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Post-exercise elevated heart rate
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Post-exercise elevated heart rate

After a 4 mile hike in a little over an hour, my heart rate gets stuck at 120 for an hour or two.  When it drops, it drops back to my resting HR of 60.  This is exhausting because it is like I am running a race the whole time and very disruptive.  I had a heart monitor for two weeks and I had no irregular heartbeats, even when this post-exercise thing happened.  My cardiologist wants me to take a beta blocker, but I am very sensitive to drugs and don't want to.  I would like to do more strenuous exercise and get into better shape.  Could it be electrolytes?  (I am 66 year old female, in okay--not great--shape.)
Avatar_dr_f_tn
It is difficult to say what is going on without knowing exactly what the rhythm is when you are exercising. Unless it is an arryythmia, it would be unlikely to be related to electrolyte abnormalities. As for whether or not a medication is appropriate, I think that is a discussion that you should have with your cardiologist. If you are reluctant to start a medication make sure you voice your concerns so that the two of you can have a discussion about the risks/benefits related to this decision. Certainly getting this issue sorted out is important as getting regular exercise is very important to your overall health.
5 Comments
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Avatar_f_tn
I have the exact same problem .. only my resting hr is around 88. I couldn't take the beta blocker. The mildest one knocked me out cold! I felt drugged all the time.. so good idea for not taking it. I just had to switch to walking outside and yoga.
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7641974_tn?1395291841
Take the beta blocker. If he advises it then it is a good idea. My mom suddenly passed away of a heart attack this year at 63. She didn't even have too many symptoms but taking a beta blocker would have been helpful to her had they known her heart health.  The risk of not taking the beta blocker is much higher than if you do take it.
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Avatar_f_tn
I am not having an arrythmia.  My cardiologist is actually not concerned regarding my heart health or this issue.  I had a recent angiogram that was clean as a whistle and the heart monitor I recently wore said that I am in sinus rhythm, albeit elevated, post-exercise.  I do have a pacemaker and had a successful cardiac ablation several years ago (no a-fib now).  I have complained for the last year and a half of this problem and had a stress test, etc.  He is throwing the BB at this for lack of any other idea.  He won't care that I have decided not to take it.  I am unhappy because I exercise and then have to recover for several hours afterwards, even after simply a vigorous walk.  (I do think caffeine before exercising is something that effects this.)
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63984_tn?1385441539
I battle the same problem.  I have your exact history but also have had bypass surgery and many stents.  
I'm assuming your pacer is monitored at least every six months.  It should be able to tell you every heartbeat history since your last checkup.  Generally pacers keep the hear rate from dropping to dangerous levels, but also have a feature that anticipates your activity based on adrenalin levels, etc.  If you aren't warming up or warmed up before starting your walk, it could confuse your pacer, at least that happened to me.
Keep us informed.
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