Disclosure: I was given the opportunity to get a comped DEXA scan at a DexaFit location. As always, reviews here are my own.
I recall hearing about DEXA (dual energy X-ray absorptiometry) scans as part of eating disorder treatment, I always knew of it as a way to check your bone density. While the tests are an x-ray, they are very low radiation. Most of the time these scans are just done in a few limited locations on the body when checking for bone health. [source]
When I was contacted to learn more about DexaFit and their services, I was intrigued to learn that their body composition scans cover more than bone density. (That is, of course, included.) And that these scans can be used for more people in the population than just those interested in learning about their bone health.
I reached out to the owner of the Las Vegas location to schedule my scan. It was really easy to schedule online, and really easy to REschedule online when I came down with a cold.
Getting the Scan
When the scan day came, I followed the instructions I was given:
- No exercise that day
- No caffeine or calcium that day
- Fasted at least 2 hours before
- Wore workout or casual clothes with no metal
- Wore socks
When I arrived, the owner Won Dolegowski, greeted me then handed me a little bit of paperwork to complete. I had already completed some of it online (another easy part of the booking process).
Won was professional, but also welcoming. She has competed in figure/bodybuilding competitions and also worked as a pharmacist before changing lines of work to become the owner of DexaFit. I felt confident that she knew what she was doing and what she was talking about.
I removed my jacket and shoes and lay down on the table. Won helped position me just right, having me move up/down or side-to-side so I was in the spot necessary for the scan. Then she started the scan.
That arm hanging out above me slowly moved down the length of my body, taking about 5ish minutes or so. (I didn’t time it! LOL) It’s like it’s making a picture of my body, line by line. Just like a…. scanner! 😉 When it was complete I could sit up and put on my jacket and shoes.
Won printed out my results and sat down with me to explain. It’s kind of strange to see your body composition broken down into different components. The skeleton is actually lighter than I realized. (I guess that means I’m not big-boned? Wait, we’ll get to that in a moment.) Won sent me home with a copy of the report she discussed with me and emailed a copy to me, but I like that she takes the time to go over it with clients.
Not going to lie… I feel a little weird telling you how much fat I have on my body here. And here’s where my wise mind coaches myself that fat is essential for everyone, women need more fat than men, I’m in normal ranges, blah blah blah… But it does seem strange.
So my overall mass is 120 pounds, but that’s broken down into my fat tissue, my lean tissue and my bone mineral content.
The report breaks down your lean mass and compares your right side to your left side. The difference in my sides wasn’t that extreme, but if someone had a really bad imbalance that could be reflected in this report.
The Android/Gynoid section is measuring the waist and hips and the difference between them. I’m sure you’ve heard of apple- or pear-shaped individuals. People who carry more fat in their abdomen have more health risks as this fat is usually visceral fat, often associated with various diseases.
My report showed that I don’t have any visceral fat in my abdomen. I knew I carried my weight in my lower half… or a little more “junk in the trunk” if you will.
Of course, the scan measured my bone density and my T-score was the part that kind of discouraged me. A T-score compares a person’s bone density with that of a healthy 30-year-old of the same sex. A score in the -1.0 to -2.5 range indicates osteopenia. A score of -2.5 or lower is osteoporosis.
I was -0.5.
While I wasn’t at the osteopenia or osteoporosis ranges, it was close. And that means I need to make sure I take measures to try to not lose more bone mass. I don’t know if years of starving/undernourishing myself is the cause with an eating disorder (it’s possible) or if it’s just dumb luck, but I don’t want it to get worse! And from what I can tell from online research, it’s harder to build new bone mass when you’re as “old” as I am. It’s good that I run, that’s good weight-bearing exercise. I need to make sure I keep lifting weights and work on lifting even heavier weights. I don’t consume much dairy, usually just some yogurt because that has live-active cultures and is easier to tolerate with lactose intolerance. So finding other ways to ensure I get my calcium needs met will be necessary too.
DexaFit Locations and Services
The Las Vegas location is located at:
6883-a W Charleston Blvd,
Las Vegas, NV 89117
The cost for my scan was $150, but I did notice that prices seem to vary some by different parts of the country.
DEXA scans aren’t the only service offered by DexaFit locations. The Fit3D 360 body scan takes a picture all around you to create a visualization of your body shape and gives the client a full picture of their body shape. (Including those areas that we don’t really look at that closely, the backside?)
They offer Vo2 Max testing to test your cardio fitness and they have resting metabolic rate testing. They also work on some at-home testing, but giving you some advisement. This makes it easier than having to visit a doctor, convincing them you need a test, then getting insurance to cover it. They have blood testing, DNA testing, and microbiome testing plans available.
There are plans available where you can get multiple tests at discounted prices. These would be good for somebody who is actively working toward some kind of goal (athletic, weight loss, etc.) as you get discounted rates on repeated and multiple visits, plus each time you get a test done your results are plotted on your report in comparison to previous tests, so you can visualize and track the changes. All of the plans are eligible for HSA/FSA.
You can find deals for DexaFit on Groupon too, so check there if you’re interested. As of this writing, the Las Vegas location has a deal for the 3D body scan and I found a deal for a body composition scan in Texas. DexaFit has locations all over the country, so you can find the spot closest to you.