A Sydney woman has taken to TikTok to share how she made a surprising discovery after she was diagnosed with a rare thyroid problem in December.
Lauren Rebecca was diagnosed with thyroid hemiagenesis after months of symptoms that included fatigue, temperature sensitivity and weight gain, but it seems as though her Apple Watch may have detected the change in her health before she even realised.
Taking to TikTok, Lauren shared she was stunned to discover that her Apple Watch showed a huge change in her Vo2 max around the same time her symptoms appeared.
She realised that if she had turned on notifications she would have seen the drop in her Vo2 max and could have sought out medical attention earlier.
Your Vo2 max indicates how well you absorb oxygen during exercise, so the drop Lauren experienced meant she wasn't taking in as much oxygen as she normally does.
"If you have an Apple watch, you need to go and make sure all of these are turned on right now," she explained. "Because I didn't and a couple of weeks ago, I was diagnosed with a thyroid condition... essentially I had all the signs and symptoms... but I would have realised something was going on, had my Apple Watch alerted me of changes. Because instead of me waiting for the symptoms to get really bad I could have wanted a doctor back in October when there was this dramatic drop in a matter of days and had it investigated then."
She shared a photo of her oxygen consumption from the Health app on her phone, showing the drop she described in October.
"My cardiovascular system isn't working as well as it once was, which would correlate with when all of my other symptoms started."
Lauren explained her symptoms as including fatigue, irregular heart rate, and a "serious sensitivity to heat", irritability and more.
"Don't get me wrong, your Apple Watch is definitely not something you should follow as medical advice but it can come in handy as a tool to prompt you to go and get things investigated further."
Commenters shared their surprise after learning about what the Apple Watch can do with one user joking, "My Apple Watch alerted me on the weekend [because] my heart rate when up a bit & I hadn’t moved for 10 minutes... I was just drunk."
"My Apple Watch helped me with getting diagnosed [because] my doctors just weren’t taking me seriously," another added.
"My Apple Watch is my lifesaver as someone with a cardiac condition, literally monitors my heart all day and gives me peace of mind," a third said.
"Yes so important! It is such a great thing to have the chart showing your constant HR too! Especially if your HR goes up at the doctors appt," someone else shared.
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