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Healthspan-Dexa and 2023 Recap: Discovering Tools for Optimal Health



When you're setting health goals in the new year, what's the first thing that comes to mind? Eating healthier, exercising more, and losing weight are often at the top of the list.

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But have you ever considered adding a DEXA scan to your preventive health regimen?

The acronym DEXA stands for Dual-Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry, a type of medical imaging that measures bone density and body composition. This simple, non-invasive test is an important tool for monitoring and managing your overall health.

What is a DEXA scan, and why should I get one?

At HealthspanMD™ Cardiology, Dr. Robert Todd Hurst and his team are passionate about making people aware of the tools that can improve their health and longevity.

“There’s tons of conflicting information out there about the best method to lose weight, get healthier, and prevent disease,” says Dr. Hurst. “It’s frustrating when you’re doing your best and still not getting the results you want.

But imagine what it would be like if you had a roadmap that told you exactly where you are right now AND, even better, the most likely strategies to work for your unique metabolism.

That’s the power of the DEXA!”

A DEXA scan for body composition will allow you to answer questions like:

  • Am I getting enough protein? 
  • Should I cut out carbs?
  • Is intermittent fasting right for me?
  • How much cardio should I be doing? 
  • Is more strength training what I need? 

...And then get results.

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How does a DEXA scan work?

A DEXA works by sending low-dose X-rays with two different energy levels through your body. The amount of X-rays that pass through the body is measured by a detector.

Our bones, fat, muscle, and other tissues each allow a certain amount of X-rays to pass through and absorb differently. The machine then uses this information to create detailed maps of body composition and calculate body fat percentage.

Undergoing a DEXA scan allows you to get precise measurements of your body's fat, muscle, and bone density. This scan can provide a comprehensive picture of your body's composition, offering far more data than a traditional scale or body mass index (BMI) calculation could provide.

By understanding your detailed body composition, including body fat percentage, you and your HealthspanMD care team can create more effective, personalized health plans. It enables more accurate tracking of the effects of diet, exercise, and medication on the body over time.

What, specifically, does DEXA measure?

There are two types of DEXA scans:

  • Bone Mineral Density
  • Body Composition

DEXA for body composition provides a comprehensive overview of your body's fat and lean mass distribution. This detailed segmental body fat distribution allows for precise calculation of body fat percentage and provides a measure of muscle mass, which is vital for understanding overall body composition.

Dr. Hurst focuses specifically on the measures of visceral fat and muscle mass.

  • Visceral Fat

    Visceral adipose tissue, commonly known as visceral fat, is a type of fat tissue located around the organs in the abdominal cavity. Excess visceral fat can have serious health implications, particularly concerning heart health.

    This is something Dr. Hurst and the health coaches at HealthspanMD look at for every patient to identify potential health risks and formulate a plan to reduce them, promoting overall health and wellness.

  • Muscle Mass

    Muscle mass plays a crucial role not only in physical strength and endurance but also in metabolic health. Higher muscle mass is associated with improved insulin resistance and a lower risk of metabolic disorders such as diabetes.

    By measuring muscle mass, a DEXA scan can help individuals understand their body's current state and track changes over time, thus guiding effective diet and exercise plans. This insight can be especially beneficial for individuals keen on building muscle or maintaining muscle mass as they age.
  • As Dr. Hurst always says, “Fitness is the fountain of youth” — and if you want to live a long and vital life, maintaining optimal muscle mass is imperative. With DEXA's precise muscle mass measurements, you and your HealthspanMD care team can create a more targeted health and fitness plan.

Why is it important to get a DEXA for body composition regularly?

DEXA scans play a crucial role in the early detection and prevention of potential health issues. The detailed information they provide goes beyond traditional methods like body mass index calculations, allowing for a more comprehensive understanding of one's health condition.

The DEXA scan examines total body fat percentage, visceral fat, bone density, and muscle mass, each of which can indicate an increased risk of chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome.

The DEXA body composition scan is particularly vital in assessing the risk of these health problems. For instance, a high body fat index, particularly when the fat is concentrated around the abdomen (visceral fat), can indicate an increased risk for metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease.

On the other hand, a low T score compares the bone density of the patient to a healthy, 30-year-old adult. A lower score could indicate osteoporosis, making the person more susceptible to fractures.

Finally, DEXA results are not just about identifying health conditions. They are also about prevention. The detailed analysis from a DEXA scan can be used to create personalized health and fitness plans tailored to your unique body composition.

This personalized approach can effectively target areas of concern, improve overall health, and reduce the risk of chronic disease. In other words, a DEXA scan is not just about understanding where your health stands today, but also about influencing where it could be in the future.

How can I schedule a DEXA body composition scan in Arizona today?

We're excited to introduce the new DEXA scan at HealthspanMD, offering our patients the most accurate method for understanding their individual health needs.

DEXA technology has long been recognized as the gold standard in body composition analysis and bone density measurement. With our new equipment, we're able to provide precise, accurate measurements that lead to valuable information about your health.

This in-depth analysis is crucial in creating personalized health and fitness plans. Our DEXA scan doesn't merely offer test results: It provides insights. This robust understanding of your body is pivotal in guiding health choices and influencing future well-being.

Schedule a DEXA scan in Phoenix, AZ

At HealthspanMD, we're committed to employing the most advanced technologies to deliver superior healthcare. Our newly introduced DEXA scan service is a testament to this commitment.

We invite you to experience the benefits of this cutting-edge technology and empower yourself with invaluable health data. Remember, knowledge is the first step toward better health.

Ready to improve your healthspan? Book your first appointment with Dr. Hurst and the team at HealthspanMD Cardiology today.