Fitness trackers? : I saw my first thyroid endo... - Thyroid UK

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Fitness trackers?


I saw my first thyroid endo this week and she thinks other things are going on so has organised more tests as I am very symptomatic ( pituitary, special wash of blood before analysis, neck ultrasound and 5HIAA urinalysis)

She was bothered by my resting heart rate of 100 and the profuse amount of sweating

any way to get to the post of my questions I was wondering about getting a cheap fitness tracker and am clueless about them. The primary reason would be to track my heart rate, do they monitor it all the time?

Many thanks

19 Replies

I can't answer your question on fitness trackers, but I wanted to comment on your heart rate. I don't know what a "special wash of blood" is nor 5H1AA urinalysis. From taking a brief look at your previous posts I think you are concerned about your cortisol level.

I have a fast heart rate, and sweat a lot. A few years ago I had over-the-range cortisol on three results out of a four part saliva test, and the result which was in range was very high in range.

I have discovered two things that affect my heart rate, and have slowed it down as a result of discovering these things.

Low iron can cause tachycardia (fast heart rate). If you haven't had a full iron panel done by your doctors then you could pay for a private one if you wanted to :

Medichecks has 20% of all their tests throughout September when you use discount code MED99, which will reduce the price shown in the link. If you were to get this test done you could post the results in a new post and ask for feedback.

I'm a sugar addict - a bad one. And I've discovered that too much sugar will raise my heart rate quite dramatically. I suspect my bad diet has been catching up with me and eventually I'll become diabetic (if I don't change my ways first). I also suspect I might already be insulin resistant.

For years I blamed my fast heart rate and the sweating purely on my high cortisol, and I still believe I have cortisol problems. I also found out a few months ago that my pituitary is not a normal shape but I haven't had its overall function tested. But I can reduce the severity of some of my symptoms by keeping my iron and ferritin (iron stores) at a reasonable level, and trying (and often failing) to keep the pudding and sweet content of my diet to a much lower level. :)

Thanks Humanbean.

5HIAA is to look at carcinoid syndrome aka neuroendocrine tumours which have similar symptoms.

I couldn’t understand the washing blood thing but was told it would pick up if previous thyroid tests were wrong 🤔

She did say my random cortisol taken before 9am was “robust” at 800 but I don’t have ranges.

I do enjoy chocolate.... I’ll have to look for a link. The pre diabetic bloods haven’t flagged anything though

I've never had a blood test for cortisol, nor can I remember the typical reference ranges for it, but 800 looks very high to me. Was it done between 8am and 9am having fasted overnight? For a serum cortisol test to tell you something useful it should be done when cortisol is at its highest which is (usually) as soon after you wake up as possible. From a practical point of view this is usually interpreted as being between 8am and 9am.

Something you may find helpful is the "Endocrine Bible" :

I always use the PDF version :

Please note what it says about reference ranges on page 2.

If you are going to be investigated for pituitary and hormone problems (and possible Cushing's Disease or Cushing's Syndrome?) you might find the info very useful because it shows you why different tests are done, why (in certain circumstances) they should be avoided, what to expect, and how to interpret the results.

Edit : Please note that the serum cortisol test isn't covered in the Endocrine Bible - it is not considered to be exclusively a hospital test, it is also done by GPs.

Thanks :) Gosh what a lot of information! Will be wading through that for a while!

You do need to find out the range of this test. Looking at one I did with medichecks their top of range for before 9am was 21

I asked for print out of tests & she said she will send them to me with a copy of the letter she sends to my GP.

Hi StillEverHopeful

I've only ever used Fitbits which I think are great and most of their trackers do monitor all the time providing you wear it all the time of course.

Mine showed my heart rate as higher when my iron levels were low. As soon as I started supplementing iron and my levels came up my heart rate came down. I keep a check on my resting heart rate and if it goes low and I'm not feeling well it's a good confirmation that my levels are out. I think it's a great tool for all kinds of aspects of health. Would definitely recommend but I guess they're not cheap.

Hope that helps!



For a cheap band, consider the Xiaomi Mi band 3.

Fantastic battery life. Heart rate seems quite good. Sleep monitor is hopeless. And just a little over £20.

AlisonL in reply to helvella

I second that. I have one and in my opinion it's almost as good as a Fitbit at a much cheaper price.

helvellaAdministrator in reply to AlisonL

I got the Mi Band 2 many months ago and was generally quite happy - for my purposes. When the Mi Band 3 came out, got that for someone else. Double battery life and a few other differences - definitely improved - and little difference in price.

Do check it does what is required before buying any device.

Will be looking at the Mi band 3. Good to see others recommend it too. Thanks.

What is she testing your pituitary?

Think she is covering all bases as she said I shouldn’t feel as ill as I do with my current results husband has reminded me she is also looking at growth hormones.

TSH 0.24 (.035-5)

T4 14.8 (10-19.5)

T3 5.8 (3.5-6.5)

And as ever no antibodies.

Yes, Human Growth Hormone is a pituitary hormone. A lot of hypos often have low HGH.

Is she also testing nutrients and cortisol? They would be the obvious culprits. But, I'm afraid that doctors often have exaggerated ideas of what makes you sick and what makes you well. Your FT3 isn't all that high, it's perfectly possible that it's low enough to make you feel bad - especially if you have an absorption problem at the cellular level. But, they never think of that.

She was concerned as I was really sweating - it was running down my back and also that at rest my heart rate was 100 so was concerned about my heart. I did say that low t3 was associated with heart issues which is when she said it wasn’t low. It is quite a bit better than 2 months ago but I haven’t noticed any improvements.

I’m not ruling out self medicating with T3 but will see where things go with investigations first.

Was told serum cortisol was “robust” asked for print out of results & was told they will be included when she sends me a copy of the letter my gp will get.

So thought it would be a good idea to monitor my heart rate 24/7 in the interim.

Low vit D can be associated with excess sweating. And high heart rate with low iron. But, I don't suppose she knows that.

Yes, they do! I'm a Fitbit guy for the last 3 years and happy with it. Measuring is quite accurate and it's a useful tool to assess the hormone replacement therapy, along with the thermometer.

After this time I got used with the rest heart rate variations and influencing factors. It's a very good and effective indicator.


I think Fitbit is excellent. Monitors heart rate all the time.

Gives good resting heart rate if you wear it at night

Has great viewable data for every day that you can show GP/endo

Also can demonstrate how active you are and peak heart rate with exercise

I got one, because with suppressed TSH, GP kept saying I was over medicated and I was persuaded to reduce T3 from 20mcg a day to 15mcg. (Also take 125mcg Levo)

Resting heart rate on 15mcg was 52-56, or sometimes even lower at 48-49 and I felt dreadful

I returned to 20mcg

Resting heart rate on 20mcg is around 59-62, so still pretty low.

I use fitbit. wear it 24/7 except if in shower. it helped me by showing me my heart rate, activity and approx calorie burn. once i was optimal on NDT i used my fitbit stats and my fitness pal to track calories and lost 3.5 stone. overall it can be a great device if used sensibly and data understood in context needed

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