Full Body Dexa Scan Services Questions and Answers
Talk to our team of healthcare professionals today at Fresno Medical Center about the benefits of a DEXA scan. Call us for more information or schedule an appointment online. We are conveniently located at 6069 N First St # 103, Fresno, CA 93710.
What does a DEXA scan show?
A DEXA scan is commonly used to measure the amount of calcium and minerals packed into a segment of the bone, and tends to be more accurate that the typical x-ray. The DEXA scan has also been proven useful in determining body composition, like lean muscle and body fat percentage. Another advantage of a DEXA scan, in assessing body composition, is the results also help determine a person’s level of visceral fat, which is stored around internal organs. Scan results from a DEXA scan can assist doctors in determining a person’s risk of bone fracture, and may indicate the severity of bone loss. When bones lose density or become thin, osteoporosis is commonly the cause, making them more susceptible to breaks or fractures, and the DEXA scan allows doctors to detect the advancing of osteoporosis, and provide evidence if treatment is effective. A DEXA scan is considered to be the only bone density test that can diagnose osteoporosis before a broken bone occurs.
What is the difference between a bone density scan and a DEXA scan?
Bone scans differ from bone density tests, in that bone scan x-rays require an injection of a low-level radioactive substance (tracers) into a vein, that is taken into the bone, which will release from the body in 2 or 3 days. Bone scans are primarily used to detect infections, fractures and cancer, among other abnormalities in the bone. A DEXA scan is considered by doctors to be the most accurate, and reliable of bone density tests that uses duel-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA or DXA) to examine the density of the center of the bones. The scanning arm passes over the body, and narrow beam of x-rays pass through the bone, then using computer software is able to determine very accurate measures of bone density of the spine or hip.
How long does a DEXA scan take?
An x-ray detector inside the scanning arm measures the x-rays passed through the body, and that information produces an image of the scanned area, which usually takes about 25 minutes, at which point the procedure is complete.
When does your doctor recommend you have a DEXA scan?
A DEXA scan is appropriate for women over 65 years of age, and men over 70, who are at moderate risk of bone fracture, or if the results alter the patients previous care regime for osteoporosis. Younger men and women, ages 50 to 69, might be advised to have a DEXA scan if they have a high risk of bone loss. Women who are younger than 65 and are postmenopausal, who also have high risk factors for low bone density, such as low body weight or steroid medication, may also benefit from DEXA scan.
A doctor may also recommend a DEXA scan if you:
- Use medications known to cause bone loss (prednisone, thyroid replacement drugs)
- Have hyperthyroidism
- Have a parathyroid condition (hyperparathyroidism)
- Have fractured a bone after a minor trauma
Another beneficial use of a DEXA scan is to measure the amount of muscle, fat and bone in the body, which information can be used to make informed diet and exercise choices, and to lower body fat percentage or increase muscle mass. At Fresno Medical Center, our highly trained healthcare specialists and physicians take great pride in providing our patients with the highest level of primary care, internal medicine and diagnostics, in a fastest, friendliest and most compassionate way possible. Call Fresno Medical Center to arrange an appointment, or visit our website for directions as we are also a walk-in clinic. We will provide you with all the information you need to know about a DEXA scan and its benefits for your overall health. We serve patients from Fresno CA, West Park CA, Oleander CA, Lone Star CA, Burness CA, Locans CA, Mayfair CA, and Muscatel CA.
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