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Woman Getting A DEXA Scan For Body Composition & Bone Density

DEXA Scan - (Dual Energy X-Ray Absorption) 

What Is A DEXA Scan?

The scan performed by a DEXA (Dual Energy X-Ray Absorption) is a quick and painless whole body scan that helps to identify body fat, lean muscle, and bone health. A DEXA Scan is the GOLD Standard for measuring bone health and body composition. A DEXA scan can help provide critical health markers that can be used by your provider to help identify health risks.

What Information Does A DEXA Scan Provide?

The DEXA Scan for body composition provides an accurate breakdown of your body including:

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  • Total body bone mineral density

  • Total body muscle mass

  • Total body fat mass

  • Total body bone mass

  • Total body fat percentage

  • Muscle and fat mass in the trunk

  • Muscle and fat mass in your right and left arm

  • Muscle and fat mass in your right and left leg

  • Central abdominal fat measurement

What is A Bone Density DEXA Scan?

A Bone Densitometry scan is used to measure the strength of your bones. It is commonly used to help identify osteoporosis and to determine a person’s risk for developing fractures. DEXA is today’s established standard for measuring bone mineral density (BMD) and is most often performed on the spine, hips or forearm.

The Results of A Bone Density DEXA Scan

T score 

Your T-Score is a number which shows your Bone Mineral Density compared to young adults of the same gender/peak health.

  • -1 and above: this is considered a normal score

  • between -1 and -2.5: this is classified as osteopenia (low bone mass)

  • below -2.5: this is classified as osteoporosis (extremely low bone mass)


Z score

Your Z-Score is a number used to measure your Bone Mineral Density compared to other people in your age group of the same size and gender.


  • If this score is more than 2 standard deviations above or below average, it may indicate a need for further medical tests.

How Do I Prepare For The Test?

  • On the day of the exam, you may eat normally. (If you are having or including a Body Composition, you must not have a heavy meal or lots of liquid 4-6 hours prior to testing.)

  • You should not take calcium supplements for at least 24 hours before your exam.

  • You should wear loose, comfortable clothing, avoiding garments that have zippers, belts or buttons made of metal. 

  • Objects such as keys or wallets that would be in the area being scanned should be removed.

  • You may need to remove some clothing and/or change into a gown for the exam. 

  • Remove jewelry, removable dental appliances, eyeglasses, and any metal objects or clothing that might interfere with the x-ray images.

  • Inform our clinical staff if you recently had a barium examination or have been injected with a contrast material for a computed tomography (CT) scan or radioisotope. You may have to wait 10 to 14 days before undergoing a DXA test.

  • "Radiation exposure from having a DEXA and/or Body Composition Scan is a fraction of the amount of radiation of a regular chest xray - roughly 3% of a standard chest xray or 97% than a chest xray. (About the same amount as spending 3 hours outside.)"

All patients using (Ozempic, Wegovy, Mounjaro, Zepbound, semaglutide, or tirzepatide) should be having a DEXA bone scan and body composition completed annually. We want to make you are losing weight in a healthy way, keeping bones strong, and maintaining muscle mass.

Note: If you are using a GLP1, a DEXA/Body Composition scan will be discussed by your provider at your next visit. Any questions can be answered at that time.

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When Scheduling a Bone Density DEXA Scan, You Will Be Sent The Following Questionnaire To Be Filled On-line. The Questionnaire Will Be Sent To The E-mail Address You Provide Us At The Time You Make Your Appointment:

Bone Density Questionnaire

 Call Today To Schedule An Appointment 



DEXA Scan (Dual Energy X-Ray Absorption) scans measure bone density (thickness and strength of bones) by passing a high and low energy x-ray beam (a form of ionizing radiation) through the body, usually in the hip and the spine.

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Related Reading

GLP1 Flow Chart-Timeline

"Sickness takes time. Recovery also takes time. Let’s commit to taking this journey back to your optimal health together."  Dr. Lindgren

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