Pacing with a heart rate monitor

From MEpedia, a crowd-sourced encyclopedia of ME and CFS science and history

A person's heart rate increases with their physical activity level, and decreases when they rest. Heart rate monitors offer a simple and accessible way to monitor activity level in order to help ME/CFS patients avoid the over-exertion that causes significantly worsening symptoms. Heart rate monitors typically display the person's heart rate on a monitor that is worn like a wristwatch, and many have audible alarms to alert the person if their heart rate rises above (or below) a value they have chosen.[citation needed]

Theory[edit | edit source]

People with ME/CFS have mitochondria dysfunction and biological abnormalities resulting from the disease which significantly restrict the amount of energy they can use for everyday activities.[1] Doing activities that exceed available energy usually triggers a flood of cytokines causing pain and immune symptoms, and a variety of other negative affects also occur, resulting in post exertional malaise (PEM).[citation needed]

Some researchers believe that each time PEM is triggered, it is reactivating the disease process of ME.[citation needed]

Using a heart rate monitor, to measure heart rate, heart rate variability, and other factors, allows people with ME to observe their energy usage, and learn how to stay within their safe energy limits.[citation needed]

This pacing method is often used in conjunction with other treatments (electrolyte loading, pharmaceuticals to assist blood volume & cardiovascular function, extreme resting and meditation, etc).[citation needed]

Evidence[edit | edit source]

Anecdotally, some people experience gradual improvements in their health, with occasional setbacks due to over-exertion, infections & immune reactivity.[citation needed]

Clinicians[edit | edit source]

Costs and availability[edit | edit source]

Risks and safety[edit | edit source]

Notable studies[edit | edit source]

Examples[edit | edit source]

Learn more[edit | edit source]

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References[edit | edit source]

  1. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named ICC2011primer