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Palpitations after exercise
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Palpitations after exercise

I recently experienced an abnormal heartbeat after exercising.  It seems as though my heart skips a beat and does not maintain a regular beat after I workout.  During physical activity everything seems to be normal.  It is during the cool down period that I notice the sensation.  I play a lot of golf, and I tend to notice the sensation when it seems to be very hot outside.  It does not occur immediately, but it seems to happen after my heart rate goes up and down for a prolonged period of time.  After the physical activity stops, my heart rate eventually goes back to a normal beat, generally within a half an hour.  I do not experience any dizziness, light headedness, or shortness of breath.  Outisde of the feeling near my breastbone or stomach I probably wouldn't have noticed.  I have had an ekg, ecg and holter and all came back normal.  Is this something I should worry about?  Any ideas on what it could be?  The only medication I am on now is Crestor- 10mg.
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Hello,

Glad to hear all the other tests were normal.  Did you exercise with the holter on and did you exerpience the same symptoms?  It is important that when you where these recording devices that you do the insighting stimulus so we can see exactly what is going on.  Another option is a simple exercise / treadmill stress test.  Not to look for ischemia but to look for post exercise arrhythmias.  I would consider doing this depending on the severity of your symptoms, age, and other risk factors.  It is probably just premature beats, I would like to know for sure it isn't atrial fibrillation.

I hope this helps.
14 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
I am 32 yr old male with no pre-existing conditions outside of the high cholesterol.  No family history.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have had almost exactly the same problems you describe. It started 3 yrs ago when I decided to increase my aerobic activity. I have purchased a Timex heart monitor ($50) with a data recorder ($50) and charted my heart beat on the treadmill. It revs up smoothly in the beginning to 120-130 with only a small variation (+- 2-5). The variability then increases a little bit after about 10 minutes. Sometimes I get dizzy during running. What is consistent, like you is that sometime after cessation of activity my heart rate falls, to 50-60 and then even dips down to 40 when it should be 100+. After a while it recovers. I have had a heart cath, an EP study with an ablation for atrial flutter and nothing has helped. Monitoring showed my heart rate pauses. One of my docs is suggesting a pacemaker, but I'm not going to do that just to be able to run more. I have no problems at rest. Post your progress here, I am interested in what you learn.
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Avatar_n_tn
"After exercise"! Thats what I had been experiencing for  a few years now.And I tell you what absolutely noone dwells or worries more about "if youre going to drop over dead" from these PVCs more then I do.As far as me I wish I could find a "pattern" of when they will hapen either during/after exercise.And believe it or not sometimes (sigh) I dont even get them after exercise while sometimes (anyone ever have this problem?) I sometimes get PVCs during exercise which absolutely almost scares me inside out.
  And as far as the info goes about me (for everyone out there),im a 32 year old male,and I have been having this problem for almost 6 and a half years.I have gone to the Cleveland Clinic and had the usual EKGs a stress tests,blood work,which showed that I have an usually fast "sinus tachycardia" and that is pretty much about it.And the holter monitor showed 22 extra upper chamber beats.I was prescribed "atenolol" 25mg (and im not even sure if that is a low or high dose),and then I was told this - That the echo showed that my heart has "no structural defects",which was reassuring all the way until you start having PVCs and then that "reassurance" to me goes right out ther window.
  I was then referred to a "endocrine" department of CCF (which still is reassuring to me a little knowing that it so far isnt a major heart problem),which leads me into this.......
   I have a past history of anxiety,a past history of not eating correctly (I eat about once a day is all and then am active),and I have problems trying to sleep and stay asleep period! And my mind is well...somewhat preoccupied of all this.
   In approximately 3 weeks I am leaving to california for a MAJOR deal/opportunity to tour and I cant believe I am still here worrying about this.Lately it also seems since I found out I am leaving to tour that the grand ole PVCs have returned even more,yet for some reason I try my very best to just say "just wait it out- it will pass".
  Lastly,no I havent started taking the atenolol yet,and I also cant decide if I should take that or maybe an "anti-anxiety" med or potassium supplement?
  I used to be such a very physically active person and have since over the last few years cut down on that even though I didnt want to.It IS NOT because I feel chest pains,hit the ground because im out of breath,or other warning signs ,it is JUST THIS UNCOMFORTABLE FEELING IN YOUR CHEST WHEN THE PVCS HAPPEN thats frustrating.
  Yet anyways I was glad to see this article posted because that is something I get from time to time too.Anyways its great to hear from others out there and especially for fellowship (as I said before).I know I kind of "rambled on" yet I figured id just "vent",my email address is: ***@****,thanks...

- The "sinus arrythmia/pvc king"

- Mike
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Avatar_n_tn
I get the pvc's while I exercise. The 3 in a row scare me alot. I had 3 in a row with a normal beat followed by the 3 more pvc's normal beat and 3 more pvcs. This drove me to the atenolol. I've been taking 12.5mg atenolol for about 10 weeks now. It helps minimize the severity. Now I get one skip beat and it's not as strong. However, the atenolol has interrupted my sleep and only recently have I had a few normal nights sleep. You may want to try it. You can always go off it. Although if you decide to go off it ask your doctor how to taper off since it can bring on a fast heart beat if you suddenly stop. I've had these skip beats for about 15 years now. They are nerve racking.
I take 500 mg of magnesium, an aspirin, and eat bananas which have all helped. Sleep also is important.
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Avatar_n_tn
C123,

   Thanks for the response as well as post,my GOD! if I had "three in a row" extra PVCs at once (as you said during exercise),I would have more then freaked out worse then any recorded history of "anxiety attacks".
  Do you still continue to exercise when you get these PVCs? Or just "stop immediately" (like I do),Im curious enough to ask this.
  As far as the Atenolol goes,I was prescribed at 25mg,yet havent started taking it yet (however withe reset onset of PVCs lately - It doesnt matter of how paranoid I am about medications - I have to startt taking something as I feel my life is getting out of control with this).I can deal with "interrupted sleep" (if that is one of the side effects of Atenonol because I hardly sleep anyways lol!
  And I have been having this problems with PVCs since around April 1st,1999,during exercise and after (which worry me alot) and now it seems there isnt any "set pattern" as they happen when they want to throghout the day.(to my dismay).Somehow I wonder of changing eating/sleeping patterns would help..
  Thanks for the response and as always my email address is: ***@****

- Mike (wondering what life is like PVC free lik eit used to be)
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Avatar_n_tn
If it's only one pvc I continue to exercise. The multiple ones and the day I had a run are enough to make me stop. Now that I take atenolol (only 12.5mg) the severity (number in a row and the actual feeling of the pvc) is significantly reduced. In my case sleep is a big factor in triggering the pvc's. Perhaps if you don't sleep well now that might be a trigger for your pvc's.
My issue is the sleep disturbance with the atenolol that I didn't have before.
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Avatar_n_tn
I know how scarey PVCs can be, I get over a thousand an hour. Yep, over a thousand an hour. And I have a 22 year history of them (used to be more manageable when they were only 450/hr!!).

But even one PVC can put you into a state of anxiety, so I suggest that treating your anxiety over the PVCs and that might help lessen the sensation of PVCs. I've been told often, and have read often the response by the doctors here on this forum that many people get PVCs, but not everyone is as fortunate :-) as we are to feel them.

Try to avoid all the possible triggers, you know, fatigue, dehydration, drop in blood sugar, caffiene, obesity, smoking, stress.

That means try to get sufficient rest, get more regular meals, drink plenty of water, quit caffiene or smoking if you do that, and continue to exercise to reduce weight, alleviate stress and keep yourself fit. Don't let the PVCs take over your life. Easier said than done. But you have to practice looking for the good. You will have good days and bad, even good hours and bad throughout the day, but if you only focus on the bad, that's all you will see. Hope you have more and more good days.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hello...

I am writing to all men who have palpitations, I can express my experience as being a male not sure if this would be of any help to females or not....

I am 55 I have had palpations for 40 years, it started when I was 15 and running laps in high school, when we were done I felt this big thump in my chest a few times and it felt like my heart stopped for a second..

I did not tell anyone for years even though it continued, then when I was in my early 20's I decided to see a Dr. about it, I was put through all the tests, and wore the halter and the whole nine yards, but the palpitations would never happen while on the halter...

I was starting to go to the ER about 2-3 times a week when it would start, but by the time I got there and they hooked me up to the EKG they were gone, so my Dr. told me he thought I was just suffering from anxiety and prescribed xyanx, which I took 3 times a day for years, but I still kept having the palpitations, and when I would have them I would take about 5 of the xyanx 1mg. each and it would get me relaxed and the palpitations would go away, this went on for years until I switched Drs. when I was about 40...

He sent me for more extensive tests and the results were that I had a prolapsed mitral valve, I was given the option to have the valve replaced, or take heart medication every day for the rest of my life which would stop the palpations...  I did neither...

I spoke with my parents and found out that my 82 year old father has had this problem his whole life, and takes nothing, and has never had a heart attack, I asked him how he could stand it because when I listened to his heart it was palpitating constantly, he said I have just learned to live with it...

I wish I could do the same, but everytime I start getting the palpitations now I go into a panic and my heart sometimes beats so fast I can't even count the beats, I have to take a handful of xyanx and lie down, and after about a half hour they are gone, but the problem is I am done for the rest of the day, I am so tired all I can do is sleep...

Now at my age 55 I have gained 60 lbs. am not active at all anymore, and even afraid to walk for any exercise, I am a real mess 260 lbs. high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and am now taking actos because my sugar is elevated...

I do not smoke or drink, have not since 1990, and I wish desperately there were something I could do to get my life back, I am so afraid I am going to end up like those people you see on shows like Jerry Springer weighing 1000 lbs. and bedridden..

My advise to you young men who are having this problem is to keep active watch your diet, DON'T SMOKE OR DRINK and don't fall into the same pit I have fallen into, because in 20 years from now you will still be here and you will be wishing you did not let palpitations control your life...

I hope my story may help at least one person, if I'm still hear in 10 years I will let you know how I am doing, hopefully I will have a better story for you, but for now, don't live in fear, just LIVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

-Hank
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Avatar_n_tn
Thought I would post since this all so soooo familiar.  I'm 37, have had PVCs for a year and half now.  I get them mostly cooling down from a run or when I have to exert myself slightly: like a brisk walk through the airport, a walk up a hill playing golf,etc.  I've had so many test I can't count them all but all the DRs say don't worry about it.  I get triplets, couplets, bigeminy, trigeminy, all of them and the EP cardiologist said he didn't see anything too worrisome.  I was told I'm not a candidate for catheter ablation because they were not frequent enough.  I've run 3 marathons (not since gettting PVCs though).  I often wonder if running a marathon had something to do with it, but there doesn't appear to be any rhyme or reason as to what caused them.  I still run (but with less intensity) because I refuse to let it control me, but I do notice that they are more frequent the rest of the day.  Some days are better than others, but mostly I've learned to ignore them.

I guess the reason I'm posting is that someone mentioned having trouble sleeping on atenolol.  I had the same trouble.  I got this "jittery" feeling that kept me awake.  I was switched to Toprol, which is a controlled released beta blocker and had much better luck with that.  Obvioulsly check with your Dr, but it might work for you too.  It's more expensive, though.  The beta blocker doesn't stop my PVC's, but it does "soften" them so that I don't feel the hard "thump" of the PVC quite as much.
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Avatar_n_tn
That is so weird when you mentioned you get the skipped beats.  Those are the exact times I get them.  In fact, those are really the only times I ever notice them.  And they seem to happen randomly.  It is not every time I golf, or walk briskly through the airport.  It seems to happen more during golf when it is very hot and humid out.  Also, I tend to notice them more after I have stopped after nine holes to grab a sandwich.  They seem to last for the rest of the round, and maybe a half an hour once I am done playing.
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Avatar_n_tn
42 yr male, pvcs for 7 years - been lurking around long enough, thought I'd share...

I was on atenolol (25mg) about 3 yrs - mostly to reduce the PVC symptoms, but also help my BP. Lost weight and got BP down, doc said ok to stop the atenolol (I did a few weeks ago). Wanted to see if I could live without it :)

It does reduce the frequency and severity of PVC symptoms. The side effects I noticed only lasted a few days (felt a little fuzzy). Sleeping was no problem.

One thing I have noticed about the PVCs: I get them a few days a week, a few weeks a month, usually in bursts (5-10 a minute for a few minutes, then less for an hour, then gone). Everyone looks for triggers (exercise, eating certain foods, etc.). For sure, dehydrating (and low potassium) will make them worse, so on hot humid days lost of OJ is a good bet. But in my (humble) opinion, the repeatable triggers tend to be psychological. I'll get them out of the blue on a good day, but once that happens, they tend to happen again at the same time. If I get a bad run after lunch, that will continue for a week. If they happened after once jogging I'd get them after jogging for a while. At one point, I noticed I never had problems on a Monday, but almost always on a Tuesday!  I'm sure that's not the case for everyone, but I'll bet it's not always the exercise itself. It may be more the awareness of a heartbeat.

I guess I'm saying I don't think anxiety is the direct cause, but it perpetuates the cycle. It's like back pain - your back hurts, which tenses up your back muscles, making your bakc hurt more...

Good luck to everyone!
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Avatar_n_tn
Wow, I thought I was the only one. I too get unexplained Palpitations. I too have taken evry test. What is the deal here? Are they, the palpitations, life threatning? Since they began out of no-whwre will they just go away? I am 44 y.o. I gained 45 lbs in 6 months. I also get a little short of breath. Do I continue to run a little or should I stop?
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Avatar_n_tn
Wow, I thought I was the only one. I too get unexplained Palpitations. I too have taken evry test. What is the deal here? Are they, the palpitations, life threatning? Since they began out of no-whwre will they just go away? I am 44 y.o. I gained 45 lbs in 6 months. I also get a little short of breath. Do I continue to run a little or should I stop?
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Avatar_f_tn
A related discussion, Heart Palpitations after exercise was started.
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Why do we have a nightmare?Nightmare chief has dreamed of falling or of being attacked two dreams,Humans have long think this two dreams of nightmare was could not explains.In truth,This two chief dreams of nightmare caused by the illusion ofsensation of tachycardia and bradycardia(heart palpitations).When we were tachycardia wake ,the tachycardia would caused illusion of it seems to being attacked.When we were tachycardia asleep,the tachycardia would caused nightmare of illusionnightmare of being attacked.When we were bradycardia wake,the bradycardia would caused illusion of it seems to heart falling.When we were bradycardia asleep,the bradycardia would caused nightmare of illusion of person falling.
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