R-R Interval Study

The R-R interval study is a simple, affordable test of the vagus nerve, and it should be part of your intial diabetes physical examination.  It is performed like an ordinary EKG, but with only 3 leads.

The vagus nerve is the main control of the “automatic pilot” nervous functions, including heart rate and digestion.  It can be injured by chronic high blood sugar, causing reduced stomach activity (gastroparesis), rapid heart rate and erection problems.  Fortunately it can recover from normalizing your blood sugar.

The R-R Study tests the variation in your heart rate between inhaling and exhaling.  It is a good indicator of blood sugar complications, especially gastroparesis, and more importantly, it shows improvement after aggressive blood sugar control.   I usually perform it once on all new patients and later after 12-18 months.

2 Responses to R-R Interval Study

  1. dolly paouga says:

    I have been diagnosed with gastreoparesis by my doctor from an upper GI and a few symptoms. I have bloating, stomach spasms, early satiety, etc. A few questions. One is the R-R Interval Test on Vargus Nerve easy to do? Which type of doctor is most familiar with this test? Is the test covered under Medicaid/Medicare.
    My blood sugars are typically normal except for the overnight. However, my symptoms are really ScARED,

  2. drneilmages says:

    It is probably only rarely used, and I do not know if it’s covered by Medicare. (I doubt it). I would work with your doctor to do everything you can to get your blood sugars normal and that might help over several months. I recommend “Diabetes Solution” by Bernstein. Good luck.
    Dr Mages

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