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How Much is a DEXA Scan for Body Fat?

How Much is a DEXA Scan for Body Fat?

In the zone of fitness and health, understanding your body composition is key. While the number on the scale offers a basic data point, it doesn't tell the whole story. That's where DEXA scans come in, providing a detailed picture of your body's makeup, including —

  • muscle mass, 

  • fat percentage, 

  • and bone mineral density. 

But before you jump on the DEXA scan bandwagon, a crucial question arises: how much is a DEXA scan for body fat?

Here’s the brief: A DEXA scan for body fat can cost between $50 and $500, depending on factors like location, facility, and scan type, with prices usually ranging from $150 to $300.

Let’s get into this topic further.

What is DEXA Scan for Body Fat and What are Its Benefits?

What is DEXA Scan for Body Fat and What are Its Benefits?

A DEXA scan, which stands for Dual-Energy X-ray Absorptiometry, is a kind of scan that uses low-dose X-rays to measure your body composition. It's considered the most accurate way to measure body fat percentage, muscle mass, and bone mineral density.

Benefits of DEXA Scans for Body Fat

There are several benefits to getting a DEXA scan for body fat:

  • Accuracy: DEXA scans are the most accurate way to measure body composition. They are more accurate than other methods, such as bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) or skin fold calipers.

  • Detailed analysis: DEXA scans can provide a detailed breakdown of your body composition, including your total body fat percentage, as well as the percentage of fat in different parts of your body. This information can be super helpful for tracking changes in your body composition over time.

  • Motivation: Knowing your exact body fat percentage can be a great motivator for people who are trying to lose weight or gain muscle.

  • Treatment planning: DEXA scans can be used to help healthcare professionals develop treatment plans for a variety of conditions, such as obesity, osteoporosis, and sarcopenia (loss of muscle mass).

How Much is a DEXA Scan for Body Fat? 

How Much is a DEXA Scan for Body Fat? 

The price tag for a DEXA scan can vary depending on several factors:

  • Location: Costs tend to be higher in metropolitan cities compared to rural locations.

  • Facility: Hospitals and specialized clinics might charge more than independent imaging centers.

  • Scan Type: A basic body composition scan might be cheaper than one that includes bone density analysis.

  • Package Deals: Some facilities offer bundled packages with consultations or metabolic testing, influencing the overall cost.

With these factors in mind, expect the price range for a DEXA scan to fall somewhere between $50 and $500.

Here's a breakdown to give you a clearer idea:

  • Low-cost options: Some independent centers and initiatives offer DEXA scans starting at around $40.

  • Average range: Typically, a DEXA scan for body composition falls within the $150 to $300 zone.

  • Premium services: Packages including consultations, detailed reports, and additional tests can push the cost towards the higher end of the spectrum.

What to Do Before DEXA Scan

What to Do Before DEXA Scan

Here's what you should typically do before a DEXA scan:

  • Clothing: Choose loose-fitting, comfortable clothes without metal fasteners, zippers, or buttons. Opt for sweatpants and a t-shirt or a sports bra and leggings. The facility might provide a gown for you to wear during the scan.

  • Calcium Supplements: Avoid taking calcium supplements for 24 hours before the scan. This includes multivitamins and certain antacids.

  • Jewelry and Metal Objects: Remove all jewelry, piercings (if possible), and metal objects like keys or belts. These can interfere with the scan's accuracy.

  • Empty Bladder: It's recommended to use the restroom before the scan to ensure a more comfortable experience while lying on the table.

  • Inform your doctor: If you've recently had a CT scan with contrast dye or a barium X-ray, let your doctor know. They might advise waiting a few days before scheduling the DEXA scan.

Additional Tips:

  • Ask about fasting: In some cases, particularly for afternoon scans, fasting might not be required. Check with the facility beforehand to clarify any fasting instructions.

  • Medications: There's usually no need to alter your medication schedule unless specifically advised by your doctor.

  • Feel free to ask questions: If you have any concerns or questions regarding the procedure, don't hesitate to ask the healthcare professional performing the scan.

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Before You Schedule Your Scan

Before You Schedule Your Scan

While DEXA scans are generally safe and non-invasive, here are a few things to keep in mind before scheduling yours:

  • Consult Your Doctor: Discuss the need for a DEXA scan with your doctor, especially if you have any underlying health concerns.

  • Insurance Coverage: Check with your insurance service provider to determine if they cover DEXA scans and what your out-of-pocket costs might be.

  • Preparation: Some facilities might have specific guidelines regarding food or drink intake before the scan. Be sure to inquire about any preparation requirements.

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Finding a DEXA Scan Facility

Now that you're armed with information on costs and benefits, you might be wondering, “Where can I get a DEXA scan? Here are some pointers:

  • Consult your doctor: They can advise you on the necessity of a DEXA scan and recommend reputable facilities in your area.

  • Search online directories: Look for imaging centers or specialized clinics that offer DEXA scans.

  • Contact local gyms or fitness centers: Some facilities might partner with DEXA scan providers, offering discounted packages to their members.

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Why Choose Back Bay Fit for the Premium DEXA Scan?

Why Choose Back Bay Fit for the Premium DEXA Scan?

Choose Back Bay Fit for the premium DEXA scan because we offer comprehensive analysis, including —

  • bone mineral density, 

  • body fat analysis, 

  • muscle mass, 

  • and fat mass. 

Provided by Boston Direct Health, our DEXA scans are accurate and detailed, giving you valuable insights into your body composition. 

With professional services in Boston, it's a convenient option for effectively tracking your health and fitness progress.

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Wrapping Up

To sum it up, understanding the cost of a DEXA scan for body fat is essential for anyone considering this valuable tool for health and fitness. With the usual prices ranging from $50 to $500 depending on various factors, knowing what to expect ensures informed decision-making. So, next time you ask yourself, "How Much is a DEXA Scan for Body Fat?" you'll have a clearer answer to guide your health journey.


How long does a DEXA scan take?

A DEXA scan itself typically takes only 10 to 20 minutes, with most people in and out of the facility within 30 minutes.

Can I get a DEXA scan if I'm pregnant?

No, DEXA scans are not recommended during pregnancy due to radiation exposure.

Does a DEXA scan measure hydration levels?

No, but hydration can slightly affect results. Aim for normal hydration before the scan.

Are there any side effects from a DEXA scan?

No, DEXA scans are painless and have no reported side effects.

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