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    Mystery problem
    An_247337 posted:
    Hello! Quick question for you guys/girls. Is there such a thing as a heart rate that varies too quickly? I know that it is normal to have some fluctuation throughout the day, but what about it jumping from 150 to 120 to 140 (for example) within seconds, all the time?

    I am stuck in the medical system for now. My family doc found that I had a very fast heart rate in her office (about 130 sitting there doing nothing). I also had some shortness of breath. Anyway, I've been bounced back and forth between the cardiologist and the respiratory doctor for months now, and each seems to think that the problem is with the others' specialty. I've done almost every test possible. My fast HR wasn't recorded during the cardiologist's tests, but the lung doc tought it was way too fast. And I even did lung function tests, which came out relatively good, except for when they check your HR. The guy doing the test was shocked at how fast my heart was going, and how fast it was changing.

    Very frustrating because everyone keeps telling me there is a problem, yet no one seems to want to diagnose me with anything... Thoughts? Ideas?
    cardiostarusa1 responded:

    "Is there such a thing as a heart rate that varies too quickly?"

    Yes, there is.

    "I know that it is normal to have some fluctuation throughout the day."

    This is correct.

    Normal resting range heart rate (HR) in adults is 60-100 beats per minute (BPM). Average resting HR in men is 72-78 BPM and in women is 78-84 BPM.

    "But what about it jumping from 150 to 120 to 140 (for example) within seconds, all the time?"

    Worth mentioning, as applicable to the patient, there is a condition commonly known as supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) or paroxsymal supraventricular tachycardia (PSVT), which has various causes or triggers.

    PSVT typically causes a frightening burst/surge in heart/pulse rate that begins/starts and ends/stops suddenly (hence the term paroxsymal), which can last for just mere seconds or it can continue on for minutes to hours to days. SVT can send the heart into speeds up to 150-200 BPM, and sometimes, even as high as 300 BPM.

    Symptoms that may/can occur with SVT, PSVT includes chest pain/discomfort/pressure/tightness, shortness of breath, lightheadedness/dizziness, and in uncommon to rare cases, syncope (temporary loss of consciousness, which includes passing out or fainting). Sometimes there can be no symptoms at all.

    "My family doc found that I had a very fast heart rate in her office (about 130 sitting there doing nothing)."

    Also worth mentioning, as applicable to the patient, there is a condition known as Inappropriate sinus tachycardia (IST).

    About com

    Inappropriate sinus tachycardia (IST)

    A misunderstood cardiac arrhythmia

    IST is a condition in which an individual's resting heart rate is abnormally high (greater than 100 beats per minute), their heart rate increases rapidly with minimal exertion......

    Characteristics of IST?

    While IST can be seen in anybody, it is most often a disorder of young women. The average IST sufferer is a woman in her late 20s or early 30s who has been having symptoms for months to years. In addition to the most prominent symptoms of......

    Additionally, of the various types of heart conditions, symptoms may/can be acute (occurring suddenly), be chronic (occurring over a long period of time), come and go (be transient, fleeting or episodic, such as an irregular heartbeat/arrhythmia, a heart rate too fast, too slow or alternating/abnormal variations thereof, requiring the use of a Holter monitor or event recorder at home and during daily activities) or even be silent.

    Best of luck down the road of life.

    Take care,


    WebMD member (since 8/99)



    Be well-informed

    Heart Rhythm Society

    Patient and Public Information Center

    _ . _

    Calming the HEART

    Techniques at Home (as applicable)

    Tighten stomach muscles. As soon as the heart starts to race, tighten the stomach muscles. This will cause the abdominal muscles to put pressure on a group of nerves that will tell the heart's electrical coduction system to slow down.

    Chill. Take a deep, long breath and slowly let it out. Sometimes relaxation is all it takes to stop tachycardia. And deep breathing is frequently one of the fastest ways to relax.

    Use common sense. Anything that speeds up the heart, caffeine and cigarettes, for example, can trigger a rapid heartbeat. So common sense says that if one is prone to tachycardia, one should avoid any substance that might give the heart an extra kick.

    _ . _

    LEARN ABOUT the Heart


    The Heart: (Human Anatomy) Pictures, Definition, Location in the Body and Heart Problems


    Diagnostic tests



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    James Beckerman, MD, FACC responded:
    It may be helpful to wear a Holter monitor, which records your heart beat and can determine your average heart rate throughout the day (and night), while you are at rest, while you're active, etc.

    There is a condition called "Inappropriate Sinus Tachycardia" which is not well understood. But it's important to make sure that your fast heart rate isn't in response to something else - like elevated thyroid function, anemia, etc. These are good things to chat about with your doctor.
    freckles1963 replied to cardiostarusa1's response:
    Hi there.......I had Supratachcardia where my heart beat would be normal and then up to 220-240 beats per minute and I was also short of breath. I had a heart ablation done which is not open heart surgery by any means and I haven't had fast heart beats since

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