What is a Bone Mineral Density Scan (BMD)?

 

A BMD is a simple scan that measures the density of your bones, usually at the hip and spine.

BMD uses a DEXA scanner (Dual Energy X-ray Absorption) DEXA works by passing two very low dose x-ray beams at differing energy levels through the bones. Bones with different densities will absorb the x-rays differently, allowing computer calculations of the relative densities.

 

The scan is conducted with a part of the scanner moving up down the padded table on which you are lying. The scan only takes around 5 minutes. You remain fully clothed throughout the examination.

Why should I have a scan?

If you have risk factors which contribute to low bone density, it is advisable to have the density measured . If your bone density is low, the chance of a fracture from minimal trauma is greatly increased.

An early detection of low bone mineral density will allow your doctor to prescribe preventative treatment. Treatment can halt the progression of such conditions as osteoporosis and in many cases, improve the density of your bones.

What do the results tell me?

A BMD will determine if any action is needed to improve your bone density. The result will indicate if your bones are in the range of normal, osteopenia (low bone density) or osteoporosis. 

Normal

You should maintain adequate calcium, vitamin D, exercise and a healthy lifestyle to promote continued bone health.

Osteopenia (low bone density)

Your doctor will check your calcium intake, vitamin D level and exercise habits to see if improvements can be made. The aim of an early intervention is to slow down bone loss and prevent progression to osteoporosis. Your doctor will also check any conditions or medications which may be affecting your bone health. You will usually require follow up scans every 2 years. 

Osteoporosis

If you are diagnosed with osteoporosis your doctor will commence treatment. Your calcium and Vitamin D levels will be checked and specific exercises recommended. Halt the progression of the osteoporosis and reduce the likelihood of a fracture.

 

Medicare Rebates

Medicare rebates apply for many people who will require a BMD. Our friendly clerical team can advise on your eligibility for a Medicare rebate. Some private health funds provide a reimbursement; please check with your fund.

Medicare rebates apply for people who:

• Have previously been diagnosed with osteoporosis.

• Have one or more fractures previously from a minor incident.

• Women with early menopause.

• Men with low testosterone.

• Have coeliac disease (or other malabsorption conditions), overactive thyroid, parathyroid conditions, rheumatoid arthritis, liver or kidney disease.

• Are 70 years or over.

 

What is body composition Scan?

A body composition scan is a simple scan that measures your percentage of lean muscle and fat.

The scan is conducted with a part of the scanner moving up down the padded table on which you are lying. The scan only takes around 5 minutes. You remain fully clothed throughout the examination.

 

How Does Body Composition Scan Work?

Body Composition uses a DEXA scanner (Dual Energy X-ray Absorption) DEXA works by passing two very low dose x-ray beams at differing energy levels through the tissues of the body. 

Fat, muscle and bone each have different levels of absorption due to their unique densities. It is these factors which allow the DEXA to calculate relative masses of each tissue type in each region of your body (trunk, arms and legs)  

 

Is it safe?

DEXA scans are very safe. The radiation dose is extremely low and is less than naturally occurring radiation encountered in day to day living.

Please note, while DEXA scans are safe, they can not be performed on children under 16 or if you are pregnant. 

 

What do the results tell me?

Our body composition scanning system accurately measures lean muscle and fat percentage for the whole body or individual regions.

A Body Composition Scan  will also enable you to asses the effectiveness of diet and training programs with truly accurate scientific data.

Compare the scans in the images above right to see how a body composition scan can give you vital information to better understand your body profile. The 'green' is fat and the 'blue' is muscle.

The five scans show the progression of lessening fat and increasing muscle as a result of training and diet. Regular scans are a very tangible way to monitor progress and stay motivated

 

Why should I have a body composition DEXA scan?

If you are serious about your fitness or weight-loss program, you need to have a baseline to determine your progress.

Along with advice from your personal trainer, dietitian or exercise physiologist, a body composition scan will provide you with the information you need to help you achieve your goals.

 

A body composition scan:

• Is accurate to the gram, and is the quickest and easiest way to monitor the progress of your weight-loss or training regime

• Delivers both fat and lean muscle percentages

• Provide regional data, including arms, legs and trunk.

• Enables reproducible results, meaning your progress can be tracked with the highest accuracy possible.

• Individualised target levels for fat and lean tissue mass can be generated from the scan data.