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Rapid, sudden heartbeat and nausea with regular exercise
I was working out today (as I do daily), at a reduced intensity than usual (usual HR is 160ish, today's avg hr was 138). I'm 35 y/o, resting hr is 56. While slowing down to reverse direction on the elliptical, my heart rate went from 135 to 150 within 2-3 seconds. I also immediately felt sick to my stomach and my heart had a rapid and irregular beat. I was diagnosed with a 'congenital heart defect' last month, but haven't seen the cardiologist yet. Am I ok? lol I worry about the intensity of my exercise (I have always tried to work out at my max intensity possible - this is the reason I'm decreasing intensity). Is it possible for me to have a stroke or heart attack with these symptoms? Thanks!
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Without knowing what your 'congenital heart defect is,' it's impossible to say what's likely to happen.

You're obviously in shape and young; that's all in your favor, but frankly, I'd suggest calling your doc--whoever diagnosed the alleged heart defect--and ASKING the question about exercise intensity.

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Thanks for your response. I didn't want to go into detail about my heart report, until I knew someone was listening. ;-)

For the defects, I have: 'a tiny membranous ventricular septal defect' 'mild mitral insufficiency' 'trivial pulmonic insufficiency' 'funneling and tapering of the proximal main pulmonary artery just beyond the valve down to about 17mm.' 'appearance of small shelf-like projection at the base of the main pulmonary artery, causing flow acceleration in the range of 2.9 m/s giving a mild gradient of 33mmHg in this area' 'trivial tricuspid regurgitation with a velocity of 2.3m/s, although the TR jet trace was suboptimal.'

Am I ok to run and exercise intensely, as I normally do?

Many thanks!

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OK, your report says you have trivial to mild leakage from several valves.  My own cardiologist says this is pretty common, and indeed, all of mine leak to some extent.  Your report does not say you have any leakage at all at the aortic valve, which I do have, and which my doc says is the one that should NOT be leaking.  Because of this, I get regular checkups to monitor that valve.  Even so, thought I am not young, I do fairly vigorous cardio at the gym five or six days a week,  and the doc encourages me in this activity.

However, your septal defect is another kettle of fish, since it does describe an opening, however small, that should not be there.  

Not to frighten you, but it is possible that your symptoms could be related to a change in that little septal defect.  I would recommend you throttle back on the intensity and call your cardiologist let's say tomorrow to ask for advice about exercise intensity.  There are times when prudence is a good approach, and you will not lose much conditioning if you have an appointment not far off.
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Thanks! Unfortunately, I'm in Canada, which means getting in to see the cardiologist is going to be a while. I was referred over a month ago, and after this happened, I called the card's office, asking to get in early (cancellation list)...haven't heard anything yet.

In any case, I'll ramp it down until I get in to see him...

Thanks! :-)
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