We've Got Your Number!
New Tool Promotes Healthy Weight Loss
The nutrition department at Bastyr Center for Natural Health is pleased to announce a new diagnostic service available to help promote healthy weight loss. Bastyr Center recently acquired a device called an indirect calorimeter, which measures a patient's resting metabolic rate, giving the patient and their nutrition team a powerful new tool as they work toward healthy weight management.
What is an indirect calorimeter?
Frequently referred to by its brand name MedGem, the indirect calorimeter measures a patient's exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide to gauge their energy consumption. Bastyr Center nutrition teams can use the MedGem to learn how many calories each individual patient needs and tailor treatment accordingly. Bastyr Center clinical supervisor Kelly Morrow, MS, RD, CD, explains, "When bodies make energy, we use oxygen and put off carbon dioxide, so the measurement correlates with how many calories we burn." Morrow points out that without a diagnostic device like the MedGem, nutrition professionals rely on predictive equations to estimate a patient's caloric need. The equations include factors such as patient height, weight, gender and age to estimate a person's caloric need, but estimates become less accurate with patients who lie on the ends of the spectrum or who have metabolic issues such as hypothyroidism. The MedGem gives nutritionists a result that is specific to each individual patient, no matter their condition or where they lie along an equation's spectrum. Morrow says, "We're really excited about the MedGem because it allows us to offer a much more personalized and accurate estimation of calorie needs."
How does it work?
Before undergoing the test, patients are required to abstain from food and caffeine for four hours. Morrow also recommends that patients take the test in the morning to provide the most accurate reading of their resting metabolic rate. During the appointment, patients insert a small mouthpiece (similar to a snorkel mouthpiece) into the mouth, wear a nose plug and breathe through the device for 10 minutes while lying still. (You can see a video of the MedGem in Action at the Microlife web site.) Once the nutrition team is aware of a person's individual calorie needs, it can work with the patient to outline a personalized diet plan to help them reach their own ideal healthy weight.
Make an appointment today with a Bastyr Center nutrition team to learn your specific calorie needs and start on the road to healthy weight management.