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exercise induced tachycardia
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exercise induced tachycardia

I am a 48 year old reasonably ( I jog 3x's a week - between 3-4 miles) fit male.  I have been active my entire life.  When I was younger, maybe in my 20's, I noticed I would have an accelerated heart rate sometimes when I played basketball.  If I slowed down and rested for a few minutes it would go away and I could resume playing.  Approximately a year ago I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism - I had been exercising and gaining wait, my skin was very dry and I seemed unreasonably tired at times.  I have been taking levothyroxine and things seem to be going better.  However, recently my tachycardia seems to be occuring more frequently  (only when I am exercising) and appears to be stronger that it used to be.  My Heart rate gets to be 220 or so.  My resting pulse is in the 50's.  I have had a stress echocardiogram and was told that everything looked very good - there was no blockage and everything seemed to be working well.  I have worn an event monitor and a holter monitor but was unable to have an "event".  On Wednesday before work I was on the treadmill and it hit me again.  I had to get off the treadmill and actually sit and rest for a while before I could go home.  I have an appointment with my cardiologist this week, but I was wondering if anyone has had similar things happen to them.  Thank you!
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230125_tn?1193369457
To really know the diagnosis you need to see it on a monitor.  If it increases gradually and decreases slowly, it is probably sinus tachycardia --  a normal tachycardia.  If it seems to start quickly and terminate quickly, it could be a different type of arrhythmia.  There are home telemetry monitors that will allow you to wear the monitor for 21 or 30 days.  If you typically have one or more episodes during that time period, you should be able to capture one of them.

I hope this helps and good luck.
13 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you for your help.  I been reading a bit about tachycardia and I've seen some people writing about it starting with a burp.  Mine seems to do that.  My tachycardia starts rapidly and seems to slow down more gradually.  I get dizzy and feel faint when it happens.  Thanks again!
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Avatar_f_tn
Perhaps your rate decreases gradually because, when you convert back to sinus rhythm your heart beats rapidly from the anxiety/fear the tachycardia produced.
I'm currently wearing an event monitor in an attempt to catch a tachycardia that starts and stops suddenly. I've only got the monitor for a week though and it's highly unlikely anything will happen in that time. Part of me doesn't want it to happen as it's so unpleasant; my heart flutters in my throat and chest. I had a 24 hour holter last week which showed a decrease in PVCs from thousands down to zero (Hurray!) but I may now have a wandering atrial pacemaker. If we don't catch anything on the monitor the cardio says we should assume it's SVT and leave it at that. Anyway enough about me! Good luck with your appointment.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you!  I assume I'll be on another type of monitor next week.  I will need one that I can wear for a few weeks if I hope to catch an event.  They are so unpredictable  Good luck to you, as well!
Scott
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Avatar_n_tn
Yeah! So I am not the only person with this undiagnosed Arrythmia!  I too am a runner/ Ironman traithlete, female 44 years old and have had this issue forever.  Sometimes it happens while I am just sitting still, but lately it has been happening during my runs and yes I have to stop and wait it out.  I can feel it coming on and it is so alarmingly fast I feel like it is going to explode.  I have no pain or dizziness, I just feel like I need to breate in deeper to get it to slow down.  It is so strong that my upper abdomen is pounding!   I am under the care of a cardiologist and am currently wearing a holter moniter and had an episode running on Wed. that WAS FINALLY caught on tape!  The DR. called and said I have an accelerated rythym and He has more to say but I have yet to speak with him.  I have acid reflux disease and when I swallow I do notice sometimes that same irregular beat that only last for about 3seconds.  I am slightly iron deficient as well, and have Crest Syndrome, a form of scleroderma.  Whats up with you?! Mary
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Avatar_m_tn
Sounds exactly like my experience and I was recently diagnosed with AVRT or WPW syndrome. In my 20's, my chest would pound after playing soccer. I rested and my heart rate would suddenly switch from being very rapid back to my normal rate of 54. I never had any pain and learnt to hold my breath to make it stop my pulse beating fast.
In August, my chest was pounding and I went to bed. It was still pounding in the morning so I went to A&E. My pulse was jumping between 170 and 220. A check on an ECG whilst in this phase identified an extra delta wave which indicates a faulty pathway in the heart.
It is something you are born with but the symptoms don't develop until adulthood. The treatment involves locating and burning away the faulty pathway by performing a catheter ablation via the groin. My first op was unsuccessful and I have just undergone the second procedure so fingers crossed.
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Avatar_m_tn
Scott, one other thing. Have you ever suffered migraine with aura? I have suffered with them since my early teens and they are also triggered by vigourous exercise. I believe (although scientifically unproven) that there is a link between my migraines and my heart defect. Following my first operation, I suffered 5 migraines in a row and I have just suffered 3 in a row following my second operation although I usually only get about 2 a year.
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402284_tn?1201570192
Hello everyone, my name is Serena and I am a 17 year old who suffers from tachyarrdia arriythmia. I first noticed my symptoms when I was 7 years old, or in the 2nd or 3rd grade. I was so scared because I never felt like that before with the pounding chest and rapid heart beat. I didn't tell anyone until years later my dad and mom actually felt it while it was happening and they too knew something was up. Anyways back in the day, I didn't know what was triggering my heart to do this. Now this happens so infrequent that it's WAY to hard to catch. That's the most frusturating part. I know now that my arrythmia is very closely related to caffeine, however it's off because I can only recall one time it wasn't caffeine. The other day an attack occurred and I thought about what I had ate that day, a chocolate chip cookie. it's weird that something so insignificant could trigger that, it was in my system apparently. sometimes tho i have slipped and had chocolate and nothing happened. i do get the fluttering or the pvc's and i hate them. this brings me to now, im 17 and going through alot of change physicall, and emotionally with hormones and what not. my pvcs have been acting up more than usual and the doctor said its very common for girls my age to experience this. i have had an ekg done in the past and it came back fine, even right after i had an attack! i had another attack last week and it was scary because NOrmally i can make it stop using one of the manuever i know. well it didnt so i went to the ER and the nurse showed me yet anothet technique. it worked. they did however happen to get my heart rate which was 200+ ...annoying. anyways after that the sent me home and it was ironic because the next day i was getting a holter monitor anyways and im still waiting for the result. the doctor let me start taking the prescriptions because it's for the pvc and depression/anxiety. i am not depressed but i am anxious.. ALOT and i think a lot of it has to do with me not participating in a sport at the moment and i was sick for a period of time and looking back i realized how one thing leads to another and i was a wreck for a period of time trying to feel normal and the heart situation did not help AT ALL. anyways the medicine is called citologram i think is how u spell it she says i will take it for 2 months and it will do away with my pvcs for good. however it doesnt really take effect until 14 days. todays my first day on the medicine and i have noticed a small change! the pvcs are somewhat not as "there", they are very vague and shallow, if that. i know i will still feel them and just like most of you they are scary things. however i read one post about a lady who said the best thing to do is to find a hobby and mine is volleyball, and when that stopped my obsession with my heart started day in and day out. and like most of you it sucks plain and simple, but i realized how each time i feel a symptom or my tachyarrdia starts i dont panic i just breathe and try to make it stop. im glad to say i am getting over my aniexty slowly and i know that i have good medical care (cleveland clinic) fortunatly i live within a few miles of it and i will bee seeing a cardiologist soon so hopefully medicine will be prescribed! but as for anyone who has worse symptoms trust me i know how bad it hurts and you feel alone but think theres somebody in the world who is going through the exact same thing you are that moment you feel your pvc or your arrythmia takes effect. i know i am young but its nice to know im not the only person with this irritating heart condition!--
p.s. a person in a post a long time ago referred to them as HEART HICCUPS! :-)
sometimes i just laugh and im like i guess my heart doesnt like me much , oh well. :-) lifes to short.
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84483_tn?1289941537
I had them all my life, PVCs triggering what was documented as sinus tachycardia with PVCs occuring along with tachycardia, very frightful to say the least, at least the tachy is controlled with atenolol 100mg daily and PVCs few and far between. In my personal opinion I still think a concealed accessory pathway is responsible for these episodes so does 2 cardios, yet they are deemed as "benign" no way to know for sure without an Ep study and the symptoms are not significant enough to warrant the risks. Hang Tight everyone.
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Avatar_n_tn
Well, I went to the EP today and I am set up for an EPstudy for Friday.  I guess the doc is going to go in and try to stimulate the heart to do its tachy thing, then he can do his.  I don't like hospitals, so I can't say I'm looking forward to this.  I am, however, looking forward to being able to exercise and not worry about my heart.
BTW I have had migraines my whole life.  I don't think mine are related to exercise.  
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402284_tn?1201570192
so the doctor is going to try to recreate it? or am i misunderstanding, if he is that would be interesting to see how he would do that. they tried to recreate mine by drinking a lot of caffeine in a certain period and it ddint work, is your tachy more frequent?
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Avatar_n_tn
Mine occurs when I exercise - and not every time.  I've worn the monitors etc,, but nothing happened then.  As soon as I wasn't wearing them I had an event - go figure!

Scott
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402284_tn?1201570192
yeah i hear you! and my favorite is when doctors are so vague about everything~
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