Dr. Darren Schmidt – Optimizing Your Health with Nutritional Healing

Dr. Darren Schmidt – Optimizing Your Health with Nutritional Healing

If you’ve been diagnosed with a chronic disease and have come up short on getting to the root cause with conventional medicine, then perhaps you’re looking in the wrong place.  Conventional medicine is great for acute injuries and infections, however, we must not overlook the aspect of nutritional healing through diet and targeted supplementation guided by functional testing as Dr. Darren Schmidt of The Nutritional Healing Center of Ann Arbor, MI offers in his practice.

Dr. Darren Schmidt has been a practicing chiropractor since 1997, who shifted his practice in 2005 to stop taking insurance to be able to help his patients more. Ironic, right? By letting go of the insurance restrictions and hoops to jump through, he was able to spend more time researching and better understand why his patients with chronic disease were not healing. He now spends time daily studying new information and links that are passed on through his patients.

In addition to running a full-time nutritional healing practice, he also runs The Good Fat Company and producing The Good Fat Bar and publishing a magazine Good Fat Life with Terry Duperon and Sherri Richards

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In this podcast you’ll learn:

  • About Dr. Darren Schmidt’s initial visits include a diet assessment and a muscle testing biofeedback method to do a quick assessment of what is going on in the body [5:35]
  • That the muscle testing he uses to gives a quick assessment in about 5 minutes and then he uses conventional labs to explore more of what is going on in the body [6:20]
  • How a VLDL >19 can indicate too many carbs or too many carbs + fat in the diet [7:00]
  • That triglycerides drop down first in ketosis, and that LDL is like a bus shuttling the fat. In ketosis, the body is using fats for fuel and so you can lower a very high triglyceride level to really good levels with dietary changes like a low-carb/high-fat diet. The LDL might go up in ketosis but it doesn’t matter the same way it does on a Standard American Diet [8:15]
  • About the Minnesota Coronary Experiment involving 9000 people in a controlled institution in the 70s who lowered their fat intake and the LDL went down over the course of years but it did not change their rate of heart attacks or heart disease. It did, however, raise all rate mortality and cancer [8:50]
  • How Dr. Darren Schmidt takes the average person and gets them into ketosis using Cronometer with macro adjusting and weekly support, in the beginning, to help them navigate things like the “keto flu” [9:40]
  • Men will lose their belly fat and gain muscle but their body weight will remain the same on keto [13:03]
  • How you can calculate your own VLDL if it’s not included with your results by taking total cholesterol minus LDL minus HDL = VLDL [13:55]
  • How he uses functional testing like the GI MAP and Genova stool test with DNA testing, and how diet can affect microbiome diversity [15:50]
  • How people can have a virus, fungus and a parasite in the body at the same time, and that he takes a whole body approach looking at your whole “bio-burden” and then coming up with a plan to address them all for whole body healing [17:00]
  • How you have to be your own detective, and why it’s only through tracking that you can see where things are going wrong and you have an opportunity to course correct before developing chronic disease [19:55]
  • That he wants patients to test ketones and glucose at the end of the day and see that glucose is coming down and ketones are going up using a Keto Mojo meter daily [23:15]
  • That 75% of kids between 14-19 have high insulin! [23:40]
  • How home testing for insulin would be the Holy Grail of at home testing, but we’re just not there yet in terms of technology to get that to market yet [23:50]
  • That functional testing on your own for glucose and insulin can empower you to make changes long before you’re actually given a chronic disease or diabetes diagnosis and put you in control of your health [25:00]
  • How Dr. Darren Schmidt also helps his patients support their bodies to function better through digestive support so that they can do a ketogenic diet and not have trouble digesting fats, etc. [26:10]
  • About how bad canola and other seed oils are for your health [27:15]
  • How Twitter poster Tucker Goodrich started improving his health by stopping seed oils, and how he talks about how China and India eat 70% of their calories from carbs which have stayed the same for decades. The big change for them over time was the introduction of seed oils which have skyrocketed diabesity, and heart disease rates, by getting rid of lard and coconut oil and replacing it with seed oils [28:00]
  • How eating a high-fat, low-carb diet can be great for your health but the quality of the fats can play a huge part in whether or not you’re actually promoting health [29:10]
  • How Nutrition Coalition Nina Teicholz is trying to get really good scientist on the panel to update food guidelines in 2020 [30:30]
  • About his company, The Good Fat Company created with a friend in the grocery industry. They created a bar that was high in fat and protein and low in carbs, and now they make the Good Fat Life Bar and publish Good Fat Life Magazine with Terry Duperon and Sherri Richards [30:55]
  • Clinical Pearl #1 from Dr. Darren Schmidt –
    • After he was diagnosed with black mold poisoning 3 years ago, he found the mechanism of chronic disease which was studied extensively from the 1840s to after WWII and it was forgotten after 1960, which he talks about extensively in his YouTube channel, but include:[32:42]
      • Pathogens
      • Toxins
      • Excess sugar consumption
    • Then address the mechanism of chronic disease and the symptoms that come from organ dysfunction. In his case the black mold caused heart pain, so he treated the heart and fed it and the muscles to get rid of the pain.
  • Clinical Pearl #2 – The importance of eating glands like liver, which you can take in pill form if you don’t like the idea of eating organ meats such as Heritage Glandulars or Ancestral Health
    • Glandulars can’t be taken every day for the rest of your life but must be cycled due to the hormonal component of the glands [35:55]
  • Toxins-heavy metal urine tests, Quicksilver Scientific has a test, chemical toxicity testing and then using something like Systemic Formulas detox box kits, or Cellcore Biosciences kits and retesting to make sure it’s cleared [36:30]
  • That it can take 2-5 years to get metals out and in some cases, he’s seen parasites  take a year and a half to clear [38:15]
  • Why biofeedback helps you develop an awareness of what is working and what is not by listening to your body more to optimize your health [39:12]
  • Clinical Pearl #3 – Fitness nutrition is human nutrition. The largest organ in the body is the muscles so you need to feed them properly. If your muscles are achy or cramping too much that means your whole physiology is off [40:45]
  • Clinical Pearl #4 – If your body is not taking in a particular nutrient, you can’t blame the food all the time, you have to look at your own physiology and what is not being supported [42:30]

References

Minnesota Coronary Experiment

The Nutritional Healing Center of Ann Arbor

Good Fat Life Magazine

Our Partners:

Learn more about LEVL, a clinical-grade ketone breath meter, which measures your level of fat-burning and ketosis through a simple breath. Find out more at HeadsUpHealth.com/LEVL.

You can learn more about the Oura ring, a state of the art ring that can track sleep cycle analysis, activity, and recovery at HeadsUpHealth.com/Oura.

Learn more about Keto-Mojo, a highly accurate and affordable device for testing blood sugar and blood ketones. Check it out at HeadsUpHealth.com/Ketomojo.

All of these amazing products are integrated with Heads Up Health.

They all allow you to quantify your health in novel and powerful ways.

Thank you to our partners!

About Heads Up Health

Heads Up Health is a website designed to empower individuals who want to take a self-directed approach to managing their health. Instantly centralize your medical records, connect your favorite devices and apps (e.g., Oura, MyFitnessPal, Keto-Mojo, FitBit, Apple Health, MyMacros+, Withings and many more) and use your data to optimize your health.

Click on the button below to start your free 30-day trial now!

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Talking Adrenal Fatigue and Circadian Rhythm with Dr. Joel Rosen

Talking Adrenal Fatigue and Circadian Rhythm with Dr. Joel Rosen

After realizing he was suffering from adrenal fatigue and finding a serious lack of practical, understandable, and legitimate information out there, Dr. Joel Rosen found his way to recovery and decided to help others who were suffering the same fate. In today’s show, he shares how a dysregulated circadian rhythm can contribute to so many of the symptoms most everyone is suffering from today from fatigue to brain fog, insomnia, impatience, stress, and more, with the root cause being adrenal fatigue.

Taking direction on an ailment from someone who has been there, especially with something like adrenal fatigue can be so supportive. Considering that mainstream medicine doesn’t even recognize it as a legitimate diagnosis, makes it harder to find practitioners who can support you in this little known, but very common energy problem known as adrenal fatigue.

Dr. Joel Rosen runs a private practice in Florida focused around adrenal fatigue recovery, and is known not only as a functional medicine and health expert, but he’s also a data tracker as well.  He knows the importance of tracking the data to see what is working, and using that data to course correct when things are ‘off’. 

You can find Dr. Joel Rosen on Instagram, YouTube, his Podcast The Truth About Adrenal Fatigue, and his website.

Join Dave Korsunsky, Founder of Heads Up Health as he sits down with Dr. Joel Rosen and talks all things adrenal fatigue related in today’s episode.

Listen in iTunes!

This podcast is brought to you by Heads Up Health, a web app designed to help you centrally track all of your vital health data. Instantly synchronize your medical records, connect your favorite health devices and apps and use your data to optimize your health!

Click on the button below to start your free 30-day trial. Or, read on for more information about our latest podcast episode!

START TRACKING!

In this podcast you’ll learn:

  • About Dr. Joel Rosen’s own experience with adrenal fatigue and how he was introduced to the term adrenal fatigue that would change the course of his professional career [3:40]
  • How saliva testing can reveal how your cortisol rhythm can get backward affecting sleep and energy production [5:10]
  • About the HPA – Axis and what it is [6:35]
  • That adrenal fatigue is not accepted by mainstream medicine as a legitimate diagnosis, which is why you may not have heard of it before [7:00]
  • What the ACTH Test shows and how its not useful in diagnosing adrenal fatigue which is different than adrenal failure [7:40]
  • The difference between a broken adrenal system vs. a broken energy production system [9:00]
  • How the body’s system of priorities change as the adrenal response lessens [10:30]
  • The HPA Axis is the brain’s perception of the stress which is actually called the A-HPA Axis. The Amygdala -> Hypothalamus -> pituitary -> Adrenals and the negative feedback loop which tells the system to turn on and off as needed, and how with repeated stress, the system breaks down in it’s functioning [11:00]
  • About the thermostat analogy of the adrenals negative feedback loop functioning [12:02]
  • How finding the underlying issues that are stressing your body are key to recoveries, such as gut imbalances, and underlying infections, lifestyle changes, blood sugar regulation, spiritual support, nutrition [13:15]
  • Hans Selye in the 1960s identified the initial triad of things that happen to the adrenals as [15:00]
    • The adrenals hypertrophy or get bigger
    • Thymus gland gets smaller
    • Erosive ulcers/linings
  • How supporting spirituality can be a limiting factor when you’ve addressed the other pieces, and prevent healing. Healing adrenal fatigue is not a quick fix [16:00]
  • That it comes down to perception and you need awareness of that. “I am in control of that most important voice at the highest level” has to be your mindset to overcome it [18:10]
  • That high levels of cortisol for long periods of time messes up your front part of your brain affecting focus, concentration, sequential planning, moral behaviors, etc.[20:02]
  • A simple thing to help lower stress is starting a gratitude list daily [21:10]
  • Some of the simple things you can do to help a broken stress system are to reset your circadian rhythm by living with nature by waking with the sun and limit light exposure after dark [21:40]
  • About Dave’s routine for winding down at the end of the day to lower his own cortisol levels and maintaining the natural circadian rhythms that he starts an hour before bed [22:30]
  • How to reset your sleep by eating within a 12-hour window, finishing meals well before bedtime, meditating, getting light during the day, limiting light after dark, use your technology to track and make tweaks that are specific to you to find out what works for you [24:20]
  • What tests Dr. Joel Rosen suggests testing for gut problems to support adrenal fatigue, and how the Secretory IgA test can be an indicator for more testing in a saliva panel [27:50]
  • That low cholesterol is a red flag for an absorption issue. Low protein, albumin, globulin, BUN, chloride, enzymes, are all indications of protein absorption issues secondary to microbes [29:00]
  • GI MAP for DNA mapping can show more than some of the older GI tests, which may miss imbalances picked up in the GI MAP [30:00]
  • Start testing your blood sugar surrounding your meals to see if that could be affecting your adrenals [31:20]
  • Sleep tracking can also help you to realize what is actually happening in your body, and you can make changes in your lifestyle and get feedback on how well changes are working for you [31:47]
  • HRV measures your sympathetic response system.  The higher the heart rate variability the better your ability to adapt to stress [32:20]
  • Regarding meditation and why the goal is not just for your mind to go blank, but to shift into a rest and digest state [34:30]
  • That if you focus too hard on the data tracking it can be counteractive, so track but don’t obsess [36:30]
  • How your readiness score with the Oura ring or other tracking devices is really relative to you and your normal, and understanding how to interpret the data is really important to keep cortisol levels normal [37:50]

References

Our Partners:

Learn more about LEVL, a clinical-grade ketone breath meter, which measures your level of fat-burning and ketosis through a simple breath. Find out more at HeadsUpHealth.com/LEVL.

You can learn more about the Oura ring, a state of the art ring that can track sleep cycle analysis, activity, and recovery at HeadsUpHealth.com/Oura.

Learn more about Keto-Mojo, a highly accurate and affordable device for testing blood sugar and blood ketones. Check it out at HeadsUpHealth.com/Ketomojo.

All of these amazing products are integrated with Heads Up Health.

They all allow you to quantify your health in novel and powerful ways.

Thank you to our partners!

About Heads Up Health

Heads Up Health is a website designed to empower individuals who want to take a self-directed approach to managing their health. Instantly centralize your medical records, connect your favorite devices and apps (e.g., Oura, MyFitnessPal, Keto-Mojo, FitBit, Apple Health, MyMacros+, Withings and many more) and use your data to optimize your health.

Click on the button below to start your free 30-day trial now!

START TRACKING!

 

Whittling Down Waist Size Using the Glucose Ketone Index with Keto-Mojo and Heads Up Health

Whittling Down Waist Size Using the Glucose Ketone Index with Keto-Mojo and Heads Up Health

The real power in using Heads Up Health with Keto-Mojo is being able to track and correlate biomarkers you care about, such as the GKI (Glucose Ketone Index) with other major health metrics, like body measurements.

The leader in consumer software for personal health data analytics, Heads Up Health allows you to see your progress over weeks, month, years — all in one place. When used together with Keto-Mojo, the leader in affordable, accurate blood glucose and ketone testing meters, they’re a powerful force for helping you get into ketosis, maintain keto-adaptation, and see the big picture of your metabolic health and body composition.

For example, our Social Media Manager, and avid Heads Up Health user, Lily Chien-Davis, correlated her GKI with her waist circumference measurements, whittling down her waist size while staying keto-adapted.

In the graph above, Lily shares how she used Keto-Mojo to track her glucose and ketones over the past 12 months, uploading those results to Heads Up Health where we automatically calculate the glucose-ketone index (GKI), a powerful biomarker for tracking your metabolic health. 

The graph speaks for itself as Lily slashed over five inches off her waist circumference!

Lily first discovered the glucose ketones index as a biomarker when her husband was diagnosed with cancer in 2014. They used a therapeutic ketogenic diet as an adjunct to conventional treatment, consulting with Miriam Kalamian [1] and following the advice of cancer researcher, author [2] and inventor of the GKI, Thomas N Seyfried and his advice to keep the glucose ketone index low, “tracking the ratio of blood glucose to ketones as a single value”, in an effort to blast the tumors near her husband’s aorta. [3]

As they both carefully monitored his glucose ketone index and watched his tumors rapidly shrink, she began eating keto too, surprised, as someone diagnosed with pre-diabetes, to watch her own HbA1c go down, from 5.9% to 5.2%. In 2016, she discovered Heads Up Health while listening to keto podcasts (i.e., Jimmy Moore, Ketovangelist, 2 Keto Dudes). Both she and her husband immediately signed up, excited to track their glucose, ketones, and GKI alongside their medical records and body composition data, such as weight and waist size.

Since then, Lily has never looked back.

Instead of using a scale to track her weight every day, which can be maddening because weight loss is never linear, she tracks her GKI alongside her waist circumference and weight once a month using our measurements feature. In the beginning she also tracked her macros, but now relies solely on eating an intuitive keto-paleo and sometimes carnivore diet, preferring to track her GKI regularly, using the graphing feature in Heads Up Health’s Analyzer to reflect on her progress, helping her stay motivated.

Here’s Lily’s before/after photos and you can see how great she looks. Most importantly, she FEELS awesome, both mentally and physically.

“Tracking with Keto-Mojo and Heads Up Health helped me to stay in ketosis and keto-adapted for over a year, giving me accountability and motivation to keep keto-ing on. Although I’m not completely where I’d like to be just yet, I’m free of all prescription meds, happier and healthier than I’ve ever been. My husband is now almost 4 years in remission and we recently sold our house to move into, travel and worldschool our kid in a RV, a dream we hatched up during long days of chemo infusions. People say keto is restrictive, that it’s a fad diet, but because I’ve used it for mental and physical health, it’s just a way of life for me now. The rest — feeling younger, more energy to actually want to exercise, mental clarity, and better body composition — is just icing on the cake!” – Lily Chien-Davis

It takes a lot of courage to share this information so please give Lily a shout-out on Instagram (@hellbentonbliss). We love you Lily!

Ready to get started? Enter your first set of baseline measurements, get yourself into nutritional ketosis and track your success!

We’ve included a little video tutorial below to help you get started.

Questions? Hit us up!

Keto on!

Dave Korsunsky | Founder

 

VIDEO: Gimme that Mojo! Tracking the GKI and Your Waist Circumference

[1] Miriam Kalamian

[2] Cancer as a Metabolic Disease by Thomas N. Seyfried, PhD

[2] The glucose ketone index calculator: a simple tool to monitor therapeutic efficacy for metabolic management of brain cancer

 

Adventures in Biohacking with Quantified Bob (aka Bob Troia)

Adventures in Biohacking with Quantified Bob (aka Bob Troia)

Bob Troia, aka Quantified Bob, is the ultimate biohacker, tracking everything from weight, blood pressure – the usual things to glucose, hormones, HRV, effects of light therapy, and electric stimulation and more. On his blog, you’ll find his most popular post Mimicking the Fasting Mimicking Diet – My 5-day experiment which explains how he tricks his body into reproducing the effects of fasting while still eating!  How does one go about figuring out how this works? By testing, tracking, and understanding how to become the ultimate biohacker.

Bob describes himself as entrepreneur, biohacker, and self-quantification geek focused on the intersection of data-driven citizen science, health and wellness, human performance, longevity, and personal optimization. He offers consulting as well as coaching which you can learn more about through his website. You can also follow him on  Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or Linkedin.

For those of you already tracking your health metrics through various devices, connect them easily to Heads Up Health to help you understand how to biohack your way to health in an increasingly unhealthy world.

Listen in iTunes!

This podcast is brought to you by Heads Up Health, a web app designed to help you centrally track all of your vital health data. Instantly synchronize your medical records, connect your favorite health devices and apps and use your data to optimize your health!

Click on the button below to start your free 30-day trial. Or, read on for more information about our latest podcast episode!

START TRACKING!

In this podcast you’ll learn:

  • How Bob started by documenting on his site about 6 years ago what his own data was showing, and people began wanting to replicate his experiments (n=1) [4:55]
  • About his epic fails. Bob does a lot of research before doing any of his experiences but has ended up in the hospital just based on a lack of knowledge so use caution when doing your own experiments and research [10:00]
  • How he used light therapy- infrared ordered from China and shined lights (120 watts) on his head for 20 min (too long) and went to work. 30 minutes later and he blinked while reading an email and looked up to a completely garbled screen. Something was stimulated, up or down-regulated, but still not sure what exactly happened [11:03]
  • Can have minor burns etc. from some experiments with biohacking fails. One lesson learned the hard way – too much MCT oil = running to the bathroom [13:00]
  • He learned nootropics don’t work for him, but they can be highly effective for others. This is why tracking can be beneficial to figure out what works for you [13:45]
  • About the PoV device and how it works to stimulate the muscles to override what your body is doing from an injury pattern [14:15]
  • How photobiomodulation can be used for mitochondrial upcharge before a workout or as a recovery tool. There are lots of variation between devices and what the effects can be [15:45]
  • How things that stimulate mitochondrial health are top of mind right now. There currently is no test that you can easily order to check these levels; however, there are some energy tests that you can use as a proxy to check the cellular energy of the body [17:45]
  • How you can use biohacking tools to optimize energy production and health in a toxic world to thrive [19:00]
  • Why it’s important to show up and meet the world where it is to elevate your health to the best possible [19:45]
  • Top blog post on Quantified Bob’s website [20:25]
    • Fasting Mimicking Diet which walks people through the diet, including nutrient guidelines, calculations, and diet plan, as well as the results of a 5-day experiment. He tracked glucose, blood pressure, sleep, HRV, and figured out which ones were worth tracking.
      • Benefits – shifting sympathetic to parasympathetic
      • Checked immune and growth markers
      • Had a dramatic uptick in testosterone
      • Saw elevated cortisol due to the stress on the body, but overall things were still better
      • He had vivid dreams, running on ketones in therapeutic ketosis rather than nutritional ketosis
      • How water fasting for 2-3 days produces a similar effect, but it’s not enough to get to the crazy dreams
  • The top metric Quantified Bob thinks is vital for tracking-GLUCOSE! [29:40]
  • Elite HRV CorSense’s ease of use and how it’s useful to track in addition to glucose [31:05]
  • Continuous glucose monitors and how they can provide so much information, but the technology is still a ways off for non-invasive technology for the general public to utilize. They show what’s happening at night for example, that you can’t easily monitor when you’re sleeping.  The pluses and minuses of what’s currently available on the market [32:43]
  • Quantified Bob talks about some of the devices and companies he has created and launched into the world [38:00 ]

 

References

 

Our Partners:

Learn more about LEVL, a clinical-grade ketone breath meter, which measures your level of fat-burning and ketosis through a simple breath. Find out more at HeadsUpHealth.com/LEVL.

You can learn more about the Oura ring, a state of the art ring that can track sleep cycle analysis, activity, and recovery at HeadsUpHealth.com/Oura.

Learn more about Keto-Mojo, a highly accurate and affordable device for testing blood sugar and blood ketones. Check it out at HeadsUpHealth.com/Ketomojo.

All of these amazing products are integrated with Heads Up Health.

They all allow you to quantify your health in novel and powerful ways.

Thank you to our partners!

About Heads Up Health

Heads Up Health is a website designed to empower individuals who want to take a self-directed approach to managing their health. Instantly centralize your medical records, connect your favorite devices and apps (e.g., Oura, MyFitnessPal, Keto-Mojo, FitBit, Apple Health, MyMacros+, Withings and many more) and use your data to optimize your health.

Click on the button below to start your free 30-day trial now

START TRACKING!

 

Tracking the Oura HRV Coefficient of Variation (HRV CV)

Tracking the Oura HRV Coefficient of Variation (HRV CV)

Written by Andrew Flatt, Dave Korsunsky and Chuck Hazzard

Overview

We’ve released an experimental feature in Heads Up Health which automatically calculates the HRV coefficient of variation (CV) based on the data from your Oura ring.

Why track HRV CV?

Looking at daily HRV readings enables you to note short-term fluctuations relative to your baseline. This can be useful for observing the effects of various stressors and lifestyle factors which can help inform on behavior-modification strategies to optimize your HRV.

Due to daily fluctuations, an isolated (i.e., single time-point) HRV measure may not truly reflect an individual’s typical HRV. Thus, some researchers and practitioners are moving towards averaging a series of daily measures to better characterize one’s autonomic activity. In turn, most HRV apps are now reporting a rolling weekly average of your HRV values.

Tracking the rolling weekly average provides a better indication of whether your HRV is actually changing in a given direction. In addition, instead of reacting to an isolated change in HRV, a more conservative and convenient approach would be to react only when the rolling average starts to change. One low HRV reading may not be of much concern and would have little impact on the weekly average. However, a series of low scores will reduce the rolling average and may indicate that it’s time to do something about it.

Along with your rolling weekly HRV average, further insight can be gained by monitoring the Coefficient of Variation (CV) among the rolling HRV values. This is because the magnitude of HRV fluctuations can change from week to week, with or without out much change in the rolling average. How much your HRV fluctuates on a day-to-day basis is quite meaningful. Large fluctuations increase the CV while smaller fluctuations lower it.

Interpreting HRV Coefficient of Variation (HRV CV) values

Typical HRV CV values range from 2 – 20%. If we were to take a random sample of adults and measure their HRV for a week, we would probably find that individuals who are younger, healthier (i.e., without disease), leaner and more aerobically fit will fall on the lower end of that range and less-healthy individuals on the higher end.

Regardless of what your CV is at a given time, it’s important to know that it can and will change. Now, whether an increase or decrease in your CV should be interpreted as good or bad is entirely context-dependent. We’ll use some practical examples to explain.

Among healthy individuals, an increased CV is typically associated with greater stress, fatigue, and lower fitness. Vice versa for a lower CV. Thus, the CV is a useful value for assessing adaptation to a new fitness program or lifestyle change. For example, unfamiliar stress will typically cause greater fluctuations in HRV (i.e., increased CV). However, as you become familiar with the new routine, there should be less fluctuation (i.e., decreased CV) which is a sign of positive adaptation. What was once quite stressful to your body is no longer as stressful.

Reductions in the CV are typically good, indicative of increasing fitness, lower stress (or improved stress tolerance) and so forth. There are exceptions, however. For example, suppose your new training program or work schedule is overbearing. Accumulating stress causes an initial increase in your CV. As things continue, your healthy eating habits start to wane, your sleep deteriorates and you become rundown. In this context, your HRV readings may become chronically suppressed, failing to bounce back to baseline. Thus, your rolling average has now decreased, as has your CV.

How we calculate Oura HRV CV

At the time of this post, Oura currently does not report the HRV CV in their app. Thus we are calculating this in Heads Up Health using the average HRV value during the sleep cycle as reported by the Oura app:

Oura HRV Coefficient of Variance (CV)

Figure 1: Oura HRV Average

Using these average HRV values we then calculate the Oura Coefficient of Variation (HRV CV) as follows:

  • Calculate the natural logarithm (ln) value of the nightly HRV average as reported by the Oura app (figure 1)
  • Calculate the mean and standard deviation from the prior 7-day HRV values
  • Divide the standard deviation by the mean
  • Show as a percentage

Note: Some experts in the field have suggested a more accurate method would be to look at the Oura HRV readings from the deep (slow wave) sleep states or by looking at the HRV readings just prior to waking. We are open to changing our approach here based on feedback from users. Feel free to send us your comments.

Tracking Oura CV in Heads Up Health

You can now add the Oura CV metric onto your Heads Up Health dashboard:

Add the Oura HRV CV to your dashboard

Figure 2: Add the Oura HRV CV to your dashboard

You can also graph this marker on the Analyzer next to any other health metric to explore your own correlations:

Compare your Oura HRV CV metrics on the Analyzer

Figure 3: Compare your Oura HRV CV metrics on the Analyzer

Moving the needle

Why would these numbers increase or decrease? The CV reflects the fluctuation in your day-to-day HRV over the last 7 days. High or low HRV readings relative to your baseline will, therefore, contribute to a higher CV whereas more consistent or stable HRV readings will contribute to a lower CV.

Why is lower better?

When the rolling average is stable or increasing, a lower CV reflects less disturbance in autonomic homeostasis. This may mean that you are experiencing less stress or simply coping with it better.

The CV must always be interpreted in context. For example, a night of high-quality sleep may increase HRV well-above baseline, contributing to a higher CV. In a situation like this, the elevated CV is obviously not reflecting higher stress. In addition, stress is important as it stimulates adaptation. Therefore, an increased CV is a normal response to a greater or novel stimulus. However, repeated exposure and adaptation to the stimulus should provoke smaller HRV fluctuations over time and therefore a lower CV. Here, the reduced CV reflects an improved ability to tolerate and recover from the stressor and thus a capacity for greater stress.

Important lifestyle factors which can affect HRV CV

Any factor that alters HRV from baseline contributes to an increased CV. Common factors that affect HRV include:

  • Travel/jet lag
  • Physical stress such as high-intensity exercise
  • Mental and emotional stress
  • Over-training / injury
  • Sleep quality and quantity
  • Illness
  • Drastic changes to daily routines
  • Pain
  • Blood sugar fluctuations
  • Hydration

Heads Up Health can help you holistically track these other lifestyle factors to help identify areas that need attention.

Summary

The HRV CV is another powerful biomarker we can use to further understand how we are managing the stressors in our daily lives. Heads Up Health now supports this metric. This is an initial implementation and we will further refine this feature as required.

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References and Recommended Reading on the CV

Flatt, A.A. Improving HRV Data Interpretation with the Coefficient of Variation https://elitehrv.com/improving-hrv-data-interpretation-coefficient-variation

Buchheit, M., Mendez-Villanueva, A., Quod, M. J., Poulos, N., & Bourdon, P. (2010). Determinants of the variability of heart rate measures during a competitive period in young soccer players. European journal of applied physiology, 109(5), 869-878.

Flatt, A. A., & Howells, D. (2019). Effects of varying training load on heart rate variability and running performance among an olympic rugby sevens team. Journal of science and medicine in sport, 22(2), 222-226.

Flatt, A. A., Esco, M. R., Allen, J. R., Robinson, J. B., Earley, R. L., Fedewa, M. V., … & Wingo, J. E. (2018). Heart rate variability and training load among national collegiate athletic association division 1 college football players throughout spring camp. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 32(11), 3127-3134.

Flatt, A. A., & Esco, M. R. (2016). Evaluating individual training adaptation with smartphone-derived heart rate variability in a collegiate female soccer team. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 30(2), 378-385.

Flatt, A. A., Hornikel, B., & Esco, M. R. (2017). Heart rate variability and psychometric responses to overload and tapering in collegiate sprint-swimmers. Journal of science and medicine in sport, 20(6), 606-610.

Flatt, A. A., Esco, M. R., Nakamura, F. Y., & Plews, D. J. (2017). Interpreting daily heart rate variability changes in collegiate female soccer players. J. Sports Med. Phys. Fitness, 57, 907-915.

Flatt, A. A., & Esco, M. R. (2015). Smartphone-derived heart-rate variability and training load in a women’s soccer team. International journal of sports physiology and performance, 10(8), 994-1000.

Nakamura, F. Y., Pereira, L. A., Rabelo, F. N., Flatt, A. A., Esco, M. R., Bertollo, M., & Loturco, I. (2016). Monitoring weekly heart rate variability in futsal players during the preseason: the importance of maintaining high vagal activity. Journal of sports sciences, 34(24), 2262-2268.

Plews, D. J., Laursen, P. B., Kilding, A. E., & Buchheit, M. (2012). Heart rate variability in elite triathletes, is variation in variability the key to effective training? A case comparison. European journal of applied physiology, 112(11), 3729-3741.

Tonello, L., Reichert, F. F., Oliveira-Silva, I., Del Rosso, S., Leicht, A. S., & Boullosa, D. A. (2016). Correlates of heart rate measures with incidental physical activity and cardiorespiratory fitness in overweight female workers. Frontiers in physiology, 6, 405.