Posted by: Angela | 2008/01/28

Jumping Heart Rate

Hi Doc

I'm a little concerned because over the past year/2 years when I work out, my heart rate seems very strange. I've used several different machines at the gym and they all seem to reflect the same probelm (I doubt they are all faulty). My heart rate jumps - not gradually either. On Saturday, it was jumping from 70bpm to 130bpm, back to 70bpm. I was only doing moderate cardio.

The machines take quite a long time to pick up my heart rate and when they do, it jumps and does not gradually go up. Also, the blood pressure machines at the gym cannot take my pulse the first time. It normally takes 3-4 tries for the machine to do a reading! When I last went for a blood test, the nurse found it really difficult to draw blood and had to look for another vein.

Should I be concerned about any of the above? I tend to be a very anxious person so I'm not sure if the heart rate is an anxiety problem?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberDoc

Dear Angela
The machines at the gym do not always pick up your heart rate correctly - it depends on how well the contact between your skin and the machine is ( and it needs some sweat for this!) and if you can’t feel irregularity when you feel your own pulse, it is probably nothing to worry about. You could maybe just have your blood pressure checked at the nurse at the pharmacy a few times over a period of about 10 days to get an average reading.
Dr Bets

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Our users say:
Posted by: Ruby | 2008/01/28

Hello, I am not the doc, so wait for her post. The gym equipment can be faulty, but not necessaraly (maybe ask other people who work out at the same gym if they get the same readings, and make sure you have a proper grip with both hands). I think more important is the symptoms you are experiencing when you get that. If you have zero symptoms, then it might just be the equipment. Maybe you can get yourself a heart rate monitor watch so you can check if it is your HR or the equipment. IF you are sure it is not the equipment (and that it is not maybe a reading error from the mashine not picking up your HR), then it is definately recommendable to see a cardiologist and ask him to do a stress test. Then you can be sure of what is going on. I had the same thing happening with me, but I had aLOT of symptoms with it (dizzyness, near faint, chest pain etc). In my case it was my heart, the doctor does not know what is causing it, but gave me heart medication to get rid of the symptoms. Good luck!! About the nurse not finding your vein, dont worry about it, just mean your veins are deeper under the skin and harder to find, nothing wrong with your health there.

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