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Fundamental Physiology, Center for Metabolic Health, Boulder, CO Dr. Gina Honeyman, Boulder, Denver CO

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Preparing for your metabolic testing

First, what happens during metabolic testing?

Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR)

Resting metabolic rate testing gives Dr. Honeyman one of the most important piece of information to be able to best help you. She uses indirect calorimetry, which is the same sophisticated technology that hospital physiology labs use to measure basal metabolic rate (BMR). After you arrive at the Center and sign the usual consent forms, you'll rest in a quiet room for 30 minutes to let your metabolic rate go back to the resting state. Then you'll breathe into a mask or a mouthpiece and the indirect calorimeter measures your exhaled oxygen content. This is a reflection of how many calories you use at rest, which is your resting metabolic rate.

Bioelectric Impedance

Dr. Honeyman will also use bioelectric impedance to measure your body composition. Adhesive-backed Leads, like ECG leads, are placed on your hand and foot and a tiny electrical current travels through your body. You won't feel the current. If you are pregnant or have a pacemaker we should not perform this test, so please let us know before you come to the clinic. While your amount of body fat matters, Dr. Honeyman is even more interested in knowing your percentage of fat-free mass, or lean tissue. A deficit in fat-free mass can also cause a low RMR, so Dr. Honeyman measures your body composition to know if this a contributing factor to your low RMR.

How to prepare for your testing

  • Measure your basal temperature and pulse for 5 days ahead of your evaluation and bring your results with you.
    • Keep a thermometer on your bedside table and place it in your armpit before you get out of bed. If it's a digital thermometer it will beep when ready, and you will need to write down the numbers. If you use a glass thermometer, leave it for 10 minutes and then write down the numbers.
    • You will need a clock or watch with a second hand so you can count your pulse (heart rate) as soon as you write down your temperature. Find your pulse at your wrist or side of your neck and count it for 15 seconds and write down that number. You can multiply it by 4 to get the beats per minute or we will do the math when you bring your results to the Center.
    • If you have any questions about how to do this please call the Center and someone will help you.
  • Fast overnight if possible, but at least for 4 hours.
    • Let us know ahead of time if you are severely hypoglycemic.
    • Dr. Honeyman can instruct you in how to structure food intake for best testing.
  • If you are a smoker, do not smoke for 2 hours before your testing.
  • Keep your physical movement to a minimum the morning of testing.
    • Have someone else drive you to the Center if possible.
    • Take it easy coming up the stairs to the Center.
  • Drink plenty of water the morning of testing.
    • Dehydration can artificially elevate your body fat percentage, which will artificially decrease your fat-free mass.
  • If you take medications, please let us know what you take before you come in for testing.
    • You may need to take some of them later in the day to avoid interfering with your RMR testing.
  • Bring relaxing music to listen to while you rest at the clinic prior to your testing. We have music here if you forget to bring your own.
  • Bring some food to eat after your testing is complete. Dr. Honeyman will spend at least 2 hours with you to discuss your test results and teach you how to use the metabolic rehab protocol. Since you've fasted overnight you will need some nutrition to be alert for the discussion.

If you have any questions at all please call the Center at 303.413.9100 and we will answer them to be sure that you are properly prepared for your evaluation.

We're looking forward to meeting you in person and helping you get on the road to your recovery.

Phone: 303.413.9100
Fax: 1.888.728.3490

Copyright © 2011 Dr. Gina S. Honeyman. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. All material provided on the Dr. Gina S. Honeyman website is offered for educational purposes only. Your participation with self-tests or sending evaluation forms for Dr. Honeyman's review do not constitute a doctor/patient relationship. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider before undertaking any diet, exercise, or other health program.