Has anyone suffered from heart palpitations when they exercise? I am 33, I would say I am pretty fit and health and have been running for years. Over the last 6 month I have been suffering with heart palpitations on some occasions when I run. There doesn’t seem to be any pattern to when it happens, it can be on a gentle run or a longer run but my heart rate goes up to around 200 beats per minute. I have to sit down for around 5-10 minutes to get it under control. On the odd occasion, I have also had palpitations when I am not exercising or after I have finished exercising.
I do not have a stressful job and I am not on any medication and there are no heart issues in my family.
I have been to my GP, at first they said it could be my iron levels but it still continued once I got my levels up. I then had an ECG at the doctors surgery and also a portable one for 24 hours, unfortunately I did not have a palpitations during either test.
my doctor has said although I did not have palpitations whilst wearing the device my results look fine. He said he is not worried and doesn’t think there is anything wrong but offered to put me on beta blockers.
I am now questioning if I think this issue has been investigated thoroughly enough and if I should go and see a private specialist. I do not think taking beta blockers is the answer I am looking for.
Does anyone have any advice or thoughts please?
Hi carly470, All I can advise is that you ask for a 24 hour holter monitor that could maybe pick up the palpitations. Have you been refered to a cardiologist by your gp? Hope the problem gets sorted its not a nice sensation feels like a thud in your chest it's weird in it. Maybe take the beta blockers like your gp advised and see how you go from there.
Hi, thank you for your message. I had the 24 hour holter monitor but unfortunately I didn’t get any palpitations when I was wearing it. The doctor has not referred me to a cardiologist but I have had a recommendation from a friend for a private cardiologist that specialises in this area. My current doctor doesn’t want to do any more tests so this is why I am considering going private but it could be very expensive.
Depending where you are, Heartbeat in Preston are a specialised rehab charity who accept private bookings for treadmill stress tests.
I think they work out at around £300 now which is cheaper than going the full private cardiologist route.
If the test shows anything of concern you can ask your GP to forward it to cardiology.
unfortunately I am in Cornwall so not in that area. I did consider purchasing something like this giftshop.bhf.org.uk/aliveco... so I could take it running and try and capture it myself. But my doctor seemed to think the ECG I have already had would have shown something even if I didn’t have the palpitations at the time, so I’m not sure if it’s worth buying?
No, a resting ECG or holter won't pick anything like this up if it's not happening "at the time". There are some post-heart attack changes that become permanent but not palpitations.
If you're going to buy something, get a Polar H10 chest strap.
Apart from being THE best HR monitor going for sports, it has an ECG capability which Polar put in there then didn't use.
There's now a free app +for Android, not sure about iOS) which does use it, allows you to record continuous ECGs while exercising, and will auto detect many irregularities. You can also flag an event yourself if you're aware of it.
The event detection sometimes "detects" stuff that isn't there because it'll flag anything that it can't make sense of (and moving ECGs tend to be noisy) but it's really good at identifying and flagging ectopics.
Here's one I prepared earlier (ventricular ectopics circled)....
ETA: the app is called "Polar H10 ECG analysis" from Biosignal Solutions and is in the play store.
thank you for the recommendation, I will have a look. I currently use a Garmin forerunner 255s but unfortunately there is no ECG capability but I would be able to connect it with a Polar monitor. I have noticed with my Garmin that palpitations tend to happen more when my HRV is low/unbalanced but I am not sure this really tells me anything.
Yes, the Polar should link to just about anything that'll accept a Bluetooth, Ant, or Gymlink (mostly older treadmills etc) HR monitor.
You can also link it to two bt + an ant device at the same time, so could use it with your watch and also have the ECG running on your phone at the same time.
It's cheaper than a Kardia and does so much more, although (currently) you need to learn the basics of what you're looking at because the app will identify possible events but not say what they are. Ectopics are easy to spot though!
Ooh this looks good is it free on playstore or do you need a device to use it?
You need a Polar H10 heart rate monitor, but the app is free (from a different company).
But if someone's thinking of getting a Kardia or similar and also work out regularly, these two together can make sense.
The Polar monitor is a little cheaper, has more uses. Monitoring workouts, runs etc and it'll talk to most gym equipment so you can do things like heart rate controlled workouts where the machine varies itself to keep your heart rate in certain bands. And this app allows it to be used for continuous ECG monitoring if wanted while you go about your normal day because you don't need to stop and put your fingers on anything.
The only downside is, it'll flag irregularities but won't tell you what the irregularity is, so you need a bit of a learning curve to recognise what the common issues (afib, ectopics etc) actually look like.
I have just found out my other half already has the Polar H10, he is using IOS and found the app called "ECG EKG recorder for Polar H10". Once recorded, the data is then saved onto the phone and using these instructions github.com/poml88/ecg-recor... we have been able to create a chart in Excel to view the data. I will be borrowing this off him to investigate further! Thanks again Thatwasunexpected for your help
Well, that's a perfect outcome
That’s the purple one then of the two I found for iOS 🤔 - might give it a go
interesting-I have a H10 strap-found this for iOS in App Store
There appear to be two options for iOS - this is the second
This is the one I used