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Do I need a Doctor? Heart rate question....(17 posts)

Do I need a Doctor? Heart rate question....rwbadley
Nov 5, 2003 9:30 PM
My 17 year old son and I went for a run. We warmed up a bit by walk-running a mile, then did a mile run. Towards the end of the mile the pace was faster, and son sprinted out in the lead. I caught up with him then we slowed to a walk.

We then walked about another 1/3 mile to the grocery. Dawdled about the store for a bit. Then sat at one of those blood pressure testing machines. My pressure was ok and the heart rate showed 80 which was about right given the circumstances.

My son then sat for his bp and it was ok, but his heart rate was 130! Thinking a foul-up we did it again. again it was 130...by this time it's been ten to fifteen minutes since our run. I grab his wrist and start counting, sure enough its about 120-130.

We walked around the store some more, I picked up some stuff and went through the line. He went back to the machine and his rate was still 130.

We walked home, he went to his room and a half hour later I went in with a watch and we checked his rate again. He had been laying down with his eyes closed, and I still counted 108 bpm. His normal resting rate is around 75. I know, he's not in the best aerobic condition, but he still beat me in the mile ;) This seems really wacky for a seemingly healthy kid to have such an awful HR recovery. I have to admit I am more than a little worried.

Any comments?
re: Do I need a Doctor? Heart rate question....wspokes
Nov 6, 2003 4:37 AM
Hmmm, interesting. He is young...he may not have a body conditioned enough for recovery such as yourself who rides often at regularity. At the same time the rate does seem to be inflated considering the resting time in between. I am no doctor (nurse actually) but I would recommend maybe a check up to see. Sometimes at an early age, little abnormalities don't surface in obvious ways and you uncover them as you did! I know of some young people locally that suffer from atrial fib...which often can cause abnormally high pulse rates for their given ages. It can easily be corrected with different ways such as medications or even an ablation but this is far beyond what we know. What we know is it seemed a bit high given the resting period. I would set up a check up, it would be a good investment just to be sure and safe. Make sure you mention the details of time and rates to the doctor as well as this could help in the check up. Good luck and let us know what the results are if you don't mind....Then again...watch for all the new HIPAA regulations ;)
re: Do I need a Doctor? Heart rate question....Bacco
Nov 6, 2003 4:41 AM
Yes, you should be concerned. This could be some type of heart arrhymthmia which can be caused by many factors. It could be a one time episode triggered by some external stimulus (e.g., food, drink, stress, drugs) or it could be the first of many episodes caused by some internal problems (e.g., heart, thyroid).

Your son should monitor his heart rate and if it is beating too fast, he should note whether or not the beats are steady or erratic - this information will help diagnose the type of arrhythmia. Also, you should have your doctor check him out, but he may not be able to diagnose the situation unless he can get an EKG while it happening.

If your son's heart acts up again, the best thing to do is to get him to a clinic and have an EKG done while the arrhythmia is in progress. That will allow the doctors to diagnose what type arrhythmia it is. If it keeps reoccurring, but doesn't last long enough to make to a clinic, your doctor will probably have your son wear a heart monitor (called a Holter) for 24 hours to a week to capture the arrhythmia while it is in progress.

I developed an heart arrhythmia (atrial fibrillaiton) last year. It progressively grew more frequent and laster longer each episode. Mine wasn't immediately life threatening which was fortunate because it took a couple months before I realized I had a real problem. I finally got it diagnosed by going to a clinic for an EKG on the 4th of July while it was in progress. I was fortunate to find a permanent cure for my type of arrhythmia and now I am back to biking as much as I like.

I hope your son doesn't experience any more problems.
Thanks all. This happened @ 9PM yesterday...rwbadley
Nov 6, 2003 7:31 AM
I do intend to contact the Doc.

I was just curious to get as broad a base of info as possible, as I know many on this board are smart cookies with a variety of background.

It did not seem the beat was irratic; it was strong, just fast. From what I know the fibrillation will usually show up as a weak or fluttery fast beat.

Anyway, we'll get an MD opinion asap.
I'm not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV, so ignore thistreebound
Nov 6, 2003 8:01 AM
It could very well simply be that he is just starting to come down with a cold or flu virus. I've had this happen at the onset of a virus, some exertion and the heart rate would hover high for a long time. Little did I know that my body was already in the midst of an internal war trying to fight off an invasion of a cold or flu virus. Could also be he is off a bit nutritionally. Or it could be symptoms of something much more serious.
Basically, don't panic, watch the situation closely, and get it checked out as soon as it seems prudent to do so.

I sometimes sweat like an old overused draft horse in the middle of summer to the point that some people think I'm about to have a heart attack, like last month when we were relocating and I was hauling boxes and furniture. But, nope, just way out of shape, a bit overweight, and nutritionally a bit out of whack. Working on all the above issues between now and Spring, and watching closely for any warning signs along the way.

Hang in there, and keep an eye on him. Hope all is as well as can be and gets better.
WHAT!!!!!biketillyapuke
Nov 6, 2003 4:49 AM
What on earth are you doing posing this kind of question to a message board? Our opinions do not matter. If you have any question see your freaking doctor. Why gamble? When you say "I am more than a bit worried" then why ask? Do not consult with a bunch of morons who argue over Campy vs Shimano. GO TO YOUR DOCTOR, NOW.
Absolutelydjg
Nov 6, 2003 6:56 AM
The best medical advice you can get on the internet is:

Do not consult uncredentialed strangers over the internet (especially on a cycling board) when you are concerned about a potentially serious health issue. Consult a doctor. Do it in person.
Ask your son's doctor.jtlmd
Nov 6, 2003 7:13 AM
This doesn't sound like it is any of the arrythmias the non-physicians are trying to describe. Odd's are your son is not as fit as you, drinks less fluid or drinks more caffeine. As a pediatrician and ER doctor I do have to recommend that if you have questions ask your son's pediatrician or family doctor to check him. Odd's are that he is fine, but any medical advice given without an exam should be suspect.
have same problem...morency
Nov 6, 2003 7:55 AM
I have the same problem, very bad recovery, my Vmax is 62, heartrate in rest 45, hematocrit value is 48 on my last chek-up. I can ride with a heartrate above 180 for 60-90minutes, BUT no recovery at all. it takes 1-2 hours to recover below 100 beats. My doctor (De Neve, teamdoctor from Lotto-Domo) gives me some kind of baxter (won't tell what it is) and I'm allright for 3-4 months. Then it returns. When I take on a daily base a huge amout of Magnesium (Promagnor) I can't get my heartbeat above 170!!
It seems it has something to do with too much folic acid in your blood. Do a bloodcheck with your doctor on Folic Acid and vitamine B12 defficiency,thyroxine (T4) en trijodothyronine (T3) balance. it just might be the same problem
Now that's funny! (nm)53T
Nov 6, 2003 8:22 AM
Indeed, I've been chuckling all morning...rwbadley
Nov 6, 2003 10:25 AM
With this vision:

The Doc says to me, "Here's your prescription for the boy, you need to go to the coffeeshop at 243 Ipania ave., ask the dark haired girl behind the counter for the 'special biscotti'. She'll fix your boy right up"
Thanks. Very interesting...rwbadley
Nov 6, 2003 8:24 AM
So many things can cause this sort of thing. The post from Treebound w/ virus as a trigger. The idea that caffeine, diet, nutritional deficiency or excess may have something to do with it. Possible circumstances of inherant defects etc. Learn something new every day...

I think we'll get the kid set up with a heart doc that can maybe do a treadmill and ekg to find out and get to the bottom of all this.

In the meantime, thanks for all the great input. Why I like this group here so much is the vast reservoir of knowledge and the willingness to share.
Growth spurts..Dave Hickey
Nov 6, 2003 8:41 AM
I took my 16 year old in for a physical to play hockey. The doctor found a abnormal heartbeat. He wouldn't clear him to play until we did more tests. The cardiologist explained that often in growing teens the lower heart valve doesn't completely close causing a second intermediate beat. He said it was nothing to worry about and cleared him to play. That being said, it's too important not to have it checked out.
re: Do I need a Doctor? Heart rate question....kissthedemon
Nov 6, 2003 10:29 AM
Don't take this the wrong way but... marijuana intoxication can have the same effect in an otherwise healthy person.
hmmm...rwbadley
Nov 6, 2003 10:42 AM
Maybe we'll need to get 'the full bloodwork' if you know what I mean ;)

Possibly... tho he has been working really hard in school, taking all sorts of Advanced Placement classes SAT's, SAT II, ACT's. He volunteers at the hospital. He studies alot, and his grades are up with high motivation. His friends are a bunch of straight arrow types, and I don't think that he has the interest or motivation to get stoned.

He's not at all like I was at his age ;) (thankfully)

He has been pretty sedentary, maybe the little jog was a shock to his system... still needs to be looked into tho.
cautiontreebound
Nov 6, 2003 10:53 AM
with all that going on it could also be he felt he needed a little "boost" of some sort. Not all stoned is a downer. But use caution if investigating this avenue, it's better to keep open communication and mutual corrective action to cure a problem rather than punitive to bury a problem. But sometimes also you have to whack someone with a bat to get their attention.
You're kid, you know best, there are many possibilites, look for the good answer, or if not found at least look for a workable solution.
Sorry for the preach.
DCBadley puts in a wordrwbadley
Nov 6, 2003 10:42 PM
Heya,
This is Rw's son; thought I'd say a quick word - sorry for using his name, but I don't have my own and I wasn't going to make my own just to post something brief. I don't think many will be reading this anyway (i.e. This post is gathering dust, the last post was at 10:53 am. I'm surprised at how much goes on @ this board!). It's interesting to read how everyone reacts to posts on this recovery thing; everything from doctors saying I should see a doctor to flamers to people accusing me of doing drugs to others who joke about blood doping (Which was hilarious, btw).

Anyway, I just thought I'd chime in and say that I have not been doing any drugs per se (Alcohol some, but never in excess), and I don't smoke. I have been sitting around on my ass for the last few weeks since school has started, and I don't think I've really done any hard cardiovascular exercise since the third week of school. Since then I've been busy with other things.

What's happening has my dad somewhat worried. Tonight my heartrate was around 141 immediately after running; in the five minutes it lowered to 122 and leveled off for the next twenty minutes. 45 minutes after last strenuous exertion it was still around 96. Even now, about an hour and some odd afterward it is still 88. As a benchmark, today I was lying on the couch, somewhat sleeping, and it was a beat a second (60 a minute).

Something to note was that my heartbeat recovered faster today than yesterday. It stayed at 130 yesterday for a longer period of time, so either I'm in better shape or I didn't push myself as hard. Yesterday I made a really hard sprint for a distance of maybe 200 yards to the half way point of the mile. It was a taxing sprint and after it, while we were still jogging some of the mile, I felt a strange euphoria (describable as a dizziness) that I don't think I've ever felt to that extent before.

Make of that what you will, thanks for reading anyway.

Dave