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Old 07-07-05, 12:51 AM   #1
mac
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When I was in college, I weighed the same as I do now but with < 10% bodyfat & 30" waist compared to almost 30% today w/ 40" waist. I would weightlift, cycle, run, and swim every week with no problems. I also had a good 8 - 9 hours of sleep a night. But now when I'm exercising, especially cycling and running, my heart sometimes skips a beat / misfires, or I get heart palpitations (i.e. irregular heartbeat / pounding in chest), though the latter is much rarer. I saw my physician and he took an EKG. He said everything was fine with me, just slowly get back into exercising which is what I've been doing.

Does anyone else get these skipped heartbeats and/or palpitations? I get from 0 to 2 skipped beats during a 1 - 3 hour cycling ride. The only thing that I can think of why I'm getting these is my bodyfat and my gut being pushed into my torso/chest with every single pedal stroke causing a lot of pressure to build up, especially when I'm hunched over on my road bike. I've already dropped 10 lbs since I've started cycling again and need to drop another 40 lbs to get back to 10% bodyfat. And I'm trying to get at least 8 hours of sleep now compared to < 6/night.
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Old 07-07-05, 05:40 AM   #2
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How do you know when you've skipped a beat?
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Old 07-07-05, 06:33 AM   #3
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How much water are you drinking, and how much sodium do you get everyday. For me, the first sign of hyponitremia is heart palpitations.
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Old 07-07-05, 06:50 AM   #4
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HEART PALPITATIONS WHILE RIDING ARE NOT NORMAL AND NOT GOOD.

Did your doc do a resting EKG or a stress-test EKG taking you up to your maximum heart rate? If he did a resting EKG, it's worthless for evaluating how your heart would act under stress.

If I were you, I would not take my doctor's words to "just get back into it slowly". You could be getting back into it slowly tomorrow, go into fibrillation, have a heart attack, and be brain-dead in five minutes. I'm not sure how his advice helps you at all.

When was college? How many years ago? At 30% bodyfat and 40" waist, you have a number of risk factors for heart disease; that's two right there, of course only you know your blood pressure and lipids.

YOU NEED TO SEE A CARDIOLOGIST. NOW. DO NOT GO BY THE ADVICE OF A GENERAL PRACTITIONER IF YOU ARE HAVING SYMPTOMS THAT ARE SUSPICIOUS TO YOU.



Quote:
Originally Posted by mac
When I was in college, I weighed the same as I do now but with < 10% bodyfat & 30" waist compared to almost 30% today w/ 40" waist. I would weightlift, cycle, run, and swim every week with no problems. I also had a good 8 - 9 hours of sleep a night. But now when I'm exercising, especially cycling and running, my heart sometimes skips a beat / misfires, or I get heart palpitations (i.e. irregular heartbeat / pounding in chest), though the latter is much rarer. I saw my physician and he took an EKG. He said everything was fine with me, just slowly get back into exercising which is what I've been doing.

Does anyone else get these skipped heartbeats and/or palpitations? I get from 0 to 2 skipped beats during a 1 - 3 hour cycling ride. The only thing that I can think of why I'm getting these is my bodyfat and my gut being pushed into my torso/chest with every single pedal stroke causing a lot of pressure to build up, especially when I'm hunched over on my road bike. I've already dropped 10 lbs since I've started cycling again and need to drop another 40 lbs to get back to 10% bodyfat. And I'm trying to get at least 8 hours of sleep now compared to < 6/night.
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Old 07-07-05, 07:03 AM   #5
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Uh...no. Get with a cardiologist, tell them what you have just told us and she or he should know how to take it from there. If need be, ask around and find one who rides. I have done that a couple of times and it really helps when trying to duplicate/diagnose a medical condition that is happening on the bike.

Message boards are a pyschotically poor substitute for dealing directly with a trained physician. Heck, we can't even make saddle recommedations that work out for the next guy.

Off you go and let us know what you find out.
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Old 07-07-05, 07:52 AM   #6
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There are various forms irregular heartbeat. Some are serious, some are not. It depends on the type you get.

A common type of irregular heartbeat is known as a Premature Ventricular Contraction, or PVC. This is caused by the timing cells in the heart attempting to trigger a beat too soon after a previous beat. When this occurs, it feels like a skipped beat, though in actuality the beat is very weak and is not felt.

PVCs are usually (but not always) benign. They can be triggered by stress, lack of sleep, caffeine, and being overweight.

If you are concerned (which you seem to be), then talk to your doctor some more about it. You may want to see a cardiologist to get a stress test. Even then, if you only experience the problem a couple times per hour, it may not occur during the test. The cardiologist might have you wear an EKG recording device for 24 hours to be able to capture some events.

I get PVCs pretty regularly but generally only notice them at night in bed. I was concerned about them and did see a cardiologist. In my case, they are benign so I stopped worrying about them. There are treatments for them, but the cardiologist recommended not taking any medication since there was no danger to them.

Since I am not a doctor, please don't take this as medical advice. I only relay the information as I have read and had explained to me for my situation.
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Old 07-08-05, 05:54 PM   #7
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Supcom's info is accurate. There are two types of recorders: one with a 24+ hour continuous tape, and the other an event recorder that has a 20-30min loop and an auxiliary memory to which the event is transferred each time you feel something and punch a button on the device. For evanescent events or widely spaced events the latter is the method of choice. Trying to get a good readout while exercising can be problematic as the stickies fall off with sweating or the skeletal muscle artifacts confound the recording. These are not cheap: couple of hundred upwards of a kilobuck depending. Ditto a GXT, you may or may not have the exercise induced ectopics. Treatment is problematic, there aren't too many acceptable meds for ectopy that don't have side affects of varying significance. Need for tx depends on whether cardiac output is being affected and preexisting cardiovascular disease.
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Old 07-08-05, 09:50 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by supcom
There are various forms irregular heartbeat. Some are serious, some are not. It depends on the type you get.

A common type of irregular heartbeat is known as a Premature Ventricular Contraction, or PVC. This is caused by the timing cells in the heart attempting to trigger a beat too soon after a previous beat. When this occurs, it feels like a skipped beat, though in actuality the beat is very weak and is not felt.

PVCs are usually (but not always) benign. They can be triggered by stress, lack of sleep, caffeine, and being overweight.
Well I didn't start having skipped heartbeats / palpitations until after I graduated college and put on the fat. Hell, for the last couple of years of college I took the maximum dose of ephedrine & caffeine every day before I went weightlifting, cycling, running, swimming, etc. and never had any problems. Then I started my job that July 1st and my activity level dropped dramatically along with sleep and muscle. Bodyfat, weight, stress, and anger all went up. I started having skipped heartbeats while exercising as soon as Dec of that year.

I'm 30 now. The two times that I've had palpitations that lasted a day or two was when I was under tremendous stress at work, had very little sleep, and was really pissed off. I went to the E.R. the first time and the diagnosis from the EKG was "PVC". I forgot what I did the second time. The only other time I've had really noticable palpitations was a couple of months ago when, again, I was overworked, stressed, pissed off, had very little sleep the past week (4 hours/night), drank a pot of coffee a day, was woken up twice with problems (I was the on-call guy), and was so damn mad I went for a run which was the only exercise I had done in the past 2.5 weeks. 1.5 miles into it my heart was pounding like it was going to explode. I stopped and so did the pounding. So I started again and it came back. I finally stopped and walked the rest of the way home. That scared the hell out of me. I went to my physician a month later, he took an EKG and said nothing's wrong - just cut the coffee, get more sleep, and gradually get back into exercising.

So what I occassionally get is a skipped(?) beat 0 - 2 times when I'm riding or running. Mostly it's none or once. I've only noticed twice when I ran 10K. Anyways, my annual physical is coming up and I'll take the advice I've read here and ask for a cardiologist to run a stress-test EKG. I'm not sure how well a recorder will work. I don't think I can quickly press a button when I'm on my bike.
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Old 07-11-05, 07:15 AM   #9
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Mac, you need to completely change your life. Fat, weight, anger, and stress will kill you off fast. You're only 30... what will you be like at 40? At 50? Take it from a geezer (44), whatever you're pursuing at work IS NOT WORTH IT.
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Old 07-11-05, 09:43 AM   #10
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Ditto what SupCom said. I never had any problems until I was about 45 or so, and starting working out like a demon (cardio type exercises - stairclimber, etc.). Moreover, I got really freaked out about it, which then causes me to have a few anxiety attacks which of course made the whole thing worse. I wore the recorder thing when they decided it was premature beats (there are actually premature ventricular contractions and premature atrial contractions - PVC's and PAC's). Over time, I finally relaxed and accepted that this is a common phenomena. [Note: I would advise you get your doc to check it out - there are some bad forms of this as well]. I used to drink a lot of coffee as well.

For me, not getting stressed out at work, doing some yoga, getting enough sleep, and getting enough potassium and electrolytes (bananas are good), and limiting my cafeine has seemingly turned the tide. I suspect that I still get them, but I don't worry about it now and don't really notice.
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Old 07-11-05, 01:33 PM   #11
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See Your Doctor!!! Stop Looking Here
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Old 07-11-05, 07:37 PM   #12
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Most skipped beats without other symptoms are totally benign.
You said you saw a doctor? You are probably fine (but I am nowhere near being a doctor).
Try the following:
1. Stop all caffine.
2. Get more sleep
3. Meditate or do breathing exercises to reduce stress

Caffine, lack of sleep and stress are the three main causes of the skipped beats.
If I have a lot of caffine I get skipped beats during the day. Its worse with lack of sleep and stress. I have researched this quite a bit and have also seen my doctor about it.
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Old 07-12-05, 03:11 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kf5nd
Mac, you need to completely change your life. Fat, weight, anger, and stress will kill you off fast. You're only 30... what will you be like at 40? At 50? Take it from a geezer (44), whatever you're pursuing at work IS NOT WORTH IT.
Yeah, I've been giving that a lot of serious thought and am considering changing my job and/or career. Can you imagine going to work every day and returning home stressed and upset? The way I'm trying to justify a lower-paying, but much less stressful job is that I'm just making more money so I can afford all of the doctors and medical treatment when I get older due to my job.

Thanks
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Old 07-12-05, 08:00 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by velocity
See Your Doctor!!! Stop Looking Here
I agree with that. As with any potentially serious medical conditon, you should get an examination by a doctor. Self diagnosis can be dangerous.
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Old 07-13-05, 05:18 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by supcom
A common type of irregular heartbeat is known as a Premature Ventricular Contraction, or PVC. This is caused by the timing cells in the heart attempting to trigger a beat too soon after a previous beat. When this occurs, it feels like a skipped beat, though in actuality the beat is very weak and is not felt.

PVCs are usually (but not always) benign. They can be triggered by stress, lack of sleep, caffeine, and being overweight.
This is what happened to me last summer when I was under an enormous amount of stress at work, working 12-15 hr days and on the weekends, not sleeping well, drinking to chill out, and not getting my normal amount of exercise. It went on for weeks because I was too terrified to see a doc about it. Finally did and insisted on an EKG (after she looked at me funny, I was only 33). The test showed that the palpatations were benign PVCs. Just knowing that it was a normal occurance and that a lifestyle change would eliminate it took even more stress off me. I haven't had a reoccurance since things calmed down at work.

I agree that you should still see a doctor, but I think we're all chiming in here to put you at ease that it probably is not a dire situation, just a lifestyle side effect and your body nudging you to do something about it. Good luck and let us know how it goes!
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