Nice overview that helps me put things in perspective. Thanks
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Thanks for posting your story, slynnb. I experienced Tachycardia, but while running. For me, simply breaking into a walk would get it to stop. I had the good fortune of getting referred to a cardiologist who diagnosed PSVT. I tried blocker med’s but stopped due to heavy fatigue. I got evaluated for an ablation but the EP said my episodes were too short to catch for electrical mapping. I’ve reluctantly stopped running as my solution to avoiding PSVT.
I experienced a jump in heart rate to the 160 – 170 level while out for a run. I saw it happen looking at my Apple Watch as I had no symptoms. My bpm would go back to normal soon after breaking into a walk. I have no idea what my blood pressure was doing as the episodes were no more than a minute or so. My doctor sent me to a cardiologist. He diagnosis is Proximal Supra Ventricular Tachycardia (PSVT). I tried a beta blocker and calcium blocker medication to suppress the pulse jump but had strong fatigue side-effect for both so stopped. Although the cardiologist said PSVT is "rarely" fatal, I decided to stop running and get my exercise by walking or biking. Unlike you I never had symptoms (maybe fatigue).
I’ve been a distance runner for 10 years. I’ve been in 16 races over that time from 5K to marathons (6 of those). I’m 79. No heart issues until 2 years ago when I noticed my pulse jump to 170 bpm, typically 15 minutes into a run. Breaking into a walk would stop it so episodes lasted no more than a minute or 2. After trying blockers & evaluation for ablation, I decided to not doing any treatments, stop running & do walking for exercise. I miss running but am afraid running could cause the problem to get worst.
Ceepster: Congrads on successfully getting back into running after what must of been a most scary time dealing with the heart block. I'm still debating with myself as to getting back into running or not. The biggest reason not to is I'm concerned running might cause my PSVT to get worst. The cardiologist left me with saying running might or might not cause deterioration, he can't predict. Oh well. I'll post if I do and have any heart-related events worth noting.
Ceepster, its rewarding to connect with someone who has a similar experience even if we both remain in the dark as to why! A detail I wasn't clear on in my previous posts is that, just as you experienced, the PSVT would typically happen about 15 minutes into my run and it would stop when I broke into a walk. However, two months ago I did a moderate-paced 5K with no episodes until the last minute where my Apple watch showed a jump to 140 bpm after being steady around 105 up til then. The 140 lasted for about a minute and stopped with I crossed the finish line, That's the only race I've done in 2.5 years. As background, I ran my first marathon at age 68 and, if I may boost, qualified for and ran the Boston Marathon 2.5 years later, a real thrill. In total, over the last decade I've run about 16 races of which 6-7 were marathons.
Question: What do you mean by "complete heart block"?
Currently I have no treatment. I tried Calcium & Beta blocker med's but stopped because of fatigue side effect. Then got evaluated for having an ablation and decided against it. I never had symptoms, so only knew from the Apple Watch and EKG. Also, the PSVT episodes essentially only happen when I run and stops when I break into a walk. (has happened, but rarely, during other exercises, like walking). I've run a 5K and 10K since diagnosed with no ill-effects. Cardiologist said PSVT is "rarely" fatal and let him know if I start having symptoms. As part of determining what I had, they ran a stress test, echogram and other tests which showed my heart is structurally sound. So only known heart issue is the PSVT.
As to why it started, no, I don't know. I had been running for about 10 years that included about 6 or 7 marathons. I noticed the tachycardia during a training ran half-way through a 3 month training program in prep for another marathon….and made an appointment with my doctor. Although the cardiologist didn't say I couldn't run ("rarely fatal"), I decided to stop as am afraid it could get worst. So now I do a lot of walking, which I enjoy.
I'm on my 3rd Apple Watch.(I bought the first model and updated twice.) I really love it for a variety of reasons. It was because of the watch I found I had Proximal Supra Ventricular Tachicartia (PSVT). It started happening during training runs (I use to run marathons). The watch showed my heart beat would suddenly jump to 160 – 170 bps in the middle of a run. My cartiologist had me wear a 14-day heart monitor to confirm. I would think your doctor would have you wear a monitor to find out when the Afib occurs and what might be triggers. Knowing the triggers (e.g., coffee or other stimulates, exercise, medications, emotional stress) could help reduce episodes.