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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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What causes rapid heart rate?

I am woken at 1 am a lot of nights, with extremely rapid racing heart. when tested my heart is normal and healthy in every way. I have a wisdom tooth that needs removing and am awaiting surgery. Could this affect my heart? I am 66 fit and healthy , great diet, no alcohol or smoking As much as possible, leading an holistic life. I live with continual pulsing in my body and have gotten used to the feeling. Could this be slow release from an affected tooth?
Mon, 24 Aug 2015
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Cardiologist 's  Response
Hello. Thank you for asking on HCM. I understand your concern.

I would recommend you to safely proceed with the surgery about tooth-removal, because this episode does not have to do with any risk during the procedure. Since it was one single episode that woke you up during sleep, then it was probably caused by the rapid eye movement (REM) phase of the sleep, which is characterized by the highest activity of the brain during sleep. It is this phase when we have dreams and nightmares, a phase in which there is a spike of catecholamine (adrenalin and noradrenalin) secretion in the system, hence the symptoms of fear, rapid heart rate and increasing of the blood pressure. Some of us sometimes prefer to call it "the nightmare heart rate".

I hope I was helpful with my answer. Good luck with the procedure.

Kind regards,
Dr. Meriton
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