Today I had an appointment with my cardiologist to review my recent tests and discuss my heart rate issues. He began the discussion with the results of the tests I had taken which included an Echocardiogram, Holter Box, and a Stress Test. Good news, he says, I have a healthy athletic heart. Nothing wrong. Ok, good. Also, good news, I am not going crazy. Even though the tests came back as "normal", they did confirm that I experience abnormally high heart rate upon exertion or exercise. The Holter Box (measured by heart rhythm and heart rate in a 24 hour period) showed that my resting heart rate while at sleep was 41 bpm but also showed a high of 176 bpm while I was running. Doc says I have a very strong athletic heart.
He sympathized with my frustration in training with such a high heart rate... explaining that my heart is very senistive to adrenaline and that my heart acts as if I'm running a 50 yard dash when my body is actually only running at a marathon pace. He noted that it appears that I don't have a zone 1, 2, 3 and that within minutes of exertion, my heart rate is at zones 4 or 5. Because of this, I experience discomfort and shortness of breath...my heart can not go any harder or faster; I have essentially maxed out within a short time frame. Imagine running a sprint and how you feel, winded and out of breath, right? Now imagine having that feeling for 3 miles, or 6 miles even though your body is only moving at a slow pace. That's what I feel. I have my good days and my bad days; but apparently, race days just aggrevate the situation even more.
Doc says he wants me to see a guy who works with athletes and heart rate/zone training. If that doesn't work, he said there is a 50% chance he would have to put me on medicine (beta blockers). It was kind of funny, cause' at that point I showed him my heart rate numbers for the Sprint. His eyes got wide and he exclaimed, "Wow, 220 bpm!" He then change my chances of taking the medication to 80%.
I also told the Doc that I had low iron (a fact I had forgotten to tell him during our first meeting). I've been repeatedly rejected to give blood due to my low hemoglobin count (low iron). My Dad is considered to be anemic which could be genetic. I'm going to have my blood drawn to make sure that I'm not anemic (high heart rate upon exertion is a symtom).
Well, that's my medical update for now. More to come later, hopefully I can get a handle on my adrenaline monster.
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