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My pulse is so weak tonight!
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My pulse is so weak tonight!

Just when I am certain that I have experienced every heart problem known to man, something new happens to me. Tonight, my pulse has decided to weaken to the point of being undetectable. After an afternoon workout, my heart returned to a normal rate, but the pulse in my wrist was so faint that I could barely feel it. I tried to take my pulse in my neck, and it seemed stronger there, but usually it is very forceful in my wrist as well, and this sudden change cannot be good! My breathing seems normal, but I feel a little shaky too. I guess that could be due to my anxiety about my heart, though: as always, it is hard to know what causes what. I did a little research (with my fingers pressed to my wrist) and found that a weak pulse can be caused by low  blood pressure. My blood pressure has always been low: could it be getting worse? My mouth feels a little dry too, and I did just exercise: could I be dehydrated? Whatever the cause, does a weak pulse mean that my heart is beating weakly too? Should I seek medical attention? I feel like I have to check my pulse constantly now, to make sure it hasn't faded away into nothing! Aah!
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1124887_tn?1313758491
Hi!

I'm sorry (or happy is maybe a better word) to tell you that once again, you worry about something completely normal :-)

What you describe is the good thing with exercise (it's good that you exercise by the way), after exercise, the tension in your blood vessels is reduced which also lowers the blood pressure (also known as post-exercise hypotension). Exercise makes your blood vessels relax, which is why exercise can reduce blood pressure.

If your blood vessels are tense, your pulse pressure (difference between systolic and diastolic) will be high, and can be noticed as a strong or hard pulse. This is not good for your blood vessels and can (after several years) turn into a permanent condition which can damage the heart. If your blood vessels are soft and flexible, your pulse will be much less noticeable.

And - of course some dehydration may lower the stroke volume.

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5 Comments Post a Comment
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1182699_tn?1297578384
Hey, hope you're feeling better. I get this sometimes too. I actually think it is when my heart is doing what it is supposed to be doing. I think I'm so used to it acting crazy, I don't know how to react when it's just doing it's normal thing. The dry mouth sounds a little like anxiety, could be hyperventilating a little, which I do a lot myself. Staying well hydrated will help to maintain your blood pressure if it is a little low. So I would definitely make sure to drink some water. Are you lightheaded or faint?  You said you were exercising, maybe your heart is getting to where it is being conditioned and will start to beat not as forceful as before. I do hope you are feeling better and I hope you can get some rest tonight. Let us know how you're feeling.
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221122_tn?1323014865
I get that at times. I think rilesnic is correct in saying to hydrate.  I notice if I have low fluid volume, my pulse tends to be thready.  
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1124887_tn?1313758491
Hi!

I'm sorry (or happy is maybe a better word) to tell you that once again, you worry about something completely normal :-)

What you describe is the good thing with exercise (it's good that you exercise by the way), after exercise, the tension in your blood vessels is reduced which also lowers the blood pressure (also known as post-exercise hypotension). Exercise makes your blood vessels relax, which is why exercise can reduce blood pressure.

If your blood vessels are tense, your pulse pressure (difference between systolic and diastolic) will be high, and can be noticed as a strong or hard pulse. This is not good for your blood vessels and can (after several years) turn into a permanent condition which can damage the heart. If your blood vessels are soft and flexible, your pulse will be much less noticeable.

And - of course some dehydration may lower the stroke volume.

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1298588_tn?1330322581
And I thought that I had finally come upon a truly life-threatening condition. Too bad it turned out to be something less dangerous than that! Thanks so much for the explanation. As with the rate of my pulse, I will learn to recognise the strength of my pulse as another factor that is subject to variation from a number of benign causes, and calm myself down in the future. :)
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Avatar_f_tn
About checking your pulse:  It's a bad nervous habit that does no good, kind of like picking at a scab.

If you can do your normal things like walking, shopping, exercising (which you obviously can do), and you are not experiencing nausea, real faintness (not a little dizziness, but the kind of thing that lays you out on the floor), sweating, or chest pain, then your blood pressure is just fine.  It is high enough to allow you to live well.

The little variations you feel when you check your pulse are quite literally meaningless.

Moral:  For the sake of your mental health, train yourself to keep your fingers off your pulse.
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