Should I be Concerned?

Hello! :)

Since losing quite a bit of weight I have really tried to focus on increasing my fitness and this includes running 5K. I enjoy this and love to compete with myself, who doesn't? :P Anyway, on Tuesday the treadmill machine I was using kept popping a message up almost every minute from when I started till I finished with a message telling me my heart rate was too high (over 200bpm). I laughed about it in my original post in this week's 'Tortoise and Hare Club for w/c 20th Feb 2017' and just assumed it was a dodgy machine because I've never really had that problem on any of the other equipment before.

Today I went back and used a different treadmill and although it did come up with the warning, it didn't come up as often. Great, I thought, and went on and I must say I felt fine - I beat my personal best and to be honest, although I was tired, red faced and sweaty after I felt good, better even ! However, every machine I have used today has come up with the same warning...I mean every darn machine I used....the bike, the treadmill, the cross trainer and the arm cycling...this is starting to scare me now because although I was tired (which is normal, I did a big work out) I didn't feel ill or especially tired...I was even chatting to someone when I was on the bike so I couldn't of been that stressed and I was going at a decent speed and distance! But this scares me because my grandfather and father have all suffered heart attacks, my grandfather died young because of them. That was why I wanted to lose weight and get fit in the first place and I am now almost at that 'healthy BMI' the NHS is always going on about...I can run 5Ks and feel GREAT! Why then is my heart beating so much? Apparently my heart shouldn't even be getting to 180/190 max, even when working out but according to the machines my heart was going well over 200bpm even on the most sedately exercise machines. I'm 30 years old, very close to a healthy weight and although I exercise I would actually argue that I haven't done too much, I feel great after! I looked it up on 'Google' (very bad idea) apparently when my heart rate got to 200 I should have stopped and sough medical attention immediately!! Like, wth - are they serious???

I should state that my heart rate, according to the machines anyway, were about 210 - 220 bpm. That's apparently a big red flag because why would my heart rate rise that much that quickly? I don't feel like what I'm doing matches up with that...I mean if I can do exercise and STILL hold a perfectly normal conversation with the people around me surely my heart can't be going at that rate??

Sorry for the long post but it's sort of playing on my mind and I don't want this to stop me getting even better because I feel great at the moment, I'm running quicker for longer quite easily considering what I was capable of a few months ago. Surely if my heart was under so much pressure I would KNOW? I have gone to the Dr about my heart before after learning about my father's family history regarding heart problems. They just listened to it for about a minute and said I was 'fine' and they check my oxygen levels in my blood and they said they were perfect! Granted that was a few months back but why would anything change, I'm a lot lighter and more fit than I have been in years!!


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28 Replies

  • I would go and get checked by your doctor, even if only to put your mind at rest Sazkia . You have done so well to lose 4st! Best wishes x

  • Yes, I just don't want them to think I am wasting their time....I've been to them about it before. :( I feel okay though....what do I say to them? 'Hi, I feel great but the machines at the gym tell me I need to seek medical attention'...yikes!

  • Hi Sazkia, that's definitely what you should say. You can't be certain whether there's an issue or not and you shouldn't err on the wrong side.

    If I sound emphatic it might be because my father caught cancer early because he saw a doctor over fatigue that had gone on for a little while. He could have let it slide but after an op and chemo he is in remission.

    I'm not equating symptoms, only the principle.

  • Yeah, okay...I will make an appointment tomorrow. Thank you, and I am really happy your father caught the cancer in time.

  • I would go back to the doctor and explain about the machine. Maybe ask them to give you a fitness test to see how much it rises? If you explain I feel like they should take it seriously.

    Don't panic or anything :) and well done on your dedication. But definitely best to get these things checked!

  • Thanks, I think I'm going to have to explain that to them but I get nervous when seeing a Dr so worried I won't explain things well enough. I do not want to end up having a heart attack...I'm slightly younger than my father when he had his first heart attack and my grandfather was only a few years older than I am now when he died from his. :(

  • I bet it's really scary :( but try not to be too worried, as that definitely doesn't help anything. Maybe until you've seen a doctor take it a little bit easier if you are worried.

    I flounder for words at the doctors. My suggestion is: Write it down like it's a speech and rehearse what you want to say. Refer to it during if you need to or just write down the key points and hand it over at the end lol. It can be so intimidating and I find it hard, so I do go in with a little note to make sure I tell them everything. Xx

  • Thanks, that's sound advice regarding the Dr but really want to run another 5K on Saturday! I will run it but try a slower's actually a lot harder for me to go slower....I struggle when I slow down and enjoy running quickly. However, I think you're right - until I have been to the Dr I will try to take things slightly slower but I feel on top of the world at the moment so I can't help but feel skeptical that there is anything wrong with my heart. It would be unfair to find there is, especially after changing my lifestyle so much!

  • I'm only an ICU nurse. That said I think there can be another reason for your tachycardia. Sometimes there can be a deficiency in your electrolytes and it cause the pulse monitor to register a pulsation but actually it wasn't a true full contraction of your heart. If you were on an ECG monitor you would have seen the difference. This should be sorted out by your doctor.

    If you are on thyroid meds it could be too much.

    Try to count your pulse with your fingertips while resting.

    Although you're 30 your heart won't be happy if it can't work properly. Please sort this out before the next 5k.

    When you go to the doctor say that according to the pulse monitors on the machines your heart is beating 200 and if you are resting it is .... Be calm and assertive so that he/she will take you seriously and answer you. Do tell that it happened before.

    Heart problems are always important. You can't go wrong to get help.

  • I am not taking any thyroid medication, so it can't be that. :)

    I've just tried counting my pulse but although I can feel it I can't count it, it's not noticeable enough for that, if that makes sense? Like I was counting it but some pulses were too soft so I can't be it normal to be able to count like two or three strong pulses then for it to go still for a bit??? Where's the best place to count your pulse? I tried my wrists but I don't think that's too reliable.

  • Okay, it seems stronger in my neck so I tried counting but it's not exact but I'm counting between 50 to 60 beats per minute but again, I don't think it's accurate. It may be more or less...although doubt it could be less lmao :P That's while I am at rest btw. :)

  • 60 beats per minutes at rest is perfectly normal :) Most doctors would use wrist to take pulse but many people would find it easier to take in the neck. Make sure you're using your first and second fingers, not your thumb as that has a pulse of its own too :)

    If you go to the gym again before seeing a doctor I would recommend taking your pulse this way too and seeing if it matches with the machine.

  • Hi Sazkia get it checked out for sure. I had to get a chest scan done for my dragging on cough this winter and felt like a fraud but it was done for good reason. The doctor will definitely take you seriously, don't doubt it, especially as it's happened several times and on different machines. Plus family history. If you want to try out Ribaka's suggestion re electrolytes, maybe try high 5 zero tablets in your water before running. I use them to prevent cramps... But definitely stop running if the monitor reads 200 again and definitely see your doc x

  • Thanks, I will make an appointment tomorrow. Interesting re electrolytes. I shall just try to not think negatively about seeing the Dr...why are they so intimidating lol???

    Thanks for the advice. :) Hope your cough has cleared up now. x

  • Did you make the appointment? My cough is still going on, to be honest was thinking of booking another doc appointment myself...

  • Not yet. I slept badly as this storm was still making loads of noise, the cat was being a total nob till the early hours and not letting me sleep and then some moron set some fireworks off so close to my house I could smell the sulfur when I went to my back garden and of course that set my dog off...this was at 4:30 in the morning mind! This is twice someone has done that and they need to be caught, we have a load of elderly people living near-by! :(

    Oh no, that cough does not sound good at all...get to the Dr again Ruth! Let me know how you get on, please! ♥

  • We get those fireworks too. But I never manage to catch them either x

  • It's a real nuisance, isn't it!? If I get my hands on the little (bad word) I'll need a shovel to hide their body/bodies!

    I'm concerned about my animals more than myself and I have a neighbour who has dementia so it really is serious.

    We need to bring out naming and I am a very unforgiving person when I have had little sleep. :P

  • There we go, I just made an appointment, which is 3rd March (week today) it's at 11am. :)

  • Excellent :)

  • I went to the Dr but they didn't have my appointment booked so they booked me in for the 9th...They can't even book appointments correctly!

  • Keep persevering Sazkia :)

  • Totally agree with everybody else - you need to have it checked out. You are hopefully alright, but you need certainty that you are - and if you are not, you need proper treatment.

  • Hi Saskia, how long are you exercising for and what are you eating/drinking in the hours before your workout? My friend ran a half marathon a few months ago and didn't have any sports drinks or gels during the race. She felt fine but sped up towards the finish line & passed out at the end! Her pulse was through the roof and she was very worried she had a heart condition. She got checked out and is totally fine - it was over exertion likely caused by insufficient nutrition and electrolytes. So definitely do get checked out but don't worry too much as it might be something simple like that. Also, I imagine those machines may be not be 100% accurate. My boyfriend has a heart monitor running strap that he wears under his tshirt and monitors his heart rate consistently during a run 🏃🏻- you could give that a try too!

  • Hi Sazkia first job today, make an appointment to see Doc! Hopefully it's nothing, but do get it checked out please...xx

  • If you are nervous of wasting a doctor's time (as so many of us are, with all the publicity about NHS problems) ring 111, speak to someone there and they'll tell you to go to your GP. You can then tell YOURSELF that you're going on medical advice, not just on the off chance that there's something wrong. Do, please, see a doctor. If all of these machines are giving you the same message it's because you need to take heed sooner rather than later - and if it does turn out to be nothing you will at least have put your own mind at rest, which is surely worth it?

  • As well as getting checked out, might be an idea to buy a heart rate monitor, so you can keep an eye on your heart rate when you are exercising before it gets that high.

  • If you end up having to wait a while to see your GP, maybe you could use the running machine to get a proper resting pulse rate? That's useful info to have anyway when you explain your case to the GP. Good luck.

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