Sydney woman issues Apple Watch warning after "dramatic" health change went undiagnosed

Apple Watch SE Strip Watch Face
Apple Watch SE Strip Watch Face (Image credit: Luke Filipowicz / iMore)

What you need to know

  • A Sydney woman diagnosed with a thyroid condition says she could have been treated months earlier, but for her Apple Watch notifications being switched off.
  • Lauren Rebecca was diagnosed with a rare condition called thyroid hemiagenesis following months of fatigue, nausea, dizzy spells, weight gain, and dry skin.
  • However, she was unaware that her Apple Watch had detected a "dramatic" change in her health two months earlier.

A woman from Sydney has urged Apple Watch users to check their notification settings, after her extremely rare thyroid condition went unchecked for months before diagnosis.

7News first reported the story of Lauren Rebecca, a young woman from Sydney who took to TikTok to share her story. The report says that Rebecca started experiencing fatigue, nausea, dizzy spells, weight gain, and dry skin over the course of two months, eventually seeing a Doctor in December.

Rebecca was diagnosed with a rare condition called thyroid hemiagenesis, the cause of all her troubles. However, Rebecca was shocked to discover that her Apple Watch had detected a "dramatic" change in her health as far back as October, notably a big drop in her oxygen consumption and her heart rate. She said in a video:

"If you have an Apple Watch, you have to make sure these notifications are turned on right now because I didn't and I was diagnosed with a thyroid condition... Instead of me waiting for my symptoms to get really bad, I could have gone to the doctor back in October when there was this dramatic drop in a matter of days - and I had it investigated then...

According to Rebecca, the chart reveals that her cardiovascular system wasn't working properly, correlating with when all of her symptoms started. She says that if she'd had her notifications switched on she might have noticed the problems much earlier and possibly saved herself two months enduring all of her aforementioned symptoms.

Rebecca notes, as does Apple, that while Apple Watches like the Apple Watch Series 7 are not certified medical devices they can be crucial in helping people identify changes in their health and undetected symptoms. There are numerous stories of users who have avoided possibly fatal conditions thanks to early detection of conditions like atrial fibrillation. With its strong push into more health features and tools like ECG, the health benefits of Apple Watch has quickly become one of the best Apple Watch features to consider when buying.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9