You’re probably familiar with the saying “knowledge is power,” and while the original context of this ancient proverb likely had nothing to do with water weight or body fat percentages, the message applies. The InBody Scale has not only improved how we measure weight, but it has improved how we measure body fat, water retention, muscle mass, and their distribution throughout the human body. More importantly, all this knowledge gives doctors the power to provide patients with better care and more personalized treatment recommendations.
Imagine if you could simply jump on a scale and find out precisely what your body fat percentage is and just how many calories you should be consuming on a daily basis mere minutes later. What if that same test could give patients with liver disease a clearer picture of how their body is responding to dialysis treatments? These things are now possible with the InBody Scale.
In this blog, we’ll take a closer look at how this test is revolutionizing patient analyses, what the testing process entails, and why so many healthcare professionals are incorporating this valuable scale into their practices.
What Is the InBody Scale and How Does It Work?
The InBody Scale is a machine that measures body composition through a method called bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA). First used in the 1960s, the BIA method sends a small alternating current through the body that allows for highly accurate measurements of a person’s body fat as well as water, lean mass, overall weight, and more. BIA is painless, quick, non-invasive, and doesn’t pose any risk of side effects.
How Is This Different From Traditional Weight Measurement?
While body mass index (BMI) calculations haven’t really changed since they were derived by Belgian mathematician Adolphe Quetelet in the 1830s, the InBody Scale uses cutting edge technology to help professional athletes, astronauts, and everyday people fine-tune their health and wellness regimens.
Imagine you’re two weeks into a new diet and workout routine. You’ve been striving to improve your health, and you excitedly jump on your bathroom scale only to see the same number you saw before you put in all that hard work. You’re immediately struck with deep disappointment. Perhaps you even calculate your BMI using your weight and height to find no fluctuation there either. Most of us can relate to the feeling of hopelessness; this could (understandably) cause the consideration to abandon this new workout routine entirely.
The problem is, these measurements don’t account for the complexity of the human body’s composition. While weight, height, and BMI measurements can give you a rudimentary assessment of your overall health, these measurements don’t take into account body fat as opposed to muscle mass, or intracellular vs. extracellular water.
In the scenario mentioned above, it’s possible that all of your hard work has indeed paid off and that you’ve replaced body fat with lean mass (or muscle), but a simple BMI assessment wouldn’t be able to tell you that. Traditional weight, height, and BMI analyses don’t provide the full picture while the InBody Scale does. In fact, a simple BMI calculation would consider an individual with a large amount of muscle mass, such as a bodybuilder, obese.
How Does the InBody Scale Compare to a DEXA Scan?
The InBody Scale has been found to be 98% as accurate as a DEXA (Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry) scan. One major benefit of the InBody Scale over a DEXA scan is that patients do not need to be subjected to any radiation.
What Should I Expect During an InBody Test?
The InBody testing process is completely non-invasive, doesn’t require x-ray imaging, and only takes a couple of minutes. First, you will be asked to wipe your feet and hands with a special wipe that will remove any lotion or sweat to improve your body’s conductivity. This will help the InBody Scale obtain an accurate reading. Once you’re ready, you can step onto the InBody Scale.
The first measurement taken will be your weight. Then your height, age, and sex will be entered into the machine. Next, you will need to hold the hand sensors on either side of the machine with your arms outstretched at about waist level with your thumbs on the sensors. That’s all there is to it! Once the InBody Scale has completed its reading, you will receive a detailed print out explaining your unique body composition analysis.
To get the most accurate reading, InBody testing should be done at least 3 hours after eating or exercising, and you should maintain your typical fluid intake the day before. Make sure you remove any heavy objects such as jewelry, belts, jackets, phones, or wallets before stepping onto the InBody Scale. In addition, you’ll want to make sure you’ve been standing upright for at least 5 minutes before your InBody test; this helps ensure your body fluid is evenly distributed. If it’s cold outside, give yourself time to warm up before your test.
What Will I Learn From an InBody Test and How Can This Help Me?
Not only will the InBody test results give you an in-depth look at your body composition broken down into body fat, muscle mass, and water weight, but they will break these readings down by each region of your body (i.e., your right arm, left arm, right leg, and left leg). You’ll learn about your unique makeup, find out if there are imbalances, and be able to track your progress with follow-up testing.
InBody Scale measurements can help you determine the following:
- If you’re drinking enough water or if you’re dehydrated
- How healthy your cells are
- Whether you’re losing or gaining muscle mass and fat
- How many calories your body is burning at rest
- Your body fat percentage
How Can My Doctor Use My InBody Test Results?
The applications of InBody Scale measurements are numerous. InBody test results can give your team of healthcare professionals valuable insight that will assist them in providing you with more accurate treatment recommendations.
Doctors, clinicians, physical therapists, personal trainers, dieticians, and more can all use this information to better serve you. For example, InBody testing can be used by medical professionals to:
- Identify patients suffering from ascites conditions and severe cirrhosis
- Monitor progress in patients undergoing dialysis treatments
- Monitor muscle mass and renal function in patients with diabetes
- Monitor muscle mass development during rehabilitation after an injury or surgery
- Monitor progress and assess certain risks for patients suffering from heart disease
- Assess body cell mass to better monitor transplant patients
Interested in learning more about the InBody Scale and discovering your test results? Book a consultation at Aspire Regenerative. Our clinicians will develop a personalized care plan to help you reach your health and wellness goals. What’s more, we offer a complimentary InBody Scale measurement with any service!