Heart Health and HRV – AHA! Detoxify Discovery for April 2024

March 21, 2024 – “How’s your heart?” is a current TV commercial pitch. There are credit card-sized devices along with health fit watches and smart beds that measure heart beats and something called HRV or Heart Rate Variability. The trends over time on the HRV numbers seem to be unique to each individual but low HRV can be associated with a suppressed immunity against stress. Unfortunately, there is no reliable diagnostic on predicting heart disease. An EKG (electrocardiogram) can measure the P Wave* which may detect arterial fibrillation. Conversely, HRV only measures the RR Interval between heartbeats.

There is interesting research, however, on the implications of HRV in elderly. In a ten-year follow-up of over 300 patients monitoring their history of heart disease, smoking, medication, blood cholesterol, glucose concentrations and HRV, the latter was the top predictor of mortality (i.e., cardiovascular and cerebrovascular death occurrences but not the incidence of cancer).

How Does HRV Relate to My Overall Health?

Heartbeats is the number of times the heart beats in a minute. But the timing between heartbeats can vary somewhat, slightly earlier or later compared to others. Smart devices measure HRV usually at rest, by using the standard deviation of the beat-to-beat measurements or the “RR Interval” shown in the illustration above. The resulting number is also known as SDNN (standard deviation of normal-to-normal inter-beat intervals measured in milliseconds).

Your HRV is controlled by your automatic nervous system (ANS) and is influenced by factors such as stress, sleep, activities, and mood. The higher the number supposedly the more favorable interpretation of good health in recovering from stress.

Toxic Stress and Emotional Trauma

In her “The Weight of Worry”, Episode 5 of the Heavy Docuseries, Dr. Wendy Myers of Myers Detox, opined that HRV is a good predictor of emotional stress and possibly exposure to toxins. Dr. Wendy indicated that mitochondria not only responds to internal body stresses (physical and emotional) but also external stresses. Trauma can cause both the fascia and mitochondria to remain in a cellular defense mode and for the latter, suspend the production of ATP, the essential energy needed for the body’s healing recovery.

How to Improve on My HRV Score?

HRV, measured while sleeping, seems to be an indicator of  overnight recovery, potential energy levels and immunity strength. Daily tracking of your HRV gives a personalized trend that may indicate changes in stress levels or illness. Certain wellness behaviors may improve HRV scores such as restful sleep, wind-down before sleeping, exercise, healthy eating, good hydration, and other stress relievers (e.g., meditation and enjoying outdoors).

All of the 2024 “AHA! Detoxify” Series can be found here.

Sharing AHA! Discoveries

Do you have a “AHA!” Discovery to share for a longer and healthier life or a cleaner environment? Or, do you have a discovery story to share on a different topic?

Email inquiries@aquanew.com. This can be any idea or endeavor that may help others in their own revelation or better quality of life. Alternatively, want to nominate someone with special skills of creativity and innovation? Let us know!

* Source from GE Healthcare including the illustration above: “A normal heartbeat consists of one P wave (atrial activity) and one QRS complex (ventricular activity). In atrial fibrillation, abnormal electrical activity results in an irregularly irregular rhythm (statistics of R-R interval sequences are different from those with irregular rhythm of other origin) with the absence of P waves. The irregular atrial activity causes rapid contractions of the atrium, incomplete emptying of the atrium and improper filling of the ventricles.”