What Is Visceral Fat?

Most of the fat in our bodies is subcutaneous fat, which is fat found under the skin. Visceral fat, also known as visceral adipose tissue, is a type of fat stored inside the abdominal wall. This fat coats the abdominal organs and can influence how hormones function in the body. An excess of visceral fat can increase your risk of serious health issues and disease. 

The health risks of carrying excess visceral fat include:

  • Heart attacks
  • Heart disease
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Raised blood pressure
  • Stroke
  • Breast and colorectal cancer
  • Alzheimer’s disease

How To Measure Visceral Fat With A DEXA Scan

Visceral fat is fat that cannot be detected just through observation, so it is not always easy to know whether a person has an excess of it. The associated health risks can be severe, which is why you should seek out the guidance of a health professional if you suspect that your visceral fat levels are high.

Visceral fat can be measured with a DEXA scan, which offers highly detailed imaging capabilities. Healthcare professionals use DEXA machines to measure bone density, muscle, and body fat. DEXA is considered the “gold standard” for measuring visceral fat, wielding a level of precision and accuracy that no other technique can compare to.

The scan is convenient for patients, with the procedure lasting only a few minutes. The DEXA scan uses a very small amount of radiation, making it completely safe to receive multiple scans over a period of several months if needed.

Your DEXA report will show the mass of your visceral fat in pounds and the volume measured in cubic inches. You can monitor your risk for visceral fat-related health issues by comparing your visceral fat volume to the scale on the report. This data is tracked at each scan so you can monitor your visceral fat gain or loss as you work towards your goals.

Your android/gynoid (A/G) ratio, also called the waist-to-hip ratio, is another way to monitor for risk of potential health issues. Android fat refers to the waist region of your body while gynoid fat is found in the hip region, including the upper thighs and buttocks. It is common for men to carry more body fat in the waist and for women to carry more in the hips. The ideal A/G ratio is less than 1.0.

The best way to avoid high levels of visceral fat is by leading a healthy and active lifestyle. Those who do store dangerous amounts of visceral fat can reduce their levels by making positive changes such as eating a nutritious diet, increasing the amount of exercise, and lowering stress levels.

Transform The Health of Your Patients With DEXA Plus

No other DEXA machine company will give you the level of service and guidance that DEXA Plus provides. When you purchase a scanner with us, you receive expert coaching from our business growth specialists. Transform the lives of your patients by measuring the three critical health markers, and help them achieve their goals. Contact us for a quote and to learn more about our financing plans.


Get in touch with us today and find out how we can transform your practice with little to no financial investment up-front.
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