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What are the typical dose levels in DXA

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All persons, regardless of age or degree of exercise, can benefit from using DEXA scanning for routine body composition measurement. Here are a few reasons why you and/or your trainer should focus on how to improve body composition, optimize your body fat percentage and build lean muscle mass:

Monitor your general health and fitness

It used to be that the only form of body tissue quantitation used to determine the fat mass ratio in an athlete’s body for their age, and sport of choice was to routinely measure their body mass index, typically via skinfold calipers. Hydrostatic weighing and bioelectrical impedance analysis are also outdated methods.

Strength-trained athletes, in particular, are more likely than non-athletic people to have higher lean muscle mass and, as a result, higher BMIs. As a result, BMI is typically an incorrect statistic for athletes in general.

When it comes to an athlete's health and fitness, however, body composition provides a more accurate picture. The proportion of body fat reveals whether or not an athlete has a higher risk of health problems. Athletes with higher body fat percentages will have poorer power-to-weight ratios, making them less fit.

Detect imbalances that need correction  

DEXA scans reveal any muscle imbalances between an athlete's left and right sides. Let’s say you participate in a sport that favors one side over the other, such as golf. Everything from focusing on the favored side to using incorrect form puts undue stress on the dominant side. In addition to causing muscle imbalances and stresses, these asymmetries can also produce weight distribution problems, which can lead to injury. When these asymmetries are discovered with DEXA scanning, you have the opportunity to adjust your training and form to compensate.

Avoid re-injury

Injured athletes may lose muscle mass around the immobilized area while recuperating. Pre- and post-injury DEXA scans can be compared to make sure that lean mass has returned to preinjury levels.

It’s vital that lean muscle mass returns and stabilizes to avoid re-injury. You and your trainer can better understand the effects of training and dietary changes on the body by tracking your body composition over time. The impact of training and nutrition can be seen in the body's lean muscle and fat composition.

Routine DEXA scanning reveals whether or not a fitness and nutrition plan is working as intended, as well as whether or not weight loss is due to a decrease in body fat versus a gain in lean mass. Knowing how effective a training and nutrition program is at different points of the regimen can help you design individualized plans that are tailored to your individual needs.

Sudden shifts in your body composition could signal health issues

Unexpected shifts in body composition, particularly in at-risk athletes with low body fat, could be a sign of serious health problems.

For example, “the female athlete triad” is a common syndrome female athletes that includes disordered eating, and low bone mineral density. This is only one case that strengthens the need for monitoring body composition vs. relying on traditional methods such as BMI or even scale measurements. The detailed data provided by a DEXA scan eliminates this reliance.

Boost your self-esteem

In turn, body composition statistics have the potential to improve the self-esteem of any athletic-minded individual on the road to peak performance and longevity. Traditional measures like the reflection in a mirror, the weight on a scale, and (BMI) can be discouraging and misleading. On the other side, body composition findings show the complexity of our bodies and provide us a better idea of how your whole body is reacting to your hard work.

How often should you scan?

In general, DEXA scan results and treatment can help you prevent injury, prevent disease, and improve your overall health and longevity. The scan emittance levels are as low as an average dental X-ray and DEXA scan preparation is simple, so for peak physical performance monitoring, we recommend a scan every 3-6 months.

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