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Fast resting heart rate
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Fast resting heart rate

I'm 23, male, 5'11, 185lbs. No history or heart problems, very little family history of heart problems.

A few weeks ago, I started feeling tingling in my left hand and left leg. After a week of it, it got so bad that I went to the ER. I was there for four hours, and my average heart rate was 126. It never dropped below 110.

I went to a cardiologist, and had a holter monitor that said that my heart rate goes between 100 and 166, with little or no physical activity. He did a stress echo, which he couldn't see very well because of the way my ribs are situated.

My heart rate is still fast ... it never drops below 100, usually stays around 120. My doctor is out of town for a week, so it'll be a long time until I see him again. He doesn't think that I have heart disease, though he sent me to a radiologist a few days ago to have a CT scan on my heart to be sure that there are no coronary abnormalities.

My questions are these:

1. How serious is this?

2. What are the chances of having a heart attack or sudden death?

3. If my heartbeat is just too fast (tachycardia, I assume), will I be able to live a long, healthy life?

4. How is this treated?

5. He said my heart looked weak, like a "40 year old's". Could this be because I've had the tachycardia (or whatever I have) for a long time, and my heart has grown weak and tired? Will this affect how long and how well I can live?

Sorry for all of the questions, but my doctor won't be back for a long time, and I'm a bit frightened that I'm sitting around with a fast beat that's wearning my heart out.

Thank you!
Related Discussions
239757_tn?1213813182
kak,

thanks for the post. sorry you haven't been well.

The most important item for me firstly would be what your rhythm is while these episodes are happening. If it is sinus tachycardia, it could be caused by any number of things from anxiety to thyroid dysfunction.  If it is an abnormal rhythm, then it may be primarily cardiac. Until the rythm is determined, telling you the treatment is impossible. Overall, a good history and physical should teas out the etiology.

1. How serious is this?

Depends on the cause. I would be seen if your heart rate starts racing again.

2. What are the chances of having a heart attack or sudden death?

Probably pretty low given your age, but I would discuss with your doctor.

3. If my heartbeat is just too fast (tachycardia, I assume), will I be able to live a long, healthy life?

Prolonged tachycardia can cause heart problems. You need to know the etiology of the tachycardia and treat it.

4. How is this treated?

Depends on the cause.

5. He said my heart looked weak, like a "40 year old's". Could this be because I've had the tachycardia (or whatever I have) for a long time, and my heart has grown weak and tired? Will this affect how long and how well I can live?

You obviously have some underlying process if this is the case. At such a young age I would seek the opinion of a cardiologist, particularly one who specializes in heart failure.

good luck
20 Comments
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Avatar_f_tn
a worry doctors usually have for people with consistant tachycardia is something called cardiomyopathy. Theres no way to tell if you have this or are at a higher risk except to see a cardiologist, but i would definatly discuss all your concerns at length with your physician.
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Avatar_n_tn
Cardiomyopathy is unlikely if it was not seen in the echo.
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97628_tn?1204465633
I sympathize with you enitirely. I've had a resting heart rate over 100 for way over a year. My cardiologist joked that we have only so many beats in a lifetime and I am using mine up a little faster...she didn't seem worried though, so neither am I.  Though I'm starting to feel fatigued a lot.

Have you had a good general work up done by your regular doctor? I ask because tachycardia is symptom of many conditions that are not coming from the heart itself, but are affecting the rate. If they can find and treat an underlying problem, the tachycardia will be addressed.


I haven't had an underlying problem discovered. Sometimes there's no reason they can find.
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Avatar_f_tn
If i where u ide get another echo since you said your doc couldnt see much.. Once you get a clear echo you can rule out defects and things like cardiomyopathy, My guess is your doc will eventually try putting you on a beta blocker, assuming there is no other underlying cause found.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you very much for the reply, doctor, and thank you for the replies from other users!

The good news is that my cardiologist says that I have no arrythmias, based on the holter monitor. Just going too fast ...

Sounds like other people have the same problem. Here's hoping it turns out well for all of us!

Again, thank you.
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61536_tn?1340701763
Just jumping in to ditto what others have said, particularly the doctor, who recommended seeing a cardiologist who specializes in heart failure.  

Typically when someone mentions a heart appearing "weak" from looking at an echo, it means your pumping function is beginning to suffer (the cardiomyopathy issue that was mentioned by someone else).  If that is the case, and it's caused by the tachycardia, getting the tachycardia under control can reverse it a lot of the time.  I really hope things work out well for you, and that you get some answers soon.  Make sure you find a reputable cardiologist, ask around (soon) and see who people recommend in your area.  Many times local hospitals will make recommendations or referrals too.  Make sure when you're getting that appointment you mention what was said about your heart.

Sending good thoughts for you.  Keep us posted.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have inappropriate sinus tachycardia (and NCS) and I see an electrophysiogist, because they deal with heart rhythms.
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Avatar_f_tn
I was diagnosed with sinus tachycardia last year.  You should have your thyroid and adrenal gland checked to make sure there is no underlying cause.  I take the beta blocker toprol and that has helped tremendously.  Good luck.
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Avatar_n_tn
my heart rate is rarely under 90-100 and hardly ever below 80. walkign today for exercise it easily reaches 150-160bpm. is this normal? i had a healthy heart on tests not old looking. i worry alot. i wonder if i worry less somehow along with exercise could it help to slow my heart better and make me less prone to racing beats with excitement and exercise so easily? that is bad cuase it makes me outta breath fast too! ideas?
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Avatar_n_tn
i`m not too worried but i have a heart rate of 97 is that ok or should i get it checked??
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Avatar_n_tn
I had this very same symptom. Went to a cardiologist and was immediately diagnosed with Hypertrophic Cardio-Myopathy (enlarged heart). A pronounced heart murmur was a dead giveaway. You cannot allow your heart to continue at that rate untreated. In short, it will wear out faster and may become enlarged. After all, it is a muscle and you know what happens to muscles when they are worked harder. Please see a cardiologist and have the proper testing. You will no doubt need some sort of treatment. Don't take no for an answer. Do not believe the first Doc that tells you not to worry about it. My GP told me that my heart murmur was nothing to worry about for years. The cardiologist knew it was a problem right off. Good luck!
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Avatar_n_tn
My husband has had a pulse of 100-130 since June of this year. He has been dx with constrictive pericardits.  This is a condition where the sac around the heart is hardened and therefore has to beat extra fast.  His condition, they believe, was caused by radiation to the chest, but there can be other causes also. This is rare and is often missed.  
It is frustrating to know you have a problem and no one seems to be able to help. Our cardiologist is sending his records to a surgeon, Dr. McCarthy in Chicago, to see if he thinks this surgery, a pericardectomy, can be done. The surgeon in Nashville thought it could not be done.  
Has anyone had this problem?
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Avatar_n_tn
Hello,

My boyfriend (26 years old) has an enlarged heart.  His doctor told him that it wasn't anything he ought to worry about, only he should have it checked every 10 years or so (this was at least 3 years ago).  A few weeks ago he complained of dizziness, saying he felt as though he was about to pass out, but he was fine after a few hours and we put it down to a cold and ear infection he developed shortly thereafter.  This morning I woke up to find him awake, saying that he hadn't been able to sleep all night because his heart was beating so quickly.  I put my hand on his chest and could easily feel it (this was about 6 hours after we'd both gone to bed).  About 2 hours later he was able to fall asleep and he's now fine.  His new year's resolution was to quit smoking, so he smoked quite a lot of cigarettes (at least triple the number he'd usually smoke in an evening) last night.

I am very worried, can someone please tell me if his rapid heart beat might just have been the result of too much nicotine, or if, because of his enlarged heart, this is more serious?  Tomorrow I am going to make an appointment for him to see a specialist but I would still really appreciate any information anyone on here can give me.  Thanks very much.

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Avatar_n_tn
Was his doctor a cardiologist? If not, get in to see one right away. An enlarged heart can be a serious condition. In my case, it is hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. I have chest pain with rapid heart rate. Dizziness or syncope, rapid pronounced heart rate, chest pain, trouble sleeping, atrial fibrillation, are all symptoms of my condition. Sudden death is another one. Don't wait for that one. I have a defibrillator implanted for just that reason. Good luck!
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Avatar_n_tn
hello,
im am 20 years old and i have a fast resting heart rate. it stays at about 120 bpm it has been like this for about a month that i have noticed. it all started after i quit taking my pain medication. i was hurt really bad in a car accident in "04" and they gave me oxy cautin had me taking 3 40's a day for pain. then when i went without my medication i started having really bad withdrawl (withdrawal) symptoms. so i had to get off of it, i told my docter and he prescribed me methodone for a week or so then i went without it same withdrawl (withdrawal) feeling. then he gave me hydrocodone which i had to take for a month to completley get off of it which i did. but while i was still tappering myself off  of everything i was having terrible pains in my side that i have had for about 6 years but i wanted to see what it was and my white blood cell count was 20,000 and anywhere between 6-9,000 is normal i think so they keep me in the hospital for three days and the whole time i was  in there my heart rate never went below 100bpm and when i went in it was 136bpm thats when i found out that my resting heart rate was high i was scared to death. i saw  my family docter which thought it might be anxiety so she gave me klonopin 1mg twice a day which i have been taking for 6weeks know  which havent helped me at all. so she reffered me to a cardiologist. he seen me for like 5 min and i told him how i was on the pain meds for a long time. and i heard that pain meds can slow your heart down so i told the cardiologist that i think it could be where i was on the pain meds for so long and it slowed my heart  down for so long and know that im not taking them anymore my heart doesnt know what to do so it beats out of my chest. he laughed at me and said that doesnt even make sense pain medications doesnt hurt your heart at all. i was like they couldnt give me heart disease or anything he was like no.which i dont believe, what do you think?
then he told me he wanted to give me a echo and if nothing bad showed up it  was fine i was young i could handle it beating fast, i was like even when it gets up to 154bpm he was like yea. i go back for my echo feb 5. what do you think about all of this? the er had me wear a holter moniter for 24 hours and my heart beat ranged from57-154bpm and they did a ct scan of my chest it was fine. what do you think is wrong with me. do you think its just my body adjusting from the pain meds  to the life style without them now? or what anything will help me at this point im scared to death. everydocter tells me something diffrent.
i think the white blood cell count being up had something to do with the pain meds also.
thanx in advance
please help me any advice at this time will help!
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
hello,
im am 20 years old and i have a fast resting heart rate. it stays at about 120 bpm it has been like this for about a month that i have noticed. it all started after i quit taking my pain medication. i was hurt really bad in a car accident in "04" and they gave me oxy cautin had me taking 3 40's a day for pain. then when i went without my medication i started having really bad withdrawl (withdrawal) symptoms. so i had to get off of it, i told my docter and he prescribed me methodone for a week or so then i went without it same withdrawl (withdrawal) feeling. then he gave me hydrocodone which i had to take for a month to completley get off of it which i did. but while i was still tappering myself off  of everything i was having terrible pains in my side that i have had for about 6 years but i wanted to see what it was and my white blood cell count was 20,000 and anywhere between 6-9,000 is normal i think so they keep me in the hospital for three days and the whole time i was  in there my heart rate never went below 100bpm and when i went in it was 136bpm thats when i found out that my resting heart rate was high i was scared to death. i saw  my family docter which thought it might be anxiety so she gave me klonopin 1mg twice a day which i have been taking for 6weeks know  which havent helped me at all. so she reffered me to a cardiologist. he seen me for like 5 min and i told him how i was on the pain meds for a long time. and i heard that pain meds can slow your heart down so i told the cardiologist that i think it could be where i was on the pain meds for so long and it slowed my heart  down for so long and know that im not taking them anymore my heart doesnt know what to do so it beats out of my chest. he laughed at me and said that doesnt even make sense pain medications doesnt hurt your heart at all. i was like they couldnt give me heart disease or anything he was like no.which i dont believe, what do you think?
then he told me he wanted to give me a echo and if nothing bad showed up it  was fine i was young i could handle it beating fast, i was like even when it gets up to 154bpm he was like yea. i go back for my echo feb 5. what do you think about all of this? the er had me wear a holter moniter for 24 hours and my heart beat ranged from57-154bpm and they did a ct scan of my chest it was fine. what do you think is wrong with me. do you think its just my body adjusting from the pain meds  to the life style without them now? or what anything will help me at this point im scared to death. everydocter tells me something diffrent.
i think the white blood cell count being up had something to do with the pain meds also.
thanx in advance
please help me any advice at this time will help!
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
hello,
im am 20 years old and i have a fast resting heart rate. it stays at about 120 bpm it has been like this for about a month that i have noticed. it all started after i quit taking my pain medication. i was hurt really bad in a car accident in "04" and they gave me oxy cautin had me taking 3 40's a day for pain. then when i went without my medication i started having really bad withdrawl (withdrawal) symptoms. so i had to get off of it, i told my docter and he prescribed me methodone for a week or so then i went without it same withdrawl (withdrawal) feeling. then he gave me hydrocodone which i had to take for a month to completley get off of it which i did. but while i was still tappering myself off  of everything i was having terrible pains in my side that i have had for about 6 years but i wanted to see what it was and my white blood cell count was 20,000 and anywhere between 6-9,000 is normal i think so they keep me in the hospital for three days and the whole time i was  in there my heart rate never went below 100bpm and when i went in it was 136bpm thats when i found out that my resting heart rate was high i was scared to death. i saw  my family docter which thought it might be anxiety so she gave me klonopin 1mg twice a day which i have been taking for 6weeks know  which havent helped me at all. so she reffered me to a cardiologist. he seen me for like 5 min and i told him how i was on the pain meds for a long time. and i heard that pain meds can slow your heart down so i told the cardiologist that i think it could be where i was on the pain meds for so long and it slowed my heart  down for so long and know that im not taking them anymore my heart doesnt know what to do so it beats out of my chest. he laughed at me and said that doesnt even make sense pain medications doesnt hurt your heart at all. i was like they couldnt give me heart disease or anything he was like no.which i dont believe, what do you think?
then he told me he wanted to give me a echo and if nothing bad showed up it  was fine i was young i could handle it beating fast, i was like even when it gets up to 154bpm he was like yea. i go back for my echo feb 5. what do you think about all of this? the er had me wear a holter moniter for 24 hours and my heart beat ranged from57-154bpm and they did a ct scan of my chest it was fine. what do you think is wrong with me. do you think its just my body adjusting from the pain meds  to the life style without them now? or what anything will help me at this point im scared to death. everydocter tells me something diffrent.
i think the white blood cell count being up had something to do with the pain meds also.
thanx in advance
please help me any advice at this time will help!
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
hello,
im am 20 years old and i have a fast resting heart rate. it stays at about 120 bpm it has been like this for about a month that i have noticed. it all started after i quit taking my pain medication. i was hurt really bad in a car accident in "04" and they gave me oxy cautin had me taking 3 40's a day for pain. then when i went without my medication i started having really bad withdrawl (withdrawal) symptoms. so i had to get off of it, i told my docter and he prescribed me methodone for a week or so then i went without it same withdrawl (withdrawal) feeling. then he gave me hydrocodone which i had to take for a month to completley get off of it which i did. but while i was still tappering myself off  of everything i was having terrible pains in my side that i have had for about 6 years but i wanted to see what it was and my white blood cell count was 20,000 and anywhere between 6-9,000 is normal i think so they keep me in the hospital for three days and the whole time i was  in there my heart rate never went below 100bpm and when i went in it was 136bpm thats when i found out that my resting heart rate was high i was scared to death. i saw  my family docter which thought it might be anxiety so she gave me klonopin 1mg twice a day which i have been taking for 6weeks know  which havent helped me at all. so she reffered me to a cardiologist. he seen me for like 5 min and i told him how i was on the pain meds for a long time. and i heard that pain meds can slow your heart down so i told the cardiologist that i think it could be where i was on the pain meds for so long and it slowed my heart  down for so long and know that im not taking them anymore my heart doesnt know what to do so it beats out of my chest. he laughed at me and said that doesnt even make sense pain medications doesnt hurt your heart at all. i was like they couldnt give me heart disease or anything he was like no.which i dont believe, what do you think?
then he told me he wanted to give me a echo and if nothing bad showed up it  was fine i was young i could handle it beating fast, i was like even when it gets up to 154bpm he was like yea. i go back for my echo feb 5. what do you think about all of this? the er had me wear a holter moniter for 24 hours and my heart beat ranged from57-154bpm and they did a ct scan of my chest it was fine. what do you think is wrong with me. do you think its just my body adjusting from the pain meds  to the life style without them now? or what anything will help me at this point im scared to death. everydocter tells me something diffrent.
i think the white blood cell count being up had something to do with the pain meds also.
thanx in advance
please help me any advice at this time will help!
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
i think this is probably from stopping the med and will go away in time if you stay away from other meds like this. CNS depressants can have a 'rebound effect' after stopping them where your body hyperexcites. i am having a ton of heart problems from stopping klonopin. i would look up the risks of using klonopin before i continued and poss became dependant on it. just from my experience it is a very hard med to get off of. please look into it.
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