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Having fast heartbeat, dizziness, pressure on chest. Normal BP. Is it vertigo or something else?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2008
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I am 40 year old femaile 5'1 127 lbs and have been working out for 12 weeks. Whenever I do weights (3 sets of 12) I get to about the second set about #9 and my heart speeds up with a fast hard beat and I get light headed like I'm going to pass out. When I am on the eliptical I get dizzy like that at about 85% of heart usage at a target heart rate of about 153. I now have left sided chest pressure (not pain just a heavy pressure around the breast area that comes and goes throughout the day) for the past week. I have normally low blood pressure. I also have odd heartbeat it goes beat beat beat then hiccup and I can physically feel the hiccup part . Sometimes the pattern changes but its not a straight beat. My doctor has said in the past I have Asinus arythmia and that its normal. My husband doesnt get light headed or to the point of fainting or rapid heart beat after any exertion and he works harder than I. How can I stop this or what could this be? This is definately not vertigo but true light headedness. However I would love to get rid of my vertigo as well I have been living with that for years. Just to be clear they are clearly 2 different sensations. Thanks
Posted Tue, 23 Apr 2013 in Heart Rate and Rhythm Disorders
Answered by Dr. Raju A.T 4 hours later

Thanks for your query.

Sinus arrhythmia is a normal phenomenon and cannot be easily made out of felt by a person. I suspect you to have a pathological arrhythmia; this along with low blood pressure could be the reason for your light headedness.

Both low pressure and arrhythmia even when the heart rate is more; tend to reduce the perfusion time leading to inadequate supply of oxygen and nutrients to the brain causing dizziness.

I suggest you to get a Holter Monitoring done this will identify the type and pattern of arrhythmia you have. Do take a second opinion from another cardiologist with the holter report. You may have to be placed on anti-arrhythmic drugs to solve the problem you have. The pressure in the chest you have could also be related to the same problem.

Hope I answered your query.

Please let me know if there are any other concerns.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Having fast heartbeat, dizziness, pressure on chest. Normal BP. Is it vertigo or something else? 30 minutes later
What can I do, eat, drink etc in the meantime to keep from or help not to have these experiences when working out until I can get to see doctor?
Answered by Dr. Raju A.T 10 minutes later

Thanks for writing back.

Do maintain good hydration by consuming ample amount of water and fruit juices with glucose and a pinch of salt in it. This will increase the blood volume and prevent low blood pressure that occurs during work out.

Also do practice aerobic exercises or Yoga which improve the circulation and improve the perfusion time.

Hope I answered your query.

Wish you good health.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Having fast heartbeat, dizziness, pressure on chest. Normal BP. Is it vertigo or something else? 3 hours later
In the event I don't follow up with a doctor is this condition something XXXXXXX or could result in something more serious or just a nuisance and should I consume glucose and salt during exercise or sometime prior to the workout ? how long before if so?
Answered by Dr. Raju A.T 14 hours later
Hi again,

No, the condition doesn't seem serious enough to be life threatening but important enough to be evaluated.

Do take the juices with glucose and salt an hour before exercise. This will reduce sweating and maintain the blood volume through the work out and avoid dizziness.

Hope I answered you.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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