DEXA scanning uses a very low x-ray technique to measure bone density and is the gold standard for diagnosis of osteoporosis. We all develop osteoporosis if we live long enough but some people are at risk of developing osteoporosis with a low bone density at an early age. There are a number of risk factors including a family history, an early menopause for women, long-term steroid use for everybody, etc.
We have a new state of the art DEXA scanner and have an established osteoporosis management service with the help of some local rheumatologists who take a particular interest in bone health. Because of the link with early menopause, and the use sometimes of hormone treatment, we also have advice from a local menopause management specialist.
Our machine also has the ability to measure total body fat content and also to measure what is called visceral fat, which is fat around the abdominal organs. This has been shown to correlate well with risk factors for vascular disease in the future. Use of this technique, which is called body composition scanning, is also useful for people on a weight reduction course and for elite athletes who wish to measure muscle mass etc.