In our last blog, we described what the DEXA scan is, how it functions, and what you can do to prepare for your exam. Here, we will discuss what your DEXA results mean and how to interpret them. We will be going over each heading you see on the first page your DEXA results well as T Scores, BMI, and some other values that may interest you.
This divides the analysis by the difference sections of your body. For example, you can compare the composition of your right and left arms by following R Arm and L Arm down the line.
BMC stands for Bone Mineral Content. This is amount of bone tissue your skeleton (or a section of it) currently has. This value is expressed in grams (g).
This is the amount of fat stored in your body measured in grams. This includes both subcutaneous and visceral fat (Check out our blogs on those two!). Fat contains 9 calories per gram; the most calorically dense of all the macro nutrients
Contrary to popular belief, this does not equate to just muscle mass. This value also includes skin, organs, muscles, and even water which makes up 50-60% of lean body mass.
The sum of lean mass and bone mineral content yields your Fat Free Mass. From here, the DEXA then determines what percentage of your body is composed of stored fat. Speaking of which:
Finally, we have arrived at body fat percentage. This is the value your exercise physiologist and dietician will work with you to lower to optimal levels. There are several different benefits to a low body fat percentage such as healthy joints, low blood pressure, and improved sleep.
This is the standard by which we measure your bone mineral density. A score of +1 to -1 indicates normal bone mineral density. A Score from -1 to -2.5 is indicative of osteopenia, while a score below -2.5 signals osteoporosis.
Body Mass Index
BMI is your weight in kilograms divided by the square of your height in meters. This value does not account for body composition, however. For example, you can have a body fat percentage of 10% , weigh roughly 220lbs, have a height of 5 feet 11 inches, and be classified as as obese. Therefore, health professionals also take other factors into account before using BMI to stratify risk. There is, however, a certain degree of correlation between health complications and having a BMI of over 30.
Android and Gynoid
These two terms refer to fat distribution in specific areas. Android describes fat around the abdomen while Gynoid describes fat around the glutes, hips, and thighs. It has been found that men typically have an android fat distribution while women tend to have a gynoid fat distribution. You can find how your body specifically distributes fat in the body composition section of your results. You can also look at the Android/Gynoid ratio in the Adipose Indices section.
“Bone Density Test, Osteoporosis Screening & T-Score Interpretation.” National Osteoporosis Foundation, 4 Sept. 2018, www.nof.org/patients/diagnosis-information/bone-density-examtesting/.
“MeasureUp Fact Sheet.” Measureup.com.au, MeasureUp, 2016, www.measureup.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/measureup-fact-sheet-v2.pdf.
Sassani, Fred. “Bodies By Design: The True Benefits of Losing Body Fat.” Statesman, Austin American-Statesman, 27 Sept. 2018, www.statesman.com/news/20160924/bodies-by-design-the-true-benefits-of-losing-body-fat.