DEXA Body Composition Preparation

If you are considering having more than one DEXA body composition scan and want to track small changes in your body composition, consistent preparation is essential for accurate and reliable results.

Following consistent preparation guidelines helps minimise biological variability and external factors that could influence the scan measurements. To ensure the most accurate and consistent results from your DEXA body composition scan, please follow these preparation guidelines:

Consistent Timing:

Schedule your DEXA scans at the same time of day for each appointment (when possible).

Mirror Food Intake:

Strive to eat the same or similar meals before each scan to minimise variations in digestion and nutrient absorption. Refrain from consuming large meals within 6 hours before the test. However, a light snack within 2 hours or a smaller meal within 6 hours is acceptable. If you are also booked for the Resting Metabolic Rate and Energy test, fast for at least 4 hours, including caffeine and stimulating drinks (minimal water intake is okay).

Mirror Exercise Routine:

Maintain a consistent exercise routine before each scan. Either continue with the same type of exercise or avoid vigorous physical activity (exceeding 20 minutes with noticeable sweating) for up to 6 hours before the scan, or don’t exercise. If you are also booked for the Resting Metabolic Rate and Energy test, avoid strenuous activity 12 hours before the test.

Wear the same type of comfortable clothing during each scan with NO METAL:

Check for metal zippers, snaps, fasteners, belts, and under-wire bras. Avoid wearing any jewellery, including piercings, if possible. You will be asked to remove your shoes and may be provided with a disposable gown if needed.

Hydration Control:

Drink fluids as you normally would but avoid excessive intake within 24 hours before the scan. Additionally, refrain from drinking more than 1 litre of water immediately before the scan. Empty your bladder before the procedure to minimise any variation due to bladder content.

Consider Dietary Condition:

If you are following a low-carb diet, aim to have your scan performed under the same dietary conditions each time. This accounts for potential changes in glycogen storage that might affect muscle mass measurements.

Pregnancy or Recent Contrast Studies:

Do not schedule a DEXA scan if you are pregnant or have undergone radiology procedures involving contrast agents, such as Barium Enema, contrast MRI, CT scan, or other imaging contrast studies, within the past 7 days. These agents can affect the quality of the scan results.

By adhering to these comprehensive instructions, you can optimise the accuracy and consistency of your DEXA scan results, making it easier to monitor changes in your body composition over time.

Remember that biological variability can impact the measurements, and following these guidelines will help minimise these variations for a more reliable assessment of your progress. If you have any specific questions or concerns about the preparation or procedure, don’t hesitate to contact us.