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British Heart Foundation
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Has anyone else lived with fast heart rate / palpitations with no reason ever found?

Hello there. I'm 33 and at the moment I'm waiting for blood results and to have an ecg on my heart. On getting a fitbit in July I discovered that my heart rate would fly up during normal excercise like walking (122 to 135 to even 170 once!!!). In 2010 I had episodes where I had lots of palpitations and had an mri, ecg, stress test and nothing found (all in Ireland), my British GP thinks we probably won't find anything over on this side of the Irish sea either. I have to agree with him to be honest as a lot of tests have already been done. I'm currently on 2.5 of beta blockers which don't seem to making a difference to the heart rate. I'll chat to my doctor next week about putting the beta blockers up to 5 but where will that leave me? I'm assuming once my heart is slower I can excercise more and thus try to lower the rate overall. Just wondering if this has happened to anyone else, where lots of tests have been done but no conclusion come to? I have General Anxiety Disorder which leaves me quite anxious all the time so I suspect that may be adding to it....thanks for any replies, Grace.

9 Replies

Hello Grace, general rule of thumb for a resting heart rate is between 60 - 100. At exercise between 90 and 150 for your age group with a max of around 185 - 190. As you are already on beta blockers this should have lowered your resting rate to around 60, do you know, or measure your resting rate?

For me, an aged gentleman (haha) of 57, my resting rate is currently 65, peak if around 155 if im pushing things, don't get there too often and general exercise of around 135 to 145. Others here will come in with their readings but I don't think you should add it to your anxiety.


Thanks for the kind reply 😊 I think my current resting heart rate is in the mid to late 80's but that was before I went on the beta blockers, I'll check again to be sure!


I have a rest heart best of between 53 & 149.

That's when sleeping.

Cardiologist said I must have been having a dream.

My reply was that if I was dreaming that bad to reach 149 then I would have been jumping all over bed in a nightmare. She had no reply to that.


Hi DaggerBlaze

i found out that your max heart rate is worked out this way 220 then minus your age 33 =187 which is roughly the same as reply from skid112.

When you say you have seen a Doctor are you refering to a Cardiologist?as he or she would be best qualified on all Heart symptoms .If not be sure to get referred to a Cardiologist from your GP preferably a consultant Electrophysiologist Cardiologist who deal with the electrics of the heart.I did this myself as i had some eptopic beats and sinus tachycardia and they would start early hours of the morning and i would wake up with fast heart rate but not while on Betablockers .My cardiologist told me to try to focus away from them.As the beats were fast but regular and i should try to listen to some music and avoid focusing on them as this would cause a cycle of adrenaline released from worry .

I was on Bisoprolol 2.5mg with a steady beat of 60bpm and 76 -84 off them while resting .Bisoprolol is helpful for anxiety but i wanted to taper off them as they are not really necessary after mitral valve repair in my case but i did get advice from my Heart Surgeon and Cardiologist who both agreed.

Also they do have a limit on exercise as on Betablockes the heart can't beat as fast while it would while exercising .

I am not a Doctor but this was explained by my Cardiologist.This is something you should discuss more with a Cardiologist it may also help with your anxiety as i had a situation where there were tests but no answers ECG fine Holter and Echo good too.maybe it could just be relating to anxiety.I had all kinds of strange different named ectopic beats to name but a few under the umbrella of palpitations which were all benign but some people i was told maybe focus on them more than others do.

Has you GP listened to your heart with a stepthoscope to hear your heart .I Had many palpitations before my operation and the GP heard my heart was hissing instead of lub dub! He found it by listening to my heart which many GPs fail to do check sometimes.As two before him did.It was a Heart Murmur due to a leaky mitral valve.Were your palpitations ever explained to you what type you had from a 24 hour holter meter?As this test could pick up anything possibly.Also are you getting out of breath easily?

Try to let go of the anxiety if you can ,i am not trying to scare you with my story but giving lots of options to look into.i hope it is all anxiety ,but i would try to hold back on jogging or anything too strenious until you have spoken about it with GP or Cardiologist.Also it is always good to get a second opinion it helped me.

Good luck and good health to you grace.


Thank you for your very kind and detailed answer :) Honestly I got no answers what do ever from all my past tests including the 24 hour holter (I think I actually wore it for a week) an MRI with dye injection an ECG and ultra sounds. That was years ago and I thought this was all behind me but I guess not. So over here can I just ask the GP to refer me to a cardiologist? And he'll then do that? Also my GP did listen with the stetascope. The 2.5mg seems to be making no notable difference to me so I might have to go onto 5mg, I guess I will discuss it with my GP next time I see him! Thank you again :)

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I persoally would advice you to get your GP to refer you to an Electrophysiologist which deal more with the electical side of the heart ,have a look on the interent for a local one NHS and ask to see that one which may be helpful .You could get an ECG at the GP surgery while waiting for a referral .And at the referral may be able to get Cardiology to do an Echocardiagram to see the structure of the heart.

I have had Sinus tachycardia since i was young and can still make me anxious but the Cardiologist did explain being anxious doesn't help me!The consultant can also discuss the need for Betablockers like Bisoprolol.Keep us updated on things ...Good Luck.

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do you have any other symptoms other than a racing heart? has your gp done a 24hr urine test?


My GP in Ireland did one of those before, found nothing. Other than the racing heart I get a few plapitations.


Hi your symptoms sound similar to mine. After numerous tests and wearing a heart monitor for a week my problem could not be diagnosed. I then had a heart monitor fitted under my skin near the sternum and after a few months (well 9 or 10 actually) it was determined I had superventricular tachycardia (SVT). I had two heart ablation the 2nd seems to have fixed my racing heart and palpitations. So please get referred to a cardiologist who I'm sure,given time, will be able to diagnose your condition.


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