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Another Tachycardia Question


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OK, so in another thread people were talking about how their echos have come back fine and how the POTS is not dangerous to the heart. My docs have said the same thing - that all the bradycardia, tachycardia, palpitations and other weird sensations aren't a problem at all and not indicative of a problem. While this is very very reassuring, I don't understand how that works scientifically.

If, for example, I went running for six hours a day and my hr was 150 for six hours a day, that would strain my heart and cause problems down the line. So if I have untreated POTS and my hr is 150 or higher for six hours a day, why doesn't *that* also cause strain? Or, if I drank a lot of coffee and had a consistently high heart rate - let's say 100 bmp all day long - that would also be a health concern. But if my hr is 100 all day long because of POTS, it's not. What is the mechanism behind this? I'm really curious. When I asked my doc, he just said, "Don't worry, this isn't going to cause any harm to your heart long-term." I think he thought I didn't believe him, when really I was just really curious.

Can anyone explain this to me? Why is one kind of tachycardia harmful and the POTS kind isn't?

Jump

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hi Jump!

I had the eariler question about straining the heart....so I guess I could try to answer you questions. Cause, yes, it doesn`t seem very logic that it isn`t dangerous to the heart to keep racing for hours....But, as everybody here says, our heart are very strong and can endure alot, and if you don`t have a serious heart disease or other risk factors, your heart can withstand alot! If your echo shows a structurally normal heart and that you "only" have sinus tach, thats very reasurring too!!!

I will quote the great Dr. Weekes (her books have help me very much with my anxiety)who says: "a healthy heart can tolerate a rate of over 200 bpm for days, even weeks without any damage" So let your heart race until it chooses to slow down...remember that its a good heart, beating like this because of nervous stimulation and that such stimulation will not harm it"

I do understand your concern, as I have the same issues as well. But my heart is strong and fine, they say. So try not the be overfocused about it...I have developed severe anxiety about my heart, and its making it all so much worse...I guess its not "super" for our hearts to beat like crazy for a long period of time, but as said, our heart can take alot!! And also; try to do whats beneficial for your heart, like exercise (easier said than done for us), stress reduction, good diet, no smoke etc

Stay strong!

Villen

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Guest tearose

"sweet heart" jump, IF you COULD run six hours a day for example, for three days at 150 bpm...I doubt you would have POTS!!!

Just think about it. There is no way I could endure that! Could you? I would most probably be on the floor by the end of day two in complete and total rag doll mode!

On the other point you bring up. It is a good question. Maybe the long term effects of high heartrates causes denervation in our hearts. I hope not.

tearose

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My primary actually worries about both. I have a pacer now, so I guess it's not a big deal (we believe it was from damage caused by my ablation, NOT the POTS) but he has always felt that too much tachycardia certainly couldn't be good for you. he is not an expert, but I've always appreciated his concern in those regards. morgan

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have you worn a holter monitor to prove that your heart is actually racing for six hours STRAIGHT during the day? people with positional tachycardia generally only are tachycardic when they are standing, and only mildly tachycardic when sitting...

my cardiologist explained to me that because my heart rests occasionally throughout the day and is not continuously pumping at 180+ that it is not a strain on the heart. that was one of his concerns - that the heart wasnt getting a chance to rest. when i was admitted several months ago for me ep study, and off all meds, he was mostly interested not in my study/ablation/etc but in what my heart did over a 30+ hour period - most of it spent in bed or sitting. my heart rates in bed and sitting were between 70-100 and standing of course 190+. sleeping in the 60's with some ectopy. he told me he was relieved to see that my rates were low while at rest.

if your heart is getting a break periodically throughout the day than rates in the 150's periodically wont damage the heart.

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denervation means a loss of nerve supply, anything that breaks down nerve fibers. I personally havent done much research in this area as I find the world of neurology both extremely boring, lol, and extremely difficult to understand - and also, as we all can relate, extremely difficult to treat, probably from the lack of understanding regarding certain pathologies behind neurological disease/disorders....

I am very much interested in correlating or trying to correlate ehler danlos, and other connective tissue disease to breakdown of both cardiac collegenous fibers and nerve fibers and thus, causing arrhythmia issues........i find it odd in my own experience that six years ago i did not have any symptoms of rhythm problems, only had pots and also ehler danlos.....and then three years ago, out of nowhere, i all of a sudden have ectopic atrial tachycardia (which primarily starts in adolescent years - mostly seen in kids) and ventricular tachycardia on top of ehler danlos and pots, two very strange conditions, both that are not fully understood. i think there is a definite connection between collegenous breakdown affecting cardiac neuronal innervation, both in the heart and periphery.

i have read that conditions like lupus can cause denervation. also physical injury to the body can cause denervation.....diabetes is a definite cause of denervation....

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From Villan

I will quote the great Dr. Weekes (her books have help me very much with my anxiety)who says: "a healthy heart can tolerate a rate of over 200 bpm for days, even weeks without any damage" So let your heart race until it chooses to slow down...remember that its a good heart, beating like this because of nervous stimulation and that such stimulation will not harm it"

I am SOOO going to put that one up on my wall and read it when I wake up in the morning. I seem to be going through a rough patch and it's not unusual lately for me to wake to a 120 BPM heart rate. Which scares the dickens out of me. No amount of deep breathing, meditation or distraction seems to get it to go down before IT decideds its time. Could be an hour or more. (by which time I've reached for an Ativan.)

I have one of those biofeedback deviced for my computer and I can watch my heart rate ... it's kind of interesting to see that when it is pounding that hard it is actually moving in a very wide range or coherance. As I take in a breath it can shoot up to 110+ and then as I exhale it comes down to 85+. It very much seems to want to do this. I wish I could just get my logical brain to accept this as safe and normal and take my hand off the phone to call for help!! (Silly mind.)

~EM

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This has all been very interesting!!

As it happened, I was experiencing these things before I started taking medication. I teach for six hours a day, and so was standing for six hours a day and on a "good" day my heart would be between 140-160 for all of those six hours. On a "bad" day it would be higher and I'd have to sit down and have my students write on the board, etc, for me. This was one of the reasons I initially sought help, because the "bad" days were becoming so frequent that it was interfering with my work.

Around this time I was also mildly tachy even when sitting (100-110) so I felt like my heart was NEVER getting a rest except for the hours that I slept (when it would go down to 55).

Before developing POTS, I did used to run for upwards of six hours a day (I was training for marathons, and I had poor guidance). I ended up over-training my heart and developing an arrythmia, and at the time the doc specifically said it was because my heart was beating more than 100 bpm for more than an hour or two a day.

This made me wonder what the difference is between excercise or stimulant-induced tachycardia and regular POTS tachycardia, since my doc told me that if I left my POTS untreated it wouldn't cause any harm to my heart (despite the long hours of tachy when untreated).

But, now I take meds and I'm not so tachy when I work. And I very much believe that POTS tachycarida isn't harmful, I was just curious about the why of it all. And I suppose that since I'm not as tachy for as long anymore, and since we at least know it ISN'T harmful, it doesn't matter why!!! ;)

jump

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