Dr. Bell's Home Orthostatic Intolerance (OI) Test

Resource Dr. Bell's Home Orthostatic Intolerance (OI) Test

Cort

Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising
Staff member
Cort submitted a new resource:

Dr. Bell's Home Orthostatic Intolerance (OI) Test - Tests for five different kinds of OI

Dr Bell was a leader in ME/CFS treatment for many years. He is now retired. From his website:

The test is relatively simple. The patient lies comfortably for ten minutes and BP [blood pressure] and pulse are taken several times. Then the patient stands quietly (no moving around) with the blood pressure cuff on, and BP and pulse are taken every few minutes. This is a poor man's tilt test, and I would argue that it is more accurate because...
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Snookum96

Active Member
I did this test at home. My pulse pressure got so low 95/81 after 1 minute that the monitor malfunctioned for the subsequent readings. It thought I had my clothes between the monitor and my skin (I was wearing a tank top). Despite the fact that I couldn't finish the test it was eye opening for me and I asked for a tilt table test because of it (waiting for an appointment). None of my 25+ doctors had ever mentioned it so I'm glad I tried this test!
 

Cort

Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising
Staff member
I did this test at home. My pulse pressure got so low 95/81 after 1 minute that the monitor malfunctioned for the subsequent readings. It thought I had my clothes between the monitor and my skin (I was wearing a tank top). Despite the fact that I couldn't finish the test it was eye opening for me and I asked for a tilt table test because of it (waiting for an appointment). None of my 25+ doctors had ever mentioned it so I'm glad I tried this test!
:jawdrop:

Another ME/CFS patient blows a test out of the water! :nailbiting:
 

Snookum96

Active Member
I have my tilt table test on Wednesday so we will see how it compares to the test I did at home. Mind you, we all know how much our symptoms fluctuate so that could affect the test.
I'm kinda scared for it I've heard it's awful!
 

Cort

Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising
Staff member
I have my tilt table test on Wednesday so we will see how it compares to the test I did at home. Mind you, we all know how much our symptoms fluctuate so that could affect the test.
I'm kinda scared for it I've heard it's awful!
It bizarre that you made this comment - because just the morning you did Dr. Bell out of the blue sent me an update version of this stuff :)
 

ElizabethE

New Member
Thank you very much for posting this information. I do apologise if I'm asking silly Qs here - I was blanking out quite a lot while reading it and struggling to fully make sense of it. But since OI is probably currently my most disabling symptom, if I could do it, I feel the results could be useful information to be able to present to my GP (primary physician) who says she knows nothing about OI and doesn't seem motivated to find out, next time (if ever) I'm well enough to get to her surgery. However, I'm not sure I quite understand how i would do this testing myself at home.
From what I can make out, this testing really requires a second person to be present, not just to pick one up off the floor if one faints/ administer first aid/and/or call ambulance etc if necessary, but also because manually squeezing one of those little balloon things yourself to pump up your BP armband every 5 minutes would be likely to affect one's BP, wouldn't it? Or is there another kind of BP testing system that doesn't involve movement by the operator during the test?
I don't yet know how heart rate monitors work and whether they require movement during testing, but I have been thinking of getting one anyway to monitor my HR during exercise. Also I don't know how one tests oneself for blood volume, which seems to be the third factor you need to know: BP, HR and Blood Volume.
And what exactly are the points at which one should stop ie when it's getting too dangerous to continue, especially if one is on one's own? Perhaps someone who's done the full OI home testing thing could advise?
 

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