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extreme heart palpitations only during exercise
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extreme heart palpitations only during exercise

Please help. I am a 35 year old woman, ex-smoker, 5 ft 4 and about 135 lbs. I don not have any diagnosed medical conditions and I"m not taking any medications.

I've been walking on my treadmill 6-7 days a week for almost 3 years. In the last year I've gotten to the point of being able to walk at 4.3 mph on inclines all the way to 12 and running a mile at a time at 6.0. Every day I would go for 60 minutes.  I had been very pleased with my progress and it's become part of my day.
2 months ago while exercising I felt my heart 'hiccup', my legs went ice cold and my heart rate flew to over 185 bpm, I was dizzy, saw stars and felt sick and weak for hours afterwards.( no pain though)  One month later it happened again and scared me badly. I have decreased the time and intensity of my workouts over the last few weeks, but now it is happening almost every second day or more. I've tried to keep track and it seems like if I go longer than 30 minutes, OR if I go over an incline of 6%, OR if I run faster than 5.2 for more than 5 minutes.  It's happening so frequently now that I do feel it coming on , so I take steps to slow down immediately, I've purchased a heart rate monitor that I wear on my wrist. I'm just devastated - I had planned to run for a cause this summer, but now I"m so scared to even work up a sweat after all these months of training - something's gone wrong.  Now I"m also worrying about it which is making me feel more anxious etc - I've stopped all together on the treadmill because the last time ( 2 days ago) I was only walking on a flat surface at 4.0 and my heart took off racing again. I've just been doing yoga instead.
My doctor is extremely hard to talk to and will tell me the worst and prescribe drugs without listening to me. So thank you for listening. What could be wrong? I don't want to stop exercising - it's my stress relief and now it's become my stress!
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If your doctor is not listening to you, find a new doctor.  If it is happening every other day with exercise, you should be able to capture your heart rhythm during one of these events on a holter or 30 day event monitor.  In a similar situation, I would consider an exercise stress test.  Partly to evaluate your heart heart for blockages, but more because these events seem to be triggered by exercise. This is a way we could try to capture a event on monitor in a controlled setting.

It could be anything from premature beats from your atrium or ventricle to any other rhythm form of heart rhythm.  It is important to see it on monitor to know what it is.  It does not sound like it will be hard to diagnose because it is frequent.

I hope this helps.
2 Comments
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I still haven't been able to see my doctor - do you think I need to refrain from exercising completely? Could this be something dangerous to me ? I just don't know how worried I need to be.
Thanks
Kim
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