(Reference:  Wall Street Journal Aug. 17, 2015 12:28 p.m. ET  Too Much Fat? Try a Whole-Body Scan.)


For more information on GE bone density equipment contact Tony Orlando email [email protected]


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