October 18, 2012

Day 18: POTS and Exercise

In August, I wrote a post about a new purchase…

The Polar FT4F Heart Rate Monitor and Watch.  

I know it looks purple online; but I was pleasantly surprised that it is actually bright pink in real life!  It completely tracks everything during my work out and allows me to feel safe while working out.  No more worrying about my POTS creeping up on me.

Now that I have been using it for over two months, I can say that I continue to be impressed with it.  Although I wouldn't use it as a doctor (I still think their machines are more accurate...), it is perfect for what I need for my own personal use while working out.  Having POTS, I am very aware of my heart rate and can tell you the instant it starts to go up or down (if I am listening to my body that day).  But once my medication dosage was figured out and I was feeling better, I was still having anxiety about working out.  I had talked to my cardiologist, and he had given me my guidelines.  For my body and my POTS, I can work out as long as my heart rate does not go above 160 and I am drinking water and GATORADE throughout the workout.  You can read about my relationship with gatorade here.  Even with these guidelines, I was still nervous, the jump from 158 to 160 may seem minute, but for somewhat with POTS it can make the difference between completing a workout or ending up passed out on the floor.  Wearing my heart rate monitor let's me work out safely because I can watch my heart rate closely, monitor my calories burned, and still get a great work out.

I also have a finger monitor that I use at home.

 Concord BlackOx Fingertip Pulse Oximeter with Carrying Case

This isn't my exact model, but they are all pretty much the same.  Grant and I originally purchased an oximeter for help with my food allergies (remember that post from Day 10).  I HATE going to the emergency room.  And I REALLY HATE dealing with ER doctors about my food allergies.  Like POTS, food allergies are not well understood by most doctors.  They think you are having a panic attack, they think you can't be allergic to things like garlic, and they sometimes think you can wait in the waiting room to be seen...

With the percentage of oxygen in my blood measured on this device, we have been able to avoid hospital visits as long as I have high enough oxygen levels in my body and high doses of zyrtec kick in.  Please note that my awesome allergist DOES NOT RECOMMEND this course of action.  He would tell me to use my epi-pen and go to the ER immediately.

However, the meter also comes in hand when I feel my heart rate start to change and need to watch it for a little while.

If you have POTS, or another condition where tachycardia occurs, I would recommend getting at least one type of heart rate monitor.

Are you able to exercise?  And if so, how do you monitor your POTS while exercising?

Disclaimer: While I am sharing information I have researched, read about, and found to be helpful myself, I am not a doctor and all decisions regarding your own personal treatment should be discussed with your own doctors.  Remember, I am just a patient.

1 comment:

  1. I love that you are taking your health issues into your own hands in the ways that you can.


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