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nocturnal flutter episodes

I'm a 73 yr old WM with an excellent heart history and heritage, a perfectly normal recent EKG, non-smoker, no asthma, quite fit, normal weight. About 10 wks ago,I started having tachycardia episodes between 4AM and 6AM. The episodes range from zero to six per night. I've had slightly elevated blood pressure (in the 145/85 range) for the last year and have been taking Metoprolol for the last six wks with some benefit blood-pressure-wise (now 137/70). Episodes in last five nights have been increasing in frequency to average five. They wake me up but only seem to last 8 to 35 seconds (mostly, I'd guess, around 12 seconds).I'm guessing my pulse rate goes up to around 140 bpm. Daytimes, I feel and act just fine. I've been under a little stress lately, but nothing really abnormal.  My GP doesn't seem concerned beyond tracking my blood pressure and prescribing the Metoprolol. Should I try to see a specialist?
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Avatar universal
Well, stress hormones could be kicking in, especially if you're having disturbing dreams or are tossing and turning. (I often get palpitations between 3 and 5 a.m. when I'm under stress.)

It's also possible (though I'm not a doctor) that you are experiencing episodes of atrial fibrillation, or tachycardia following bradycardia (while you're asleep.) You may want to see a cardiologist and ask for a 48-hour Holter monitor to see if anything is going on that needs to be addressed.

Also, have they checked your thyroid and your blood sugar levels lately to make sure they are within normal range?

Let us know what you find out. Good luck!

Avatar universal
No bad dreams or tossing/turning. Thyroid and blood checked out OK when I saw my GP about this. I myself asked him about a Holter monitor, but he wasn't very enthused. I'm seeing him again in three weeks and he may be more receptive then. I asked about atrial fibrillation (which is certainly a possibility), but he seemed to think these episodes are so brief that no harm can occur. I asked about continuing my normal workouts, skiing, etc. and he said "no problem".
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