Does your HR freak your Dr. out?



GuyNoir

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Jun 22, 2006
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At the risk of sending TYSON into a coronary, I present the following thread... Sorry sillyoldtwit

After deciding to take up a little cycling this summer, I got onto the saddle in the begining of June with the thought of loosing a few of those extra lbs and saving a little money by not driving/parking. Having dropped an initial 20lbs (in 8-10 weeks) I started to develop a pain in my left hand that had left it useless (no grip, or digital dexterity), so I decided to see a Dr about it (not to mention finding out why I have been in a plateau for the past 2 months).

Turns out that she sent me off for a battery of blood work and an EKG. What had suprised her was my heartrate was at 48bbm on the initial test and the machine kicked out a message of possible bradycardia/arithmia. So off to a cardiologist I go. He ran a couple more EKGs and found that they bounce all over the place over a long enough timeline. Though he didn't definitively say there was anything at hand, he has ordered more tests.

I got the ECG done and out of the way (sitting there on the table, my hr was at 50bbm) and slated for a myocardia stress test (with imaging) this Friday.

I am wondering if anyone else has had issue with trying to explain to their Dr that when you tell them you are cycling (for health/sport) that you don't mean that you are noodling around? Or do they all freak out at anything under 60bbm?

I understand that although my HR should start to drop as I become more cardio-fit, that a 25 point drop in 3 months isn't necessarily a good thing. And that I really may have an issue here, but hell, I got one Dr freaking out and the cardiologist giving me the 220-age formula of setting my MHR and setting my zones on that data.

I am begining to wonder if I shouldn't invest in seeing a Sports related physician. Especially as I become more and more interested in Marathon and UltraMarathon riding.

-GN
 

kopride

Member
May 17, 2006
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GuyNoir said:
At the risk of sending TYSON into a coronary, I present the following thread... Sorry sillyoldtwit

After deciding to take up a little cycling this summer, I got onto the saddle in the begining of June with the thought of loosing a few of those extra lbs and saving a little money by not driving/parking. Having dropped an initial 20lbs (in 8-10 weeks) I started to develop a pain in my left hand that had left it useless (no grip, or digital dexterity), so I decided to see a Dr about it (not to mention finding out why I have been in a plateau for the past 2 months).

Turns out that she sent me off for a battery of blood work and an EKG. What had suprised her was my heartrate was at 48bbm on the initial test and the machine kicked out a message of possible bradycardia/arithmia. So off to a cardiologist I go. He ran a couple more EKGs and found that they bounce all over the place over a long enough timeline. Though he didn't definitively say there was anything at hand, he has ordered more tests.

I got the ECG done and out of the way (sitting there on the table, my hr was at 50bbm) and slated for a myocardia stress test (with imaging) this Friday.

I am wondering if anyone else has had issue with trying to explain to their Dr that when you tell them you are cycling (for health/sport) that you don't mean that you are noodling around? Or do they all freak out at anything under 60bbm?

I understand that although my HR should start to drop as I become more cardio-fit, that a 25 point drop in 3 months isn't necessarily a good thing. And that I really may have an issue here, but hell, I got one Dr freaking out and the cardiologist giving me the 220-age formula of setting my MHR and setting my zones on that data.

I am begining to wonder if I shouldn't invest in seeing a Sports related physician. Especially as I become more and more interested in Marathon and UltraMarathon riding.

-GN
You need to see a more sophistocated doctor. When I used to ride duathalons competitively and was much younger, I had a super low resting HR. (By the way, my Dad has a very low resting heart rate and is a bacon eating cholesterol absorbing sponge so there is a huge genetic component) But mine was so low, that this GP could barely get a full tracing on an old machine because the peaks would be outside the paper. Now, at 40, the MHR ratings can be disconcerting (I have seen 220). See a doctor involved with competitive athletes to figure out whether you have real pathology. If you do, then the old formulas tend to make more sense. If you don't and a stress test done in a university setting shows normal to exceptional heart function, then you should be good to go.
 

meandmybike

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Feb 7, 2005
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GuyNoir said:
At the risk of sending TYSON into a coronary, I present the following thread... Sorry sillyoldtwit

After deciding to take up a little cycling this summer, I got onto the saddle in the begining of June with the thought of loosing a few of those extra lbs and saving a little money by not driving/parking. Having dropped an initial 20lbs (in 8-10 weeks) I started to develop a pain in my left hand that had left it useless (no grip, or digital dexterity), so I decided to see a Dr about it (not to mention finding out why I have been in a plateau for the past 2 months).

Turns out that she sent me off for a battery of blood work and an EKG. What had suprised her was my heartrate was at 48bbm on the initial test and the machine kicked out a message of possible bradycardia/arithmia. So off to a cardiologist I go. He ran a couple more EKGs and found that they bounce all over the place over a long enough timeline. Though he didn't definitively say there was anything at hand, he has ordered more tests.

I got the ECG done and out of the way (sitting there on the table, my hr was at 50bbm) and slated for a myocardia stress test (with imaging) this Friday.

I am wondering if anyone else has had issue with trying to explain to their Dr that when you tell them you are cycling (for health/sport) that you don't mean that you are noodling around? Or do they all freak out at anything under 60bbm?

I understand that although my HR should start to drop as I become more cardio-fit, that a 25 point drop in 3 months isn't necessarily a good thing. And that I really may have an issue here, but hell, I got one Dr freaking out and the cardiologist giving me the 220-age formula of setting my MHR and setting my zones on that data.

I am begining to wonder if I shouldn't invest in seeing a Sports related physician. Especially as I become more and more interested in Marathon and UltraMarathon riding.

-GN


They are being thorough. Stick with it till they've done all the tests they want to do and ask any questions you might have. A sports physician would probably revue your case notes and send you for the same tests just to be sure!

Hope everything is OK.
 

frenchyge

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Apr 3, 2005
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GuyNoir said:
I am wondering if anyone else has had issue with trying to explain to their Dr that when you tell them you are cycling (for health/sport) that you don't mean that you are noodling around? Or do they all freak out at anything under 60bbm?
It might depend somewhat on the way the patient looks. As a pretty skinny guy, they don't bat an eyelash at my resting HR. As long as my checkbook balance = 220-copay$, they're happy.
 

Hookyrider

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Feb 8, 2005
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yes - I pulled a muscle in my back last winter, I was in agony and went into my clinic, they panicked and sent me to the hospital - even after all this excitement my "resting" heart rate was 44 - the hospitals EKG machines alarm went off, which caused my HR to go up to 46, the doctors came running in and where all in a stir - finally it went up to 52. Once it all calmed down so did my HR, back to 42.



I was 36 then. I do a lot of swimming (250-300,000 meters yearly), along with my riding (road and MTB combined aprox 7500 miles). I have nearly always swum and rode since I was 5, and I have always had a very low RHR.



When I was 15 I had a problem of “passing out”. I'd be watching TV prone, a commercial would come on and I would bolt upstairs for food - make it to the landing and blackout. I wore a HR monitor that recorded my HR and I had to take notes on what I was doing at the time. Two instances stick clearly. One when I was watching TV and eating chips my HR was recorded around 39. They asked repeatedly if I fell asleep, but was able to recall the program with clarity. The other was when I actually went to sleep for the night the lowest my HR was recorded was 28bpm! At the time I was a State level swimmer in my age bracket, and riding 250 miles a week. After running batteries of tests all they were able to figure out was that besides being goofy, I was in great shape.



HR
 

stefs

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Jul 30, 2004
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See what your doctor says, then if you don't feel comfortable with results you may see a more specialized doctor. Here is my story.

I went in hospital for a reason (other than heart). First night there, my heart rate went to 29. Big panic, nurses woke me up as the buzzer started the alarm signal. They ask me if I was fine. Of course, I was sleeping. Then I had a Holter test. Result is that when I sleep my heart stop beating once in a while for 3 seconds. Big panic, they wanted to install me a pacemaker at age 36.

My doctor was a "general" cardiologist and told me this was pretty unusual situation, even if I was doing lot of bike and gym. I then changed doctor and saw a specialist, a cardiac electrophysiologist that is specialized in the heart beat and electrical system of the heart. I had a bunch of tests, he then told me that my situation is normal as I don't have any symptom. This cardiac electrophysiologist when he was around 25-35 years old was training and his heartbeat was around 30.

See, 2 doctors with 2 different background with a totally opposite diagnostic.

This was 2 years ago, I still bike and gym and I'm fine.
 

otb4evr

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Apr 22, 2005
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GuyNoir said:
I am wondering if anyone else has had issue with trying to explain to their Dr that when you tell them you are cycling (for health/sport) that you don't mean that you are noodling around? Or do they all freak out at anything under 60bbm?
-GN
My doctor is a cyclist also, so we have never had this problem. When I went in for a stress test last year, the cardiologist actually challenged me to put in the same time as my doc did previously.

I beat it by a minute and quit because I got bored. I did 21 minutes and 192 HR...or should that be a new thread?

:D

Jim
 

carpediemracing

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Jun 15, 2005
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I think I'm typical for a long term cyclist except that my EKG looks like I'm having a heart attack. I don't know how the EKG says that (looks like a typical heartrate line to me) but every doctor says the same thing. Last one told me if I ever wanted some time off, just walk into an emergency room, rub my chest a bit, and mumble something about my chest. They'd do an EKG, admit me, and voila, instant 2 day vacation. lol.

seriously though, after doing the EKG and listening to my reassurances that I'm not having a heart attack, doctors will typically note the thickened heart walls - one doctor said if I was 80, he'd hospitalize me immediately based on my heartwall thicknesses.

my current doctor (a fitness person) recommended I carry a copy of my EKG on which he added some comments. This would avoid being hospitalized due to the EKG reading if I get into an accident or get knocked unconscious. So I do.

although I've gotten comments on my low heart rate (depending on me it'll be high 30s to low 50s), no one thought it unusual. the one time my heart rate caused some raised eyebrows was when I was 15 and the prettiest nurse I'd ever seen took my pulse. my adolescent heart was racing along at 120 bpm or something. she smiled and asked if I wanted to take some deep breaths and try it again. the second time I avoided looking at her and my heart rate was a more normal 60 or 70 bpm.
 

snaps10

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Apr 26, 2006
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three weeks ago i had a client getting a med exam in my office. i had the nurse take my resting while i was working 54. eh, ive been drinking coffee, thats about right. after she took that i drove to the digestive specialist (whole different story) they took my resting and she said, nice and low 66. at which point i told her to do it again that's too high, 60. at home that night i was laying down watching tv and got up and put my finger on my wifes treadmill, 48. more like it.
when the doctor asked what i did for exercise i told him casual cycling. he said oh, and asked how far, when i said 175 miles a week i thought he was going to hit the floor. even called in the other dr in the office to tell him. its amazing, almost like dr.s in america dont realize that there are people in this world serious about their fitness. their used to peoples exercise being a trip between the sofa, the tv, and the refrigerator.