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WanderWonder

Heart Rate Fluctuating Every Second - Is This Normal?

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I have a oxygen pulse monitor. On days I get POTS symptoms (heart rate goes up 40+bpm within a few seconds of standing), when I'm wearing it and sitting doing nothing, my heart rate changes every second from about 72, 73, 74...all the way to about 97, then goes back down. Then it keeps cycling like that. This happens in a matter of about 30 seconds. Sometimes the numbers jump a few.

My doctor said it's normal for these monitors to show readings like that, but it doesn't always happen on days I'm feeling well, and I've tested on friends. Their numbers remains steady with no changes.
Has anyone else encountered this?

 

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@WanderWonder yes, this is not unusual. My HR fluctuates that way also. As long as it goes back down and the sinus node resets itself. 

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Yes, quite often! 

I remember the first time I had an episode and called for an ambulance, the paramedic said to me that my heart rate was as up and down as the euro (the currency). I thought that was a funny way of describing how erratic our heart rates can be when we have dysautonomia. 

When I'm having a bad flare, my heart rate will be very up and down. I've been told by a cardiologist that it's most likely related to the vagal nerve. 

 

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@WanderWonder All the time. My heart rate is constantly dancing around even when relaxed. It never really stays at one or two numbers for long. Even small movements in bed such as rolling over to one side will cause my hr to jump up around 30+beats only for it to come back down again once I'm still. 

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I also would like to point out that when we use any monitor to check our HR we are acutely aware of changes in HR or BP, even when they are happening normally in others that do not monitor their numbers.  It is very important that we check our Vital signs when we have SYMPTOMS. Fluctuations are normal in all people. 

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This is something odd I have noticed. If I move around it will jump up 10 points or so then come back down.

But sometimes I have left it on as I get up and walk around and it does not move at all. It stays steady where it was the whole time. Then when I sit down I get a spike that lasts a few minutes then it will come back down.

I totally expected to see it go up as I got up and got active and could not believe how steady it has been. 

There is no way for me to know it is always this way. I don’t always wear it. But there are times I am up I will check my carotid and it is just slowly beating away kind of like it’s in shock like what the heck are you doing to me anyway. 

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I have this too. Is this autonomic related issue? I remember reading about vagal modulation? Or something like that?

It seems my heart is hyper sensitive. Can act out from minimal exertion.

My muscle also hypersensitive i wonder if it connected...

I also got cold sweaty hands and feet when i feel sick.

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Funny you mention this mine goes all over the place.  When I was at my Neurologist sitting down they took my pulse it was 78 then 95 then 100 then 80 it just kept going all over the place.  The nurse said I have never seen anything like that before in my life.

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Anyone know what this is called so I can look into it more -someone said vagal modulation? I looked it up, but there was too much technical jargon.  Any resources on how to reduce the variation?

It's a bit concerning since it's been happening more lately, and I'm pretty sure it didn't happen to me back then.

EDIT: I found a more common term: Heart rate variability (HRV). I'll report back anything I find interesting.

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@WanderWonder I got this info from here:  https://ouraring.com/heart-rate-variability-basics/

 

What Is Heart Rate Variability (HRV)?

A healthy heart beat contains healthy irregularities. Even if your heart rate is, say, 60 beats per minute, that doesn’t mean that your heart beats once every second – or at one-second intervals like a clock.

Rather, there is variation among the intervals between your heartbeats. The interval between your successive heartbeats can be, for example, 0.85 seconds between some two succeeding beats and 1.35 seconds between some other two.

Even though the difference is measured in parts of seconds, you can actually feel the difference.

Here’s a tip for anyone who wants to experience it: place a finger gently on your neck or wrist and find your pulse. You should feel that the longest intervals take place when you exhale, and the shortest intervals when you inhale.

The Basics

To understand HRV, we first need to understand our nervous system and heart rate. Heart rate variability can be traced back to our autonomic nervous system.

The autonomic nervous system regulates very important systems in our body, including heart and respiration rate and digestion. The autonomic nervous system has a parasympathetic (rest) and a sympathetic (activation) branch. Heart rate variability is an indicator that both branches are functioning – the parasympathetic in particular.

Intrinsic heart rate is measured in the condition in which neither parasympathetic nor sympathetic regulation is present. When completely blocked from autonomic regulation, a healthy heart contracts at a rate of about 100 beats per minute (the number is individual, however).

Parasympathetic regulation lowers your heart rate from the intrinsic level, giving more room for variability between successive heartbeats. Parasympathetic regulation causes almost immediate changes that affect only a few beats at a time, after which the heart rate returns towards the intrinsic rate. Sympathetic regulation elevates your heart rate from the intrinsic level, and there is less room for variability between successive heartbeats. Sympathetic regulation affects several consecutive heart beats.

 

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So after doing more research on Heart Rate Variability (HRV), I'm not sure this is the correct term for what we are witnessing.

To get an HRV, someone would need a special sensor that most HR watches don't detect well.

It looks like a low HRV - when the variability in between each heartbeat does not vary and stays the same - is unhealthy and from stress because the heart is like a Metrodome and beating at the same time I'm between each heart to keep up. On the other hand a high HRV - where the time between is more varied - is healthier.

Hence, our HR rapidly changing doesn't necessarily mean we have a high or low HRV (changes in the time between beats relative to how fast it's beating), just that our heart is beating faster or slower.

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@WanderWonder - personally I am not at all concerned about my HR jumping up and down constantly. It is when I GET SYMPTOMS that I am alarmed, and this can be from HR, BP or both changing rapidly. So - IMO ( and in my Experience ) rapidly changing HR is not a dangerous thing. My daughter's HR jumps up and down like crazy every minute and she had many monitors - it just shows Sinus arrhythmia, a harmless rhythm abnormality. It is only when she gets symptomatic that any HR anomaly causes concern. 

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FWIW, a couple of years ago my PCP's nurse practitioner was manually taking my pulse. He said any slight movement caused a big increase and that it was not normal. I'm relating this because he was checking manually by feeling my pulse at my wrist -- not some monitor that always seems to be called into question, and also because he said it was not normal.

I tend to think of my ANS as not providing the buffer it should and in addition, that buffering overall seems quite variable. I know at least part of the time that lack of buffering occurs *with* other bad symptoms, if not outright contributing to them. The worst I've experienced with this was last January, when my HR, BP,  gastric emptying and internal temperature regulation went from one end of the spectrum to the other in a very short span of time for a couple of weeks. I lost ten lbs in ten days. The way my poor body was slung from one extreme to the other was truly scary.  

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18 hours ago, WanderWonder said:

What does ANS for?

Edit: Oh! I'm assuming anatomic nervous system. It doesn't come up on Google.

ANS is short for AUTONOMIC nervous system. 

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