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Heart Rate and Stimulants - Exercise, Alcohol and Food
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Heart Rate and Stimulants - Exercise, Alcohol and Food

I am 25 yr old Male.  Three things in particular - exercise, heavy food and alcohol can cause my heart to beat rapidly for a couple of hours before returning to "normal".  Two years ago I had the full works - Blood tests, 2 EKGs, Echo, 24hr Holter Monitor and Exercise Stress Test.  Two Cardiologists looked at the results and neither were concerned.  My GP (who referred me to the Cardiologist after taking my pulse at about 120 a couple of hours after exercise) agrees with me that I have a fast heart rate but he cant explain why.  He is convinced though that there is a reason for it but does not know how to establish it.

I guess I have a few questions because you all seem to know so much about these things:

1. My resting heart rate varies considerably.  It is almost always between 60 and 100 but the changes seem strange.  On Monday morning it could be 64, on Tuesday morning it could be 84.  Any ideas?

2.  Is it just the case that some people are over sensitive to stimulants like alcohol?  I had two glasses of champagne yesterday and my HR stayed at 120 for 2 hours.

3. Do I need to just forget about this. Should I get a second opinion? I would be really grateful to hear your thoughts.
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Avatar_f_tn
it sounds like you've had a pretty thorough workup which is good.. alot of people have heart rates that stay slightly elevated after exercise, it can be due to many things, dehydration, deconditioning, adrenaline, toomany to list.. the same goes for the variability in resting heart rate, it may be impossible to find the cause, but i think the main thing to keep in mind is that even though your resting heart rate varies, both examples you gave are well within the normal range..

Many people are very sensative to stimulants..

If you are very concerned, a second opinion is not a bad idea, if anything it should give you some peace of mind.. i hope you find the answers you are looking for!
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84483_tn?1289941537
You're probably sensitive to alcohol, even though I'm on 100mg of atenolol , a few beers will still get my heartrate up. A variation in heartrate is actually a good thing. Even though you might have a slightly exaggerated heartrate response to alcohol, exercise and stress, it shows that overall you have a healthy functioning heart, unless these rates of 120 and above are prolonged and continuous , once its a sinus tachycardia I wouldn't worry too much other than avoid the triggers, remember heartrate varies greatly among different people, some people are even unaware of heartrates 140 and above. Try and relax, do some walking and learn relaxation techniques and see if it helps. take care. Pls note my opinion and understanding only . I'm not a MD , rely always on your doctor/cardiologist advice.
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66068_tn?1365196781
I think you are right to be concerned... but not overly so. A 120 heart rate two hours after exerscise may indicate that your heart rate is not recovering normally and that you have a form of dysautonomia; i.e., your autonomic nervous system, which controls the involuntary functioning of body organs like the heart is slightly ajar.  There have been studies that indicate that those with this type of dysautonomia (showing slow heart rate recovery after exercise) are at greater risk of sudden death should they have a heart attack.

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/504637

So it might make sense to get a second opinion.  Now don't get too worked up about this.  You MAY have a dysautonomia...maybe you don't too.  Also, if you don't have a heart attack, no problem.  I think a key point is that your previous tests have established that you heart is structurally normal.... so you are in little actual danger.... but you may have a dysautonomia. Have you ever had a tilt table test?

Here's a couple of websites that might be informative

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dysautonomia

http://www.ndrf.org/

Best wishes

Tony
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84483_tn?1289941537
Tony has a good comment, but don't panic. I myself have been suggested by some docs to have a mild dysautonomia as tachycardia & PVC or  tachycardia with PVcs have been my mean complaint, luckily I'm  totally controlled with atenolol ( or just about). I also have connective tissue disease which is no fun, luckily I dont give into it. You have to keep moving.

Remember the key is CAD or heart attack, which so far for you  has come up negative, I wouldn't worry about it too much, but as Tony suggested a tilt table test might be a good start. A positive one doesn't necessarily mean you have dysautonomia either, it all depends of the complete clinical picture which can entail great expertise in diagnosing a very elusive problem.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks for the input.  I just looked at some info about dysautonomia.  Apart from the fast heart rate after stimulants, I dont feel unhealthy otherwise - no fainting or fatigue.  I fainted once when I was 11 years old but was standing for quite a while.  (I think that is common as a child).  Anyway is that not something that the cardiologists would have picked up following my exercise stress test? I had to stay connected to the ECG for 10 mins after the exercise ended.  As for these studies showing slow heart rate recovery relating to morbidity, I was worried when I first saw it, but apparently the doctor who did the study said the finding is insignificant in people with otherwise structurally normal hearts.  Maybe I just need to avoid reading about heart conditions on the internet!  It can be very scary!
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Avatar_n_tn
1. My resting heart rate varies considerably. It is almost always between 60 and 100 but the changes seem strange. On Monday morning it could be 64, on Tuesday morning it could be 84. Any ideas?

- I would think your heart rate would be higher on Monday morning, stress of work and all!  Anyways, your heart rate can vary for so many reasons.  Maybe you woke up after a scary dream, or a romantic dream.  Heart Rate is nothing to worry about unless its elevated all the time.  Simple conversations can increase your heart rate.  i wouldnt worry about it.

2. Is it just the case that some people are over sensitive to stimulants like alcohol? I had two glasses of champagne yesterday and my HR stayed at 120 for 2 hours.
- Stimulants definately effect heart rate.  Coffee, Mountain Dew, Alcohol...all can elevate Heart rate.  You heart heart rate increases when you inhale and slows when you exhale, its natural.

3. Do I need to just forget about this. Should I get a second opinion? I would be really grateful to hear your thoughts.

- I would never tell anybody not to look into it further.  If your greatly concerned, go to a doctor and get a second opinion.  But I personally wounldnt worry about it too much.  Everybody has elevated heart rates at times, and different stimulants effect everybody differently.
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Avatar_n_tn

You should be reassurred that all your investigation results have been fine. This means there is nothing structually wrong with your heart. Most people s heart rate alters. If I was you I would take a reading then take one five minutes later I bet they are not the same.

When i have a drink even one glass my heart can race at 220 for 5 hours. I have svts though and alchol is a trigger! Sometimes i can have a few drinks and im fine!

I tend to worry very much about heart conditions but I think the more you worry or read the worse you can make it!!

All the ebst
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