Fitbit – thumbs up or thumbs down?
POTS is a form of dysautonomia (autonomic nervous system dysfunction) which affects many bodily systems, but especially heart rate. Simply standing up can send our heart rates into outer space. As such, many people with POTS wear devices that monitor their heart rate. My chosen device is a Fitbit.
Now, normally I have to take what my Fitbit says with a pinch of salt (well, more like a gallon since us POTSies often need to increase our salt intake to help increase blood volume). Mine has something called a ‘Readiness’ score, which looks at everything like my heart and breathing rate, sleep and activity levels to decide how ‘ready’ my body is for being active, and how hard I should push myself.
Most days, my Fitbit reckons I’m good to go. Even when my ME is flaring up and I feel like shit, my Fitbit will tell me I’m in great shape and totally ready to go run a marathon or something. And in response, I tell my Fitbit to fuck right off. But today is different.
Today, my Fitbit is telling me I have a low ‘readiness’ score and that my body is under stress or strain or showing potential signs of illness. It says I should take it easy today – and for once, I agree.
Yesterday was a busy day for Mother’s Day, and I didn’t pace myself or have any rest breaks. I had a massive lunch, two glasses of wine, and I ate and drank a shit-tonne of sugar close to my bedtime. I did everything that someone with ME/POTS shouldn’t do. Consequently, I had palpitations overnight and didn’t sleep well at all.
And when I woke up this morning, feeling like utter crap – instead of my Fitbit telling me to ‘go for it!’, it’s practically telling me to ‘go to bed!’. It measures something called ‘heart rate variability’ (how much time lapses between heartbeats) overnight, and reckons mine dropped significantly last night, in addition to my resting heart rate being significantly faster. Combined with a not-so-great sleep, this is the first time my Fitbit and I actually agree about my ‘readiness’ for being active (ie., not remotely ready). I will therefore be taking it easy today.
I just found this interesting, because it’s good to know that when pushing myself beyond my body’s limits starts taking a noticeable toll on my heart – my Fitbit will actually kick in and give me the heads up.
So it’s thumbs down for the state of my health today 👎, and thumbs up for Fitbit!👍
If you have ME or POTS and use a Fitbit, how do find it – helpful or not so much?