The American Heart Association explains tachycardia as a heartbeat that’s too fast, a heart rate of more than 100 beats per minute.
I was given this diagnosis last November. Years prior to seeking a diagnosis I would experience a suddenly increased heart rate while doing normal low impact things. Sometimes it would happen while I was slipping into bed at night. Occasionally, it would only last a few minutes but most times if felt like it was never going to slow down. I would become winded easily and feel like my heart was pounding out of my chest. Sometimes I would even be light headed. It took multiple trips to my primary care doctor before he was comfortable enough to send me to a cardiologist for a referral.
The first visit to my cardiologist was an eye opening experience. On my way to his office I started to feel the tightening of my chest and the pounding of my heart as I stepped into the elevator. Within ten minutes of being in the examining room he could tell that I wasn’t exaggerating about my feelings. He told me he would normally suggest that patients having my symptoms wear a heart monitor for three weeks but he didn’t feel it was necessary since he was able to get a good reading in the exam room. I was given a follow up appointment to have the usual test, an echo cardiogram, and a stress test.
As uncomfortable as these test were I am so glad I had them done. The tests showed my heart had very little damage due to its rapid rate and the doctor was able to see that even though my heart rate reached 200 beats per minute during the stress test I suffered no adverse reactions.
Overall, I am an otherwise healthy person; I just have a heart that beats extremely fast all the time. I also suffer from heart palpitations; this is when the heart beats abnormally and sometimes at a rapid rate for a short period of time. With medication I am able to have a somewhat normal heart beat.
The down side to this is that I have a difficult time doing things which normally raise the heart like walking for extended periods of time, walking up stairs or simply chasing after my children. It has also hindered my gym life because doing cardio workouts for extended periods of time raises my heart rate to nearly 200 beats per minute. Working out has become a challenge but it is not impossible. To keep myself healthy I have learned to manage a moderate workout routine and to know my limits. Finding time to hit the gym can be hard while taking college courses, working and managing a family. I’m hoping this blog will help me by giving me an outlet to address the obstacles I face while allowing me to share great heart healthy tips, recipes and motivation to you.
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