Bioimpedance: how is it, what is the test for, what is the price?

Many people are looking for ways to lose weight healthily or take care of the body, improve physical performance or just have a better knowledge of how the percentages of fat and muscle are going.

The guidelines for taking care of each body are always individual. So, physical evaluations are always fundamental, both for physical and medical monitoring.

For this reason, the Bioimpedance exam is a great ally of professionals specialized in endocrinology, physical education, aesthetics and nutrition. In such a way that it makes possible a more facilitated analysis of each organism. Check out more information:


What is the Electrical Bioimpedance Exam?

The Bioimpedance exam assesses, from a specific scale with electric current (low amplitude and high frequency), the amount of body fat, muscle mass and other body characteristics.

It is a totally painless and non-invasive procedure, in addition to being fast and safe.

This method replaces the traditional measuring tape, adipometers, common scale and manual calculation of BMI (body mass index). Thus, facilitating the processes.

In general, this exam is carried out in physical evaluations or consultations with specialized professionals in the area of ​​nutrition. What is done in order to enable a complete assessment of your nutritional status and the functioning of your body.

These results allow a personalized diet and routine for each individual, according to their characteristics. Thus, making treatment or training more effective, healthy and dynamic.

In the sequence, you can better understand when this exam is requested, what it measures and other specific conditions for its performance:

What is it for?

The evaluation using the Bioimpedance exam aims to present more complete data – providing information that could not be obtained using the traditional scale.

Considering that this procedure is performed by people in different circumstances (both for health and aesthetics), it is an important tool for the professional.

So, from the data provided, it is possible to follow the patient’s evolution in more detail – which can be done by endocrinologists, pediatricians, nutritionists, etc.

In addition, it also makes it possible to understand the functioning of metabolism and the distribution of fat. Consequently, it makes it easier to know which way to go with regards to physical training, food, etc.

It is common, even if the exam is requested for the following purposes:

  • Evaluation of body composition in athletes ;
  • Monitoring of results of food supplementation (adults and children);
  • Measure the state of sarcopenia – natural and progressive process of loss of muscle mass due to aging;
  • Monitor bariatric surgery patients (pre and post operative);
  • Analyze conditions before placing an intragastric balloon.

How often should it be done?

Usually, the professional responsible for requesting the exam is the one who will decide the frequency with which it should be done – analyzing it based on each case.

However, in general, it is recommended to wait a period of 30 days between the completion of each Bioimpedance exam. Thus, allowing to analyze more clearly the possible bodily changes that may have occurred.

What does the Bioimpedance exam measure?

Specifically, the professionals who work with the Bioimpedance exam indicate that it takes 18 readings: 8 full-body and 10 segmental (arms, legs, torso).

From these readings, this procedure delivers the following data:

  • Actual percentage of body fat;
  • Actual weight in relation to the fat weight percentage;
  • Total amount of body water;
  • Lean mass of each body segment;
  • Basal metabolic rate – is equivalent to the calories expended daily;
  • Body Mass Index (BMI);
  • Percentage of bone mass;
  • Percentage of visceral fat – intra-abdominal fat, which “mixes” with the organs of that region;
  • Metabolic age – that is, the age that corresponds to the functioning of your metabolism;
  • Waist / hip ratio and association with cardiac risk.

Remembering that the exam makes all these measurements taking into account, also, the difference between age groups, height and gender.

Finally, all data obtained from the exam are directed to a table, from which the professional can analyze them jointly. That is, no data is evaluated separately, but as a whole.

How is the Bioimpedance exam done?

There are different ways to perform the Bioimpedance exam, but in all of them, two pairs of electrodes are placed – positioned on the person’s hands and feet.

A bioimpedance scale is almost always used. In this case, the person needs to position himself correctly and follow the instructions of the professional, to ensure a correct result.

Considering that it is not an invasive method, it can be performed in clinics, offices and even in gyms. Remembering that it is a totally painless procedure and done in a matter of minutes.

It is worth mentioning that, considering that the device emits an electric current, it is necessary to remove rings, necklaces, watches and any item that may interfere with the exam result.

In addition, some professionals also recommend that the person remains lying down for about 10 minutes before performing the procedure.

Bioimpedance device: what types of scales?

As mentioned, there are different ways to perform the Bioimpedance exam, as well as different devices available.

These can vary between the number of electrodes and the position in which they are placed. In general, the “hand-hand” or “foot-foot” positioning is used at home, considering the greater ease that the person is able to position the electrodes correctly.

In addition, Bioimpedance devices may vary according to the region of the body that is subjected to the examination. For example, it is classified as “regional” when the electric current passes only through the upper or lower part of the body.

This occurs when the electrodes are placed only on the hands or only on the feet.

But it can also be of the “total” type, in which the electric current passes through the entire body. What is possible when the electrodes are positioned on both hands and feet, with the help of the professional.

In addition, there is the segmental method – when the electrode is positioned so as to evaluate only one segment or member of the body.

Finally, it is worth noting that Bioimpedance devices can vary according to their frequency: they can be single (50 kHz) or multi-frequency (ranging between 5 and 1000 kHz).

Who can not do?

Despite being a very safe procedure, the Bioimpedance test is carried out using the electric current and, even if it is mild, it can cause complications for certain groups.

Therefore, people in the following conditions should not perform this procedure:

  • Pregnant women;
  • Pacemaker carriers;
  • People who have, in their body, any pin, plate or prosthesis.

If in doubt, seek and follow the guidance of a specialist in order to carry out the safest method for your case.

It is also worth mentioning that it is not recommended that women undergo the exam during the menstrual period – it can cause interference in the results, considering that the body tends to retain water (that is, to become swollen).

Is any preparation necessary? What not to do before bioimpedance?

Unlike laboratory or imaging exams, the Bioimpedance exam does not require great prior care – such as the use of medications, fasting for long periods, etc.

However, professionals usually request some preparations in order to guarantee a more reliable result. Like for example:

  • Do not drink and / or eat 2 to 4 hours before the exam;
  • Do not drink alcoholic beverages in the 12 hours prior to the exam;
  • Avoid consumption of foods rich in caffeine (coffee, some teas, chocolates);
  • Urinate before performing the procedure;

Following the guidelines of the professional responsible for conducting your exam is essential. Otherwise, there is a high chance that the result will be affected and effective guidance is not possible.

What clothes should I use to take the exam?

In general, the professional responsible for conducting your exam may request that you wear light clothing at the time of the procedure. This is because there is less chance of interfering with the results presented.

Therefore, you may ideally wear gym clothes, such as shorts and a top for women, or shorts and a T-shirt for men.

Therefore, pay attention to the professional’s instructions to ensure a reliable result.

How much does the Bioimpedance exam cost? Where to do it?

The Bioimpedance exam can be performed in clinics, offices and even in gyms – as long as it is accompanied by a professional.

Regarding the value, it can vary according to your location, as well as from the choice of the professional and his / her segment (endocrinology, nutrition, etc.). In addition to issues such as being carried out privately or with a health plan.

However, in general, the exam can cost from R $ 70 separately . There are also professionals who include it in the value of the initial consultation, which can reach something close to R $ 200.

The ideal is always to look for a reliable professional and follow his / her recommendation.

Is the Bioimpedance exam reliable?

-Yeah . If the exam is done and interpreted by professionals, the result is quite complete and reliable. Of course, always taking into account the background and objectives of each person.

That is why, currently, it is already used by professionals from different segments. Taking into account the fact that it unites, in a single procedure, several important information about the nutritional status of the organism.

Bioimpedance or adipometry: what’s the difference?

Adipometry is an exam that assesses the amount of fat in the subcutaneous tissue, in order to provide an estimate of the proportion of fat in relation to body weight.

Basically, an adipometer (equipment in the form of a pincer) is used to measure the thickness of the folds of the skin, in millimeters.

Therefore, it is a very different procedure from Bioimpedance. Considering that Adipometry is a simpler method for measuring only one item, while the Bioimpedance exam aims to analyze the real functioning of the organism in terms of nutritional conditions.

With this, it provides complete data regarding metabolism and fat proportions according to the individual conditions of each person.

Exams such as Bioimpedance are very important for those who need and / or want to take care of their health and body conditions. This is because it does not take into account aesthetic standards, especially in weight loss processes.

On the contrary, it considers the real conditions of the organism and indicates the ideal for each body, within its individual characteristics.

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