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Heart Rate Watches and bp monitors


MaryJo
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Hi Everyone,

I was just wondering if anyone has either a heart rate watch or a blood pressure monitor and uses these regularly. Do you find is helpful to keep an eye on changes this way, and is it a more accurate tool than just relying on symptoms alone?

I was looking at this and some of the devices are quite expensive, and therefore only worth considering if found to be helpful. Also I have read that you have to be careful because some wrist bp monitors are not always accurate. Can anyone recommend any brands that they have found useful?

Best wishes to you all.

MaryJo

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Omron is supposed to be the best, but I have found mine always says err when my pulse is above 100, which is not helpful to say the least. I bought one that prints out the data also. So I paid a pretty penny. The only way to know if it's accurate is to compare it with your doctor's. I find with mine that my bp and heart rate can be variable, but am not sure I find it that useful. At first I was somewhat obsessed, but as time has gone on, it doesn't make a lot of difference to me. You may find it very helpful to give the results to your doctor, along with a description of what was going on at the time.

Mine has looked at a few, but doesn't know what to think of it and since it doesn't work when I feel my worst, it's pretty useless to me. But I think mostly everyone else here will advise you to get one and keep a record. morgan

P.S. I have tried to get a manual one and my arm is too small, they have to be special ordred and all kinds of stuff, I'm not up to. Also the wrist ones tend to be very inaccurate. morgan

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Hi,

I had both of them but I do not use them anymore. I rely on my symptoms.

I used to check my BP every 30 minutes and realised that when I felt presyncopal the BP monitor would write error. So I never had time to find out what my BP was at those times. As for the HR monitor, I know now that if I hit 130 I have to sit quickly and if I hit 140 it's too late.

My syncopes come witin 2-5 seconds of the symptoms so I don't have time to use the monitors. Sometimes I don't even have warnings.

Ernie

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I have an Omron and find it useful in managing my health. When I start feeling really lousy, I check there first to see if something is going on so I know what to try. For example if I am suddenly dropping 30 pts in BP, I go for more fluids quickly to try to keep from getting worse. If my numbers are in MY normal range, I either keep going about my business or decide to rest. Over time, my body has gotten used to higher HR as my normal, so occasionally I am "surprised" to see how high it has gotten when doing a reading and I try to make adjustments.

Like Morgan, I used to be a bit obsessive checking at the onset of POTS but I found that made me crazy so now I only check if something starts suddenly going wrong.

My Omron (without print) has measured my bp in the 180's and as low as 70's but will error out below 70. Also, it has registered my HR in the 140's so I don't have the same experience as Morgan. I think my monitor cost about $60USD.

I made the mistake of buying a wrist monitor to keep in my POTS bag in the car. It is useless! It gives strange readings -- even for me-- and will vary greatly. I don't trust the BP readings but the HR is good, although I can check HR with my watch.

good luck with your decision.

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I have an Omron BP monitor (automatic) and a Polar heart rate watch. I think these are the most common brands used by people on the board. I personally couldn't live without them. I did keep a log of my BPs and HRs when I first got POTS, and I found it to be useful info to give to my drs. I was obsessive about it for a while, but then gave up like the others. Now I just check my numbers every few days, to know whether I should make adjustments in fluid/salt intake, medications, etc. I also wear the HR monitor for exericse.

The monitors also reassure me at times. Although I am ususally pretty good at feeling my HR and BP, every once in a while I think I'm having an episode when I am actually not. So, when that happens, I can check my BP/HR, and if they seem OK I move on and worry about something else! :)

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Hello,

I use a heart rate monitor and find it really useful. I'm relatively new to POTs though. For example, when I was given a drug called verapamil, my heartrate went up to 200-220 pretty constantly. I felt weird, but probably wouldn't have taken it half so seriously if I hadn't been monitoring. Also very handy for getting medics to listen to you. In February I had a ruptured eptopic pregnancy (been a good year so far :) and the ambulance men were very relieved to have the easy monitoring. I also chart my heart rate every day, to back up my opinions about the effectiveness of various drugs I've tried. Finally, most of the time I find it a comfort - I set it to alarm at 180 now, and if it doesn't go off I know I'm OK and nothing strange is going on.

Felicity.

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Don't take this the wrong way, but I personally think the more you check your heart rate and BP, the more you'll drive yourself batty. These vital signs are changing all the time, and high or low readings might create unnecessary anxiety.

That being said, I do own a blood pressure monitor because I had preeclampsia and was ordered by my doc to do so. It's an old-fashioned pump up the cuff and listen with a stethoscope. You must be trained to do this, though, and I was through a Red Cross class. Otherwise the Omron and B/D brands are generally reliable, and the arm ones are often more accurate than the wrist ones -- that's what I was told by my doc.

Amy

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I use an ECG accurate heart rate monitor that's also a watch--it's made by Mio, and I have the petite version. I find it useful to give me confirmation if symptoms I'm feeling are ANS or not. If my heart rate is really high, I know to get seated, get fluids and/ or get to a cooler area quickly.

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I have a battery operated Mabis BP monitor but it also records my heart rate. When I first got my diagnosis it was really helpful in understanding what was happening with certain symptoms, but I don't use it near as often now. Now I use it when I am going to have to report symptoms to a doctor or when I am changing medications.

~Roselover

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I have a Lumiscope automatic bp arm cuff that is very accurate. I tried several wrist ones and they were not accurate at all.

But...the best advice is what others have said, purchase one, take it to your Dr to test the accuracy and keep the receipt in case you need to return it.

In terms of the heart rate watches I have tried several and taken them to Dr' office to test for accuracy and NONE of them were even close to accurate. So I havent had any luck with the HR watches.

In terms of how often to use them. I find it's best not to check too much. I check first thing in the morning, sometimes in the evening but for the most part I only check if I'm having a particularly bad episode or if I've had multiple "storms" back to back.

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I've never used a HR monitor as I find it easy enough to take it myself. I do have an Omron BP monitor though...manual inflate, automatic reading...that is helpful & was encouraged by my doc several years ago. I don't use it all of the time but like some others have said it can be very helpful in figuring out when symptoms are equated with particular things. Most importantly I use it when I'm wanting to adjust certain meds to make sure I'm okay to do so (this is with the docs okay too...) I've also been asked at times to monitor - for a period of time - things several times a day, etc. I think my monitor cost $50 or so & I'd say it was definitely worth the investment...

:-)melissa

p.s. like others said, mine doesn't go quite low enough for my BP on occassion. I haven't had a problem though with pretty low & high HR readings....

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Hello all,

I use Polar HR monitor s during exercise , and find them to be quite accurate when used properly. I also have and use regularly a BP monitor ( forget brand cost @ $ 200) that seems to fairly accurate / consistent. Generally symptoms will tell the storey but both monitors give an insight into the plot line as I journal my "STUFF" Exercise is a different animal as I believe strongly that a monitor should be used , even during resistance training. This will allow you to take advantage of creating and modifiying your regimen aruond your Dysautonomia ; as well as helping to understand the triggers of when ,how exercise responds visa vi your symptoms. It also offers piece of mind. Buying a descent one is a must

Kite 7

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Guest tearose

HI!

I used a Polar monitor for a long time! It is a simple but accurate tool and it helped me learn what was happening with my body. :D

It cost about $99 and I set the low alarm for 40bpm and the high alarm for 140bmp. It helped me to learn the subtle signs of when to sit down "before" I got speedy symptoms and when to wake up when I got bradycardia. I now feel so "aware" of my body that I no longer use it. I do think that if I was going to do some kind of strenuous activity or if I was sick with fever, I would put it back on to help me monitor my body.

good wishes, tearose

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Hi MaryJo... I use the Mio watch that Nina (MightyMouse) mentioned. I had read a thread on here from a while back where she had mentioned using it and I thought it was a great idea; no chest strap and it isn't continuous monitoring- just when you feel the need to check things out. Seems to be very accurate. Perfect for my needs. Laura (thanks Nina!)

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  • 1 month later...

Hi Everyone,

Thanks so much for all your responses on this thread.

Sorry that it has taken me a while to get back to you all, but I've been through a difficult spell at present, and when i am like this I get forgetful.

I like the sound of the MIO watch, and i think that I will try one, particularly as you don't need a chest strap.

I don't want to be obsessive, but thought that it would be useful during bad spells, and to get a better idea of what triggers my heartbeat to go into orbit or down in y boots.

thanks again.

Love,

MJ

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Hey there,

I use one that I got in April. It's been pretty helpful so far, and I have instructions from Dr. Robertson at Vandy to use it for when I contact him regarding meds and symptoms (thinking that the numbers plus how I'm feeling might help lead to the best med cocktail). It was kinda pricey but I'm glad I got it. Good luck! :P

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I have the Mio watch heartrate monitor and a b/p monitor. I find the mio great to check when I think I feel my rate starting to go up then I can keep track and the b/p monitor for when I feel the heaviness in my chest I check if my b/p is up with it. I feel I can better help myself and give my dr. hopefully useful info on my condition.

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