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Exercise induced tachycardia
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Exercise induced tachycardia

I'm a 36-year old male that was recently diagnosed with atrial tachycardia.  The diagnosis was made using strips from a 24-hour Holter monitor that recorded an event I triggered riding my bike.  My echocardiogram, EKG, and blood test showed no signs of heart disease or other ailments.

My doctor didn't give many options other than medication (beta blockers or calcium channel blockers) but he said they might make me so sick I wouldn't want to exercise.  This is very depressing because I have been doing long distance triathlons since 2008.  The tachycardia events are a recent development.  Since the diagnosis I stopped all forms of caffeine and not had a sip of alcohol (wasn't difficult because I hardly ever drink).

When I do have an event it is always triggered by exercise - usually when my heart rate exceeds 140 bpm for a few minutes.  Sometimes it occurs at 150 bpm. It seems to be occurring more frequently and earlier (6-10 minutes into easy workout). When it occurs my heart rate jumps to 200+ bpm and I start to get dizzy.  I then stop and rest and my heart slows to 100 bpm or less within a minute.

I'd like to hear other potential options for treatment that I might discuss with my doctor. I would really enjoy going back to my active lifestyle.
Avatar_dr_f_tn
Hi, understand your predicament. Atrial tachycardia is a type of supraventricular tachycardia (SVT), which is a rapid heart rhythm originating at or above the atrioventricular node. As a result of this rapid rhythm you can have palpitations, dizziness or sometimes chest pain. The primary treatment during an episode of atrial tachycardia is considered to be rate control using atrioventricular (AV) nodal blocking agents (eg, beta blockers or calcium channel blockers). If it does not respond, then ablation may be needed. Regards.
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