Dual energy x-ray absorptiometry or DEXA scan at Saltzer Health Imagine Center can show the amount of fat, muscle, and tissue around different parts of the body.
When people are working towards a fitness goal, they often only measure their success by using a scale to determine how much weight they’ve lost or gained. Thanks to imaging technology people can now get precise measurements on their body to track progress and assist with goal setting.
Dual energy x-ray absorptiometry or DEXA scan, is normally used to measure a person’s bone density, but it can also show the amount of fat, muscle, and tissue around different parts of the body. It’s being more widely used by athletes and people trying to better track their fitness progress.
“Weight can fluctuate for a verity of reasons so it’s not always best to be the only measurement of a person’s fitness and health progress,” said Brian Van Mason, lead radiology technician at Saltzer Health, an Intermountain Healthcare company. “A DEXA scan can see the amount of muscle and fat in a precise area of the body allowing for a detailed measurement of progress.”
Patients don’t just use this system for tracking weight loss. Van Mason says athletes use it to measure muscle growth in areas they need improvement, while others use it to track needed weight gain.
“We have athletes who come in trying to increase the amount of muscle mass in their legs or arms and the scan can show them if their workout routine is giving them the desired results,” said Van Mason. “Even if someone isn’t seeing the results in a gym mirror, a DEXA scan can show the percentage of muscle growth in the body.”
To do a scan, a person lays on a table and an x-ray arm takes images over the top of their body. The process only takes about five minutes, and the results are instantly available to the patient. Depending on how a person wants to track their progress they will want to receive a follow up scan in about three to six months.
Normally insurance doesn’t cover the cost of the scan but it’s only around $50. DEXA scan is available at many Intermountain Healthcare facilities and clinics. For more information on a DEXA scan or to book an appointment at the Meridian imaging center click here.
About Intermountain Healthcare
Based in Utah with locations in seven states and additional operations across the western U.S., Intermountain Healthcare is a nonprofit system of 33 hospitals, 385 clinics, medical groups with some 3,800 employed physicians and advanced practice providers, a health plans division with more than one million members called SelectHealth, and other health services. Helping people live the healthiest lives possible, Intermountain is committed to improving community health and is widely recognized as a leader in transforming healthcare by using evidence-based best practices to consistently deliver high-quality outcomes at sustainable costs. For more information, see Intermountain Healthcare.