I am a 44 year old woman who has been experiencing constant tachycardia for about two years. My resting heart rate stays around 145 bpm. Any form of exertion, as well as stress, sends my heart rate even higher, and sometimes it will go up to 160-180 bpm for no apparent reason. I also experience chest pain several times most days.
When this first started, I saw a cardiologist. He performed the usual tests - the EKG, echo, treadmill stress test, and chemical induced stress test where they put me in "the tube" (I've forgotten the name of that one at the moment). He also did blood work, looking for thyroid issues, etc. Everything was normal. He sent me home with a holter monitor, and the 24-hour average bpm was 167. The highest was 192, and the lowest was 139.
After unsuccessfully experimenting with several medications, I was sent to an electrophysiologist, who suggested a catheter ablation. I had the procedure, and the doctor found several circuits to "zap". He felt like he'd found them all. I became very excited while in the hospital, because my heart rate was in the nineties. However, by the next day, and every day ever since, it has been right back up in the 140s and higher. I later discovered, after a bout of the flu, my heart rate always goes down with complete bed rest. That's not much help, since I refuse the spend the rest of my life in bed.
I realize the ablations often need to be done more than once, but I was so disappointed the first time, I sort of went into denial, and just hoped it would go away on its own. Of course, it hasn't, and I've dealt with this for two years now. At first, I kind of expected to have a heart attack at any time, but that hasn't happened. So, I'm wondering if it's possible that this is just normal for me now? I didn't think a heart could stand up to working so hard for a long period of time, but it hasn't gotten worse. It just hasn't gotten better.
Is it possible that my heart can be perfectly healthy, and remain so for the rest of my life, and just beat way too fast? Or, am I fooling myself and just a heart attack waiting to happen?
I'm sorry that you're still dealing with this...When you were in for your ablation, do you recall what type of arrhythmia you had the ablation for? Was it a form of SVT (supraventricular tachycardia) or IST(Innapropriate sinus tachycardia)?
I can relate to your disappointment having been through many failed ablations myself. To have a resting heartrate this high is not normal. Over time, more so years, your heart will begin to show signs of failure related to chonic tachycardia. I don't think that you are in immediate danger of having a heart attack, but you must feel a bit fatigued from a consistenly high heart rate.
You should not accept this as being your "norm" I suggest another trip to your Dr to have this investigated. Are you taking any type of rate lowering medication?
Thank you for the replies. It is SVT. My blood pressure has always been low, and the medications the doctor tried lowered it even further, to the point of concern. They also did not lower my heart rate.
Feeling a bit fatigued is the understatement of the year. :-) I'm wiped out. Always.
Even though you didn't really tell me what I wanted to hear, Brooke_38, I do appreciate your input. I guess I suspected that it was too good to be true to believe such a fast heart rate could not cause damage. I'm sorry you've had unsuccessful ablations. Did one eventually work, or did you find another solution?
I'm sorry that my news wasn't what you wanted to hear:( I do feel for you though, and can honestly say I know how you feel...
My history is a bit complicated and has not been resolved. I thought it might be resolved last Aug when I went in for a pacemaker...but, as per usual, experienced a new rhythm issue mid procedure which put that on hold. I'm hoping to someday get back to life, the life I had before all of this.
As nickgirl28 pointed out, SVT nor IST are life threatening...but after years of incessant tachycardia, the heart being a muscle, will start to weaken. I really hope that you get this resolved, even if it means another trip to the EP lab.
Thanks so much for your good wishes. I hope you do get your old life back, and soon. Not that I'd wish this on anyone, but it is comforting to know someone knows how this feels. This is my first visit to this forum, and you've been quite helpful.
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