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HOME HEALTH TRACKING GADGETS

Have you notice your energy has been lower than usual, maybe you feel cold more often or maybe you have packed on a few extra pounds? These all could be your body signaling a need for a little extra help supporting its metabolism. I have two inexpensive at-home heath tracking gadgets I use in my practice, that can bring some great insight to how the metabolism is doing.

BBT Metabolic Health, HTMA, Adrenal Fatigue

Our body is continuously trying to get our attention through symptom presentation. Taking the time to tune in and listen to our body's needs can greatly support our overall health.


With most of my clients we are already tracking the quality of our sleep, moods and food intake.


Why? Because believe it or not they are all interconnected. This information helps to narrow the gauge to optimize the intricacies of our own body. When we mindfully pay attention to these areas, I find over time my clients can be more in-tune with their body and bring in an overall balance.


In addition to the above, I have found two at-home health tracking gadgets to be extremely beneficial in gaining insight to our metabolic health. I like to utilize basal body temperature (BBT) and pulse rate data tracking as a way to guide and support our energy production.

 

Why does this matter?

Metabolism involves a series of chemical reactions that create the energy your body needs. Metabolic reactions occur in tiny organelles within your cells, called mitochondria. They ‘burn’ food (macro nutrients like fat and carbs) using oxygen to create electro-chemical energy and heat. 


There is a close relationship between metabolic rate and body temperature; a person with a high metabolic rate will have a higher body temperature compared to someone with a lower metabolic rate. It is thought that as body temperature goes up, so does metabolism and ultimately calories burned.

 

Why track BBT and Pulse Rate

We have known for years that tracking one's BBT for fertility is a very effective tool. That's because once a woman ovulates, her BBT will have a slight, but noticeable fluctuation. This can be helpful for those trying to family plan.


But did you know tracking our BBT is a way to assess the health of our metabolism and to gain insight to how our thyroid is functioning.  Additionally, tracking our pulse rate can give us insight into our adrenal production. BBT and pulse rate taken together can give us direct in the moment data on how our body is responding metabolically.

 

BBT (basal body temperature) 

Your basal body temperature is your temperature when you are fully at rest. This is why you can only take your BBT after a full night of uninterrupted sleep (or a minimum of 4-6 hours). 


Tracking our BBT gives us overall metabolic insight. But, we can additionally utilize BBT as a way to narrow down and measure the optimization of the thyroid - even if we are on medication.


This is known as Dr. Barnes' Basal Temperature Test (BBTT). It involves measuring the body's basal temperature upon waking. The test is based on the idea that low thyroid function can result in a lower body temperature. According to Dr. Broda Otto Barnes, who developed and promoted the test, a normal reading upon waking is around 97.8 °F (36.6 °C). If the basal temperature consistently deviates from this range, it might indicate an under-active thyroid.

 
Thyroid Health, Adrenal Support, Santa Barbara Nutritionist

Pulse Rate Tracking

It has been long thought that pulse rate may be a good indicator of our adrenal hormones. Our body utilizes the pumping of blood to get nutrients and oxygen throughout our body and into our cells.

As our body is in a stressed state (external or internal stress), the body needs those nutrients at a quicker pace and our body responds by raising our pulse. If the body continues in a stressed state, those nutrients get depleted and over time our body begins to conserve energy, thus lowering our pulse.


This feedback mechanism utilizes our stress hormones, which are made in the adrenals. As we find a pattern of a lower pulse rate and lower body temperature, we can assess that our metabolism and possibly our thyroid and adrenals could use a little additional support. 

 

How to track

This will speak mainly for tracking your baseline metabolism, thyroid and adrenal strength, not fertility.


There is no one exact number to hit and it may be different for everyone, so don't get caught up on exact numbers. What we look for is a trend. 


Body temperature and pulse are often their lowest in the morning and rise gradually throughout the day. A key area to point out is that truly athletic people may have a tendency for a lower pulse rate and men and postmenopausal women's BBT ranges will be different than menstruating females. Alcohol, travel, stress and illness can all affect your reading, so looking at trends and averages is important.


Tracking details

  1. Ideally you will track both your BBT and pulse at the same time. 

  2. First thing when you wake - before you get out of bed.

  3. Write down on our Tracking Form or an App.

  4. Take again approximately 1-hour after breakfast - write down.

  5. Take again mid-afternoon- write down.

  6. Keep in mind your temperature and pulse gradually rises throughout the day.

For menstruating women, I recommend a few months of tracking as your temperature will shift bi-weekly, that way you can get a baseline in relation to your cycle. For postmenopausal and men, tracking for a few weeks can help give you an average.


Ranges & Assessment Tools

BBT is good for: thyroid, metabolism & hormone health

BBT range: Menstruating women: follicular phase is 97.2-97.8, luteal phase: 97.7-98.6, men and postmenopausal women 97.2-98.2

Best type of: BBT that measures to the 100th degree, click here


Pulse Rate: adrenal health

Best type: Finger Pulse Oximeter, click here

Pulse rate range: 60-100 - around 70 upon waking

 

What might my BBT and Pulse Rate indicate?

If you have been tracking for a few days and see some trends, you might be wondering - what does that mean?


While nothing we do in our practice is considered diagnostic, there are some assertions that can be drawn based on the data that may help you look a little deeper at what might be going on.


Trends to be on the lookout for:

  • If you see a low temperature with low pulse: Poorly functioning metabolism. Often seen in chronic phase of exhaustion.  Great starting point would be to run a HTMA to assess nutrient status and ways to optimize your thyroid and adrenals.

  • If you see a low temperature with a strong pulse: You may be in an acute stress phase that could be suppressing your metabolism. Address your stress, consider running a HTMA and looking deeper at your thyroid.

  • If you see a normal temperature with low pulse: Your thyroid and metabolism may be running off the stress of the adrenals with a sign that the adrenals may need more support. Look deeper at adrenal support, consider a HTMA.

  • If you see a normal temperature with high pulse: You may be in an active state of stress potentially burning through your nutrients. Assess your current stress load, consider HTMA.

 

Optimizing BBT & Pulse Rate

Many are surprised to hear that one of the first places we need to examine is your diet when it comes to optimizing your BBT and pulse rate. Our body needs energy by way of nutrients in order to fuel all biological activity. A lower body temperature and pulse rate can indicate a down-regulation of your metabolism in order to conserve energy for its most vital functions.


Action Steps

There is a lot you can do to start and support your metabolism. First it is important to explore where your stress is coming from and begin to mediate. Stress can be external (job, family, environmental) or internal (blood sugar dysregulation, infections, dysbiosis).


From there you need to explore your macro-nutrient intake and support macro-minerals to begin to nourish your adrenals and thyroid. Believe it or not, many are not consuming enough nutrient dense calories to fuel their body's metabolic needs. In addition, you need to ensure you are getting quality sleep and the appropriate amount of exercise for your body. 


There is a lot encompassed in this process and change doesn't happen overnight and that is another reason I like utilizing BBT and pulse rate tracking as it can show us progress.

 
Thyroid Health, Adrenal Support, Santa Barbara Nutritionist

HTMA - A Game Changer for Health

If you don't know what a HTMA (hair, tissue, mineral test) is and how it can support your metabolism, then you are in for a treat. This is one of my first line testing with anyone struggling with their metabolism. As we have shared, your metabolism is the chemical reactions in the body's cells that convert your food into energy. This energy fuels every aspect of your body's biochemical reactions and you need a certain amount of calories to fuel this process.


The HTMA can help support this process in many ways:

  • You'll see what's going on with your metabolism and know what foods are best to support you!

  • You'll get a recommendation of your protein, carbs & fat ratio, in addition to tools to help you narrow down your exact calorie in-take based on your lifestyle.

  • You'll gain insight into your adrenals, thyroid, blood sugar, digestion, heavy metal load and detox capacity.

  • You'll get exercises to help you review your stress and at-home ways that you can begin to support your nervous system.

  • Option to go a layer deeper and pair this test with corresponding blood labs that bring great insight into your energy system and inflammation by way of looking at your copper & iron status.

 

Our Approach

I am a clinically trained psychotherapist, who learned along with education and practicum hours that one's health challenges can be at the root of their psychological obstacles. I view the body and mind from a holistic perspective and dive deep with my clients to root out the core imbalances that keep them from progressing in the healing of their body and mind.


Resources:

  1. Temp & Pulse Tracker, Cheat Sheet, here

  2. Grab your health gadgets, here

  3. Blog: HTMA - A Game Changer for Health, here

  4. Reboot: HTMA Package, here



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