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Sinus Tachycardia, irregular beat.
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Sinus Tachycardia, irregular beat.


  My family Dr. told me I had an irregular heartbeat and suspected I had tachycardia, my father had just had an oblation (ablation) for what his cardiologist described as a "short circuit" in the heart.  So I went to see that cardiologist and he had me wear a monitor.
  The cardiologist told me I have sinus tachycardia and gave me the option of taking a beta blocker, I declined.  Occasionally I will have episodes of a rapid beat, usually brought on by a stressful event and sometimes I have no idea what triggered it.  I can get them under control within a minute or so.
  My family Dr. said that when he listens to my heart he notices that is will speed up, then slow down.  Frequently I feel as if my heart skips a beat or something along those lines.  
  I'm unclear on what exactly sinus tachycardia is, if my irregular heart beat has anything to do with it, and because of some allergies to medicine I have considered getting an id bracelet.  Is sinus tachycardia something that needs to be on it as well?
  Thanks,
  Tiffany
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Dear Tiffany,
Sinus rhythm can be slow (rate less than 60 beats per minute), normal (between
60 and 100 beats per minute), or fast ('tachycardia'-anything greater than 100 beats a minute).
Any tachycardia needs investigation because it can be due to a short circuit like
your father had (potentially life threatening) or just so persistant that it taxes the
heart over time and causes it to fail.  Now in answer to your specific questions
Irregular heart beats are common (a completely separate issue from tachycardia) and most people do not even feel them, they are called
premature ventricular or atrial beats, depending on which chamber of the heart that
they arise from as an early beat.  They are worsened and become more noticeable and
frequent with stimuators like stress, caffeine, chocolate, and alcohol.  These stimulators, especially
stress are also behind episodes of sinus tachycardia.  As long as the tachycardia is episodic and
not persistant your heart will not be strained, however should the fast heart rate persist or new symptoms
develop re-evaluation is absolutely necessary.  You were probaby offered beta blocker therapy to decrease
the bothersome aspect of the tachycardia, and not because your holter showed persistant tachycardia; it would
do your mind good to know this is true.   No one with occasional sinus tachycardia needs  a medical id bracelet.Information provided in the Heart Forum
is intended for general informational purposes only, actual diagnosis and treatment can only be made by
your physician(s).  





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