Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR)
What is RMR?
RMR stands for Resting Metabolic Rate. In general, the resting metabolic rate measures how many calories the body burns at rest. More precisely, it relates to a person’s energy expenditure when not performing physical activities.
The body expends energy even when not performing physical tasks. It also uses energy stores to accommodate numerous internal activities, such as circulating blood through the body, breathing, and cellular repair. This energy usage burns calories. RMR testing measures how many calories the body uses for these basic functions.
The RMR test is a non-invasive test. The machine we use during this test not only captures but analyzes the consumption of the patients’ breath. This helps to determine the patients’ oxygen consumption as well as measuring the rate at which they consume energy.
What Can RMR Help Diagnose?
Metabolism is an essential function for weight management and general health. Measuring resting metabolic rate enables your doctor to determine whether metabolism is fast or slow. Furthermore, RMR testing reveals if the body utilizes carbohydrates or fats for energy. This information often helps to determine the number of calories a person needs to maintain and how many the person may need to lose or gain weight. In endocrinology, RMR is valuable to the diagnosis and management of conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, overactive thyroid, mitochondrial disorders, and COPD.
What Determines Resting Metabolic Rate?
Resting metabolic rate indicates caloric burn during rest. The measurement is obtained by assessing the amount of oxygen the body uses in relation to the amount of carbon dioxide it produces during normal breathing. Almost all of the energetic output in the body stems from aerobic metabolism, which utilizes oxygen. Oxygen combines with fats and carbohydrates to produce energy within the tissues of the body. This creates energy that supports tissues and organs. When fats and carbohydrates are used to create energy, the result is carbon dioxide. Therefore, measuring the amount of carbon dioxide produced by the body translates into the percentage of energy generated by fats and carbohydrates.
How is RMR Tested?
RMR testing is convenient and comfortable. The test is conducted in a seated position. The patient wears a mask that fits over the nose and mouth to enable us to measure oxygen intake and carbon dioxide output. No extra air is provided in the mask; air in the environment seeps through. Throughout the test, a member of our team will also monitor your heart rate and rhythm through EKG leads.
Preparing for RMR Testing
It is important that patients relax during testing so that no contributing factors alter the results of the test. Patients cannot eat or drink for 5 hours before their tests. Additionally, they should not consume caffeine, however, water is acceptable. Patients should also not exercise before their RMR test. Comfortable clothing should be worn to the test to allow the patient to sit comfortably for the short process.
Once the test begins, our staff will ask patients to breathe normally into the tube of the REEVUE machine tube. The test will last around 10 minutes.
What is the REEVUE Machine?
The REEVUE machine measures the oxygen consumed and carbon dioxide produced by the body. This number, in turn, helps to calculate the number of calories that an individual burns at rest in a 24-hour period. This technique is called Indirect Calorimetry. Any patients can use the REEVUE where a measurement of metabolic rate or oxygen uptake (VO2) will be useful, including weight management and nutritional assessment services. Breathing into this portable machine for ten minutes provides a quick and accurate result for RMR.
Benefits of a Resting Metabolic Rate Test
Some of the benefits of having a Resting Metabolic Rate test include:
- Identifying whether you have a slow or fast metabolism
- Determining if you are a fat burner or sugar burner at rest
- Establishing the minimum number of calories you can eat without the risk of slowing down your metabolism
- Identifying the number of calories you burn on a rest day as well as an exercise day
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