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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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What causes increased heart rate?

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Dr. Lilit Baghdasaryan

Cardiologist

Practicing since :2007

Answered : 1531 Questions

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Posted on Wed, 4 Feb 2015 in Hypertension and Heart Disease
Question: I am a 65 year old generally healthy woman. I can hike for many miles but the hills really get to me. On Sunday I hit a wall on a prolonged hill. My heart rate was above 220 bpm and I was hot and shaky; almost feeling faint. I was drinking plenty of water. When we made it to the top and returned to level ground my heart rate remained around 170 bpm for at least an hour. Is this ok? Could it have been electrolyte imbalance?
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Answered by Dr. Lilit Baghdasaryan 28 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Need to undergo stress test and check serum electrolytes

Detailed Answer:
Dear Mrs,

Usually there is an increase of heart rate during physical activity, but 220bpm is too high and is already abnormal.
Of course electrolyte imbalance can cause such elevated heart rate, but it can also be arrhythmia.
I would advise you to check serum electrolytes and undergo stress test to exclude ischemia and arrhythmias during physical activity

Hope I could help you

Please, let me know if you have further questions

Wish you good health

Regards,
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Raju A.T
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