Lumen - let the conversation begin 😋

(Ethan) #101

Yeah. I’m underwhelmed by a few things. I blew a 3 on it today. This thing can’t deal with ketogenic diets. Then the thing tells me today will be a zero-carb day—yet it says to eat 30g of carbs! Last time I checked zero isn’t equal to 30! That alone makes me want to smack the taste right out of their mouths

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #102

To/From Lumen Support:

----Original Message----
I am in ketosis and have been continuously for 3+ years. I’m getting unexpectedly high ‘carb burn’ readings from my Lumen (3-4). Is the Lumen capable of measuring RER in ketosis? If not, can the software be modified to enable it to do so? Thank you.

Hi Michael,

Thanks for reaching out.

I have analyzed your data and see Lumen could learn more about the range of your metabolism. Did you follow the calibration day guidelines regarding fasting before your morning measurement and then the high carb recommendations? It is via the calibration day that Lumen has an opportunity to learn about your unique metabolic scale.

To improve this I recommend the following -

Try to improve your flexibility by challenging your metabolism, this can be done by following the two protocols ( the order of the protocols is essential)

Protocol 1: The goal of this protocol is to stretch your metabolism and improve your flexibility toward using carbs as fuel source. Enjoy a high healthy carb meal (such as a nice bowl of legumes & rice/pasta) and then breath into your Lumen after 45-60 minutes.

Protocol 2: Keep taking your morning measurement and follow the app meal plan guidelines: The goal of this protocol is to stretch your metabolism and improve your flexibility toward using fat as fuel. For 1-3 days eat low carb and maintain a caloric deficit in your diet ( you can do so by following Lumen’s macro recommendations in your daily plan)

Try to have a good night sleep (at least 7 hours) each night.

Finish eating early each evening (ensure you fast for at least 10 hours).

And finally, relax before taking your measurements - Try taking a few breaths before you breath in order to fully relax your body and ensure you are in a non-stressful environment.

Lumen is indeed able to tell you if you are burning fat which happens well before appreciable levels of ketosis. Currently the application does not provide metrics such as RER to users, however, may do so in the future based on user requests. I recommend reading the following article

Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any further questions.

Best regards,

I plan to respond to Aviv later today after I get home from work, if I have time. I may not until tomorrow, though because Wednesday afternoons and evenings are quite busy for me.

(Polly) #103

Sorry to be silly, but surely you already know you are burning fat as your fuel source.

“In this aspect the Lumen measurements in comparison to the ketosis results provide you with deeper information about your metabolism that can help you to achieve your weight or fitness goals.”

I would love to know what the deeper information about your metabolism is, and how you can find it without resorting to carb fuelling during calibration.

(Bob M) #104

Another issue I foresee is your own body over time. For instance, 4+ years ago when I was taking data, I would get 50-70 via Ketonix and BHB ketones via a blood meter (Precision Xtra first, then Keto Mojo) of well over 1.0 mmol/L.

Now, I blow in the 20s in Ketonix and am always below 0.5mmol/l in the morning. These are some of the values I got (to the right of time, keto mojo at home, keto mojo at work, ketonix, blood sugar):


Compare with a few years ago:


This must skew the results somehow.

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #105

See above:

(Jenna Ericson) #106

I’m sorry that you’ve been sick for so long. I think you’re right to connect this to your lower ketone levels and higher RER. While it sucks that you’re sick, I think we can learn something from your n=1. You said that in the spring/summer your BrAce was between 20 and 40 and recently your BrAce was 9.4 and Lumen 2 (and I understand your Lumen readings have been higher than that too).

My understanding is that your immune response is probably requiring a pretty constant supply of glucose to fight your illness. The interesting thing is, you are still in some level of ketosis even though it is a lower level than you are used to. Maybe this means that you are producing ketones to fuel your brain while also producing glucose to feed your immune response. That’s kinda amazing if it’s what’s happening. I hope you get better soon (and not just so we can see how your numbers change) :blush:

(Ethan) #107

Well that is an interesting response. If you don’t want to eat carbs, just do a caloric deficit? I wonder what a 7-day fast would do

(Ethan) #108

Also… in the zero-carb meal plans is grilled duck breast with butter-glazed carrots. Do they know what a carb is?

(Windmill Tilter) #109


I’m really intrigued by this idea, and your use of the Ketonix to correlate BrAce with the Lumen. You mentioned the use of cough syrup, and that you’ve been ill recently, and how you wondered how that might affect readings. You could be on to something. This article might be a piece of the puzzle. It summarizes ways in which certain foods and medications and other factors can affect BrACE levels within the body:

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #110

I think I’ve discovered a significant effect over the past two days re medication that affects RER, at least as measured by the Lumen.

As mentioned previously, I was taking some fairly large doses of Dayquil and Nyquil, both liquid and caplets to control my coughing. It enabled me to go to work and function. I stopped all *quil as of Feb17, prior to 4pm. I tested 0218: at 4pm, 7pm and 9pm. Results were all 2 on the Lumen. So my guess is that most of whatever the cough syrup was dumping into my system was metabolized out. I don’t think all of it yet, otherwise I suspect I would have blown 1s not 2s.

Last night (Feb18) before bed at 11pm I took a single Mucinex tablet. I also ate about 5 grams of raw ginger root just before taking the tablet. Today, I ate about 20-25 grams of raw ginger root (4-5 grams of carbs total) during my work shift to keep coughing under control. It worked, however, I’ve tested 3 times today, 0219: at 5am, 3:30pm and 5pm. Results were all 3 on the Lumen. So either the Mucinex and/or ginger root have boosted CO2 again. I hope not as much as the cough syrup.

I am off both tomorrow and Friday, so I do not have to medicate myself to prevent coughing. I am hoping that a couple of ‘clean’ days will burn out whatever is still lingering. Also, the wife and I are going to our local rec center tonight, she for swim lesson and I for the sauna and hot tub. So maybe I’ll blow some 1s before the weekend. :+1:

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #111

I’ve been wondering about ‘calibration’ and I think I’ve figured out what’s going on. First off, what’s to ‘calibrate’? If you measure O2 in and CO2 out, RER is just the mathematical ratio of those two values somewhere within the range of .70 to 1.0.

So why didn’t Lumen just design and build a device that calculates absolute RER? I think because the market for such a device would be fairly limited. Us gadget guys and gals, maybe some university labs and training facilities and a few top athletes.

But if you build such a device how do you market it (and make big bucks) to a wider audience who probably don’t know and likely don’t care what RER is? But who do care about losing weight and probably need help to do it. You market a consulting service based on using said device as a yard stick and gimmick.

Average overweight Joe and Jill eating some variation of SAD don’t have a realistic RER range much beyond .80 - .90 and probably spend most of their lives at .85. So there’s really no need to display the absolute range of RER. You only have to give Joe and Jill something attractive and encouraging to look at multiple times per day.

Thus: Calibration! You have Joe and Jill fast overnight to get whatever the lowest RER they can blow. If they actually get into ketosis, great. But it’s not necessary, we just need a relative min value. Then during the day we have Joe and Jill carb up to get whatever highest RER they can blow by the end of the day. Again the absolute number does not matter, we just need a relative max value. Then our ‘smart’ software takes the min and max values, divides the range into 5 equal segments. Voilà! A customized, calibrated RER value set.

So what happens when some smart aleck like me comes along who’s been in ketosis for 3+ years and has no intention of carbing up. The device still calibrates a min and max value and divides the range into 5 equal segments. But in my case the range is probably something like .72 - .76.

What do you think? Plausible?

Mike's Excellent Glucose Monitor Adventure
(Polly) #112

More than plausible, @amwassil I would say probable that you have hit the nail on the head!

When I read the letter they had emailed to you yesterday, I actually wondered what the device was measuring and calculating at all but now you have seen through the smoke and mirrors it makes sense to me.

Well done.

Will you now record your data in a spreadsheet so it can do what you want it to do?

(Ethan) #113

Sadly, that’s the nail in the coffin

(charlie3) #114

So might there be some company out there that sells a meter that’s a straight forward device? Has anyone looked for that? These days I’m doing a lot of Maffetone style cardio with the goal of getting more fat adapted. Measure of progress is gradual increase in load at an unchanging heart rate. Would be lovely to have a second measure.

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #115

@Polly1 I think the Lumen hardware is measuring/calculating actual RER. From this:

Currently the application does not provide metrics such as RER to users…

It’s the software that displays the result of the measurement to the user on an arbitrary scale set initially by the min/max values calculated during ‘calibration’. Thus, the actual RER values are there, just not displayed. For average Joe and Jill the actual RER will likely/almost certainly fall within the arbitrary range set at calibration so whatever of the 5 displayed segments is closest to the actual RER value is highlighted. If all you care about is whether or not you’re burning some fat, that’s good enough. It’s also not very accurate. For example: if your personal range of RER is .80 - .90 and you blow .82, the software is going to display 1, burning fat. When in fact, you’re still burning mostly carbs, just relatively a little less. So Joe/Jill are happy. Eating a little less carbs per meal works! I suppose it does over time at least better than not eating less carbs.

@EZB I think it’s only a ‘nail in the coffin’ if you want actual RER values displayed. The Lumen won’t do that now. However, it may eventually do so:

…metrics such as RER to users, however, may do so in the future based on user requests.

I think having a hand-held RER device at sub-$300 is quite an amazing accomplishment. Modifying the software to display sampling results in different ways is trivial compared to designing and building the device capable of delivering accurate measurements. If, in fact, Lumen might actually do this based on user requests, I’m willing to stick with it, learn to live with the current limitations and figure out how to utilize it usefully while waiting further utility down the road a bit.

@charlie3 As far as I am aware at the moment, Lumen appears to be the first such device but see above:

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #116

0220:12p I just blew my first 1. BrAce was 16.9 ppm. This is interesting because my first sampling this morning at 8am BrAce was 12.5 ppm and Lumen 4! Dawn Effect? Residual debris from medication, ginger root finally gone?

For the time being, let’s assume I’m correct in my interpretation of the ‘calibration’ process and my arbitrary range of RER values is something like .72-.76. That would translate to this:

1 =< .72 2 = .73 3 = .74 4 = .75 5 => .76

Because this is such a narrow range, I can expect very small things to have very noticeable influence. Like, exactly how much raw ginger root will bump me up by one segment? What happens when I take a Fisherman’s Friend to suppress my cough, which is still with me, but not so bad anymore? What happens if I eat 20 grams of carbs today instead of my usual sub-15 grams, or 25 grams (yikes!) Lots of little stuff like this to explore.

(Ethan) #117

I have only gotten two 3s so far. I eat carnivore. It sounds like it will never work for me because it thinks my range is so limited

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #118

Just a guess, but maybe glucose metabolism due to your T2D is adding sufficient CO2 to keep your samples elevated. Keep in mind that if you did the ‘calibration’ with the 10+ hour fast and then ate zero carbs the whole day, your ‘range’ is likely just as constricted as mine is and maybe even more. So even a very small amount of metabolized glucose could affect your measurements.

Possibly some others more knowledgeable about T2D can advise how to reduce glucose and then you could determine whether or not that affects your measurements. I think it would be a worthwhile challenge for you to blow a 2 or 1. But keep in mind the support person who responded to you, said your results are going to be skewed and not necessarily be based on food intake. That’s says glucose to me.

Do you take medications? That’s suspect #2.

(Ethan) #119

I’m not on medications for diabetes. I think the support person gave a canned response as a cover. I suspect that it just builds a range through calibrations. So it will ask your to carb up to measure you as a carb burner. Then it makes you eat keto to measure your fat burning. I bet if I did do that and then went back to ketosis, it would say I am burning fat. However, because my “carb burner” calibration was done as a fat burner, it placed the top of my carb range as my normal levels.

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #120

0221:1140 BrAce: 30.2; Lumen 1.