Resting Heart Rate?

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Protimenow

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This has probably been discussed ad nauseum on other threads. I now use a FitBit to monitor my heart rate (and activity, sleep, and other stuff that it does), and it shows me that my daily resting heart rate is around 46 or 48. If I recall, it was also that low a few years ago. This is probably a result of my bisoprolol.

Is this a desired resting heart rate for people with mechanical aortic valves? Is this something that is done to protect the heart? Is it even safe to have it so low? Would this be contributing to balance problems? Even with the tracker, sometimes it can't even detect a pulse -would the number be below a lower limit for the device, or a major drop in blood pressure?

These are a lot of questions. I'm sure that my cardiologist has a lot more stuff to worry about than my heart rate.

I'm interested in your experiences with resting heart rates and, perhaps, what your cardiologists or PCPs may have said about it.
 
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trav

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I got an Apple watch recently at the end of January and have been paying more attention to my heart rate. My resting heart rate has been a low of 42 to a high of 50 this month. This past three months it has averaged out to 51 (Jan) 48 (Feb) and 47 (Mar). Keep in mind though that I exercise moderately on the treadmill and lift weights (nothing crazy!) three times a week. I called my cardio when my resting heart rate was low for two days at 38 and 36, they said it was fine since I exercise and have been feeling good, ie no shortness of breath etc.
 

Protimenow

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Thanks trav. I don't exercise nearly as much as I should - so I don't have an athlete's heart, but I'll consider that a resting rate of 46 or so is okay.
 

Astro

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I agree, in the absence of symptoms (e.g. dizziness, faints) it is fine. A low heart rate gives the ventricle more time to fill so the amount of blood pushed forwards by every beat (stroke volume) is increased. The heart is amazing how it can adjust stroke volume to maintain cardiac output.
 

QuincyRunner

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Protimenow - My cardiologist was concerned about my low heart rate, so much so that he put me on a heart monitor and started talking about the possibility that I might need a pacemaker. His bigger concern was whether or not my heart would respond under stress and increase to the appropriate levels. Fortunately, a stress test showed that I could reach my maximum heart rate, which I already knew thanks to all of my running and tracking of my heart rate. The other concern was whether or not my heart rate would drop so low during the day that I might get dizzy and possibly faint, especially while driving. Since my heart rate only drops into the low 40's when I am sleeping the cardiologist backed off his concern for the time being. I did get a Fitbit to track my HR while sleeping and I too have noticed that their are half-hour periods where no pulse is registered. I'm pretty sure my heart didn't stop during those periods and like you I have wondered if the HR can drop so low that the Fitbit doesn't pick it up. I more believe that it is because sometimes the wrist strap is not cinched tight enough to make a good contact. When I clamp it down so tight that it hurts everything works fine. By the way, my HR is not really any different pre and post mitral valve replacement. Hope this helps.
 

Protimenow

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QuincyRunner - it helps, and it doesn't help.

I use my Fitbit Charge 2 to track my heart rate during sleep. There are times when I wake up and the heart rate doesn't show on the meter - although there are other times at night when it does. I can feel my heart beating, I can hear it - but my FItbit misses it.

I'm scheduled for a stress echo in a few weeks (months? with COVID-19, these non-emergent tests may be rescheduled) and a holter monitor (again, maybe not till December). I do seem to get unxpectedly diizzy, but there may be factors aside from heart rate that can be causing it.

How are you able to see your heart rate during the night? I don't think my software lets me drill down to that level of detail.

Thanks
 

QuincyRunner

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I have an App on my i-phone that connects to my Fitbit (actually a cheap knock off of a Fitbit) that tracks and reports my heart rate in half-hour increments and my blood pressure in 10-minute increments. I don't usually wake up during the night but in the morning I can see the complete history stored on my i-phone, going back weeks if I so desire. Even during the day I rarely do a spot check on the tracker itself because it is easier to see on my phone.
 

Protimenow

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I don't have an iPhone, and I use the Fitbit application on my Android phone and on my computer. Are you using a different app?
 

QuincyRunner

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My watch is called a Y-9 Band Fitness Tracker, from China and I paid around $30.00 for it It communicates with something called the H-Band app. I don't know if this is a generic app that works with other fitness trackers or not.
 

Protimenow

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I got a pair of cheap (not just inexpensive) trackers a few months ago. The apps that worked with them were garbage. One rarely worked, had a hard time connecting to the watch, and was extremely unreliable.

The second one wanted to be able to have access to contacts, phone lists, messaging, and other things that it didn't need to run the app. I wasn't alone in thinking that this was an attempt to steal my data.

I wasted hours trying to get these cheap devices to work.

I bought a Fitbit Charge 2 (a used device, replaced with the Charge 3) for about $26 delivered. It uses the Fitbit app - a reliable application from a reputable company. It doesn't have all the bells and whistles of more expensive devices, but setup was rapid, the device tracks heartrate, activities, calories burned, and other data, and even tells me the time.

Sometimes inexpensive is really cheap - and sometimes the cheap devices come with crummy applications that either don't work or want more permissions than you want to give up - and wind up costing you a lot of time.
 

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