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Question
Posted by: Derek Price | 2011-05-03

exercise-induced arhythmia

Good Day

I would like some advice on what I understand is an exercise induced arythmia. I am a 55 year old male that actively competes at a high level in mountain biking and road cycling. I am 1,75 m tall and weight 66 kg, do not smoke, consume alcohol other than the odd glass of red wine and train 6 times per week either on the bike or at the gym.

I have the problem, especially on the mountain bike, where after high excersions my heart rate screams off the scale recording over 105% of max heart rate (approx 195 bpm). This leaves me feeling completely exhausted so much so that I have to stop and wait for my heart rate to drop below 95% of MHR, then it tumbles down dramatically to very low values and I am able to continue the race as if there is no tomorrow..

I do take suppliments to assist with my performance and recovery but need to know what is causing these problems and what I can do to stop the problem occuring. Could the problem be caused by the suppliments I am taking...??

I have an appointment with a cardiologist but only in July, I need to resolve the problem now as it is getting worse not better.. Your advice will be very welcome.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCardiologist

Hi Derek

The question to be answered is whether your heart rhythm with strenuous exercise is really an exercise-induced arrhythmia ie an abnormal (pathological) heart rhythm, or simply a very high rate with a normal (physiological) rhythm.

The problem is that heart rate monitors quite often give falsely high heart rates, and your symptoms are not necessarily due to an arrhythmia.

The best way to sort this out is to have a stress ECG done by a cardiologist (preferably one who cycles or runs!) while wearing your heart rate monitor. Alternatively, you could wear an "ambulatory ECG machine" ("Holter") while cycling. These teats should enable the cardiologist to see exactly what kind of rhythm you have when you have the symptoms, and also to correlate the heart rates from the ECG machine with those you get from your heart rate monitor. He/she will then be able to tell you if you really have an "exercise-induced arrhythmia" or not.

It should not be necessary to wait till July to see a cardiologist! I would ask around in the area where you live and get an earlier appointment.

Best wishes

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Our users say:
Posted by: Cardiologist | 2011-05-09

Hi Derek

The question to be answered is whether your heart rhythm with strenuous exercise is really an exercise-induced arrhythmia ie an abnormal (pathological) heart rhythm, or simply a very high rate with a normal (physiological) rhythm.

The problem is that heart rate monitors quite often give falsely high heart rates, and your symptoms are not necessarily due to an arrhythmia.

The best way to sort this out is to have a stress ECG done by a cardiologist (preferably one who cycles or runs!) while wearing your heart rate monitor. Alternatively, you could wear an "ambulatory ECG machine" ("Holter") while cycling. These teats should enable the cardiologist to see exactly what kind of rhythm you have when you have the symptoms, and also to correlate the heart rates from the ECG machine with those you get from your heart rate monitor. He/she will then be able to tell you if you really have an "exercise-induced arrhythmia" or not.

It should not be necessary to wait till July to see a cardiologist! I would ask around in the area where you live and get an earlier appointment.

Best wishes

Reply to Cardiologist

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