Before you can ask how to get rid of visceral fats – that’s the fat that’s hidden away in your belly and around your internal organs – you need to know how much you have! A full body scan MRI is one way of getting this information, but it’s pricey. A more affordable alternative is the DEXA (dual-energy absorptiometry) scan by DexaFit Asia.
What’s a DEXA scan?
The DEXA scan is an FDA-approved body composition scan. It quantifies body composition, skeletal health and visceral body fat, which correlates to obesity and common metabolic health risks. It’s also significantly more precise than other body measurements including BMI, BodPod and hydrostatic weighing.
This full body composition scan may also help identify personal long-term health risks. These include diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hormonal imbalances and more.
We try a DEXA scan session!
As a fitness enthusiast in my mid-40s, I like to think that I’m healthy. But for a female at this age, bone mineral density as well as visceral body fat are two big concerns for me – especially as there’s a history of cardiovascular disease and stroke in my family.
Before I could figure out how to get rid of visceral body fats, I had to know whether they were at a level that should cause concern; I also wanted to learn whether my bone density was in the healthy range.
So, I decided to do a DEXA scan at DexaFit Asia to find out. Upon registration, I had a teleconsultation with one of their doctors. This is done firstly to check that I’m cleared of medical conditions that may interfere with the accuracy of the scan. Secondly, it’s for the doctor to inform me that there is a very low dose of radiation from the DEXA scan; this is minimal – according to their radiographer, it’s “equivalent to around three hours of natural background radiation”. (A chest x-ray, by comparison, is equivalent to around three days.)
Before I could lay down for the DEXA scan, I had to ensure I didn’t have any metal items on me; the scanner picks up metal as a mineral, which would add to the bone density calculations. Workout gear wins for this, and I removed my fitness tracker and earrings.
After the radiographer positioned my body, the scan began. The overhead scanner moved lengthwise over my body as the bed moved from side to side. The entire session lasted no more than 10 minutes and my results were printed out immediately.
Next, James Yeo, DexaFit Asia’s Head of Education, went through my results with me. Overall, my ranges are healthy with a bone mineral density that’s higher than most females of similar age range.
If you don’t want to go to the gym but you want to lose weight, how does a DEXA scan help?
The team at DexaFit Asia says they know that your fitness journey is personal. What they’re doing is providing you with scientific data about your current health. The post-scan consultation with their Fitness Specialist will remove a lot of guesswork for you.
You’ll also receive non-biased directions toward your health goal. (Think of DexaFit Asia as an accountability partner!) So, you can use the data to take steps towards your health goals. This might be how to get rid of visceral body fats, weight loss, weight gain, a better nutrition plan or better sleep.
DexaFit Asia can also recommend trusted partners to develop and execute health plans. For example, if you want to reduce your visceral body fat, but you’re not sure where to turn for help, they can refer you to someone who can assist in this aspect.
Why do the DEXA scan instead of a full body scan MRI
Both the DEXA scan and full body scan MRI provide a body composition scan. The indicators they’ll measure include visceral fat, fat, lean mass, bone mineral density and body weight. They’ll also show imbalances that could lead to injury.
The difference is in the cost. A MRI for each body part – an elbow, a hand or a knee – starts from $1,000; the full body composition DEXA scan by DexaFit Asia is currently priced at $309. The time spent in an MRI is also much longer, approximately 60 minutes or more.
Three questions with James Yeo of DexaFit Asia
If you don’t know where you’re at now, how do you know if you’ve made progress towards your health goal? James shares why it’s important to understand your level of health and how the DEXA scan helps with this.
#1 What does having good health mean?
Two of the key components that should be considered when it comes to our health are visceral fat and bone mineral density.
We want to be aware of visceral fat as it’s deep inside our body. It’s fat that’s inside the same place where your organs are. The danger of having too much visceral fat is that it takes up space that’s required by your organs to move. This becomes an issue as your organs can’t work optimally. This can lead to a lot of health and organ-related problems.
Bone mineral density is a definition of how strong your bones are. The weaker your bones are, the more porous they are, and the higher the probability of bone-related injuries. Bone health peaks around 35 to 40 years old or thereabouts. From there, it slowly starts to deteriorate – especially when you’re more sedentary and don’t really exercise much.
Say at some point of your older age that you want to start exercising; yet you don’t check your bone health and you just start jogging. The next thing you know, you’ve tripped and suffered a hairline fracture. When you know how healthy your bones are, you know not to jump into high-intensity exercise immediately when loading up with activities.
#2 I feel healthy. Do I need the DEXA scan?
The DEXA scan is for everybody. While we may not all want to be fit, at the end of the day we definitely want to be healthy. So, if you have a bit more body fat but your general overall health is fine, then you’re healthy.
Most of our clients come in and say, “I’m just curious about my health.” Some have a healthy lifestyle and exercise on a daily basis, others don’t. Whatever is the case, we try to figure out what each person’s goals are as we discuss the data directly with you. We’ll direct the interpretation of your results towards your goals.
#3 How is your DEXA scan different from those at the hospitals?
Hospitals in Singapore use DEXA scans for diagnostic purposes only. At DexaFit Asia (DFA), we focus on whole body composition scan. It’s more of a general health screening scenario and can supplement other full body check-ups or health screenings that you’re doing. Our doctors have approved DEXA scans for general health screening purposes.
DFA is also possibly the most convenient place to get a full body composition scan done. We have everything in house, allowing the whole process to take just 30 minutes. At other locations, the same process can take longer due to a need for a referral and such.
About James & DexaFit Asia
DexaFit Asia uses medical-grade health technologies to measure the leading indicators of all-cause mortality. This data is transformed into analytics for insights so as to optimise people’s lifestyles and longevity. The range of services at DexaFit Asia include the DEXA scan, VO2max Cardio Fitness Test, RMR Metabolic Health Analysis, 3D Body Scan and DexaFit AI.
James has over a decade of sports science experience in the sports and fitness industry, including as a sports scientist, coach, mental skills trainer, exercise physiologist and sports nutritionist. He’s also been invited to speak for various big brands within the health and fitness industry. James holds a Bachelor of Science in Sports and Exercise Science as well as a Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Nutrition.
Want to know how healthy you are?
Get a DEXA scan to get a no nonsense, science-based look at your state of health. Reach out to the team at DexaFit Asia to schedule one.
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