Discussions By Condition: Cardiovascular disease

Extremely elevated heart rate

Posted In: Cardiovascular disease 3 Replies
  • Posted By: Silenthill33
  • June 24, 2010
  • 05:50 AM


I suppose I should begin with a bit of background on myself. I am a college student, in good shape, neither over nor under weight, and have been smoking moderately (5-6 cigarettes a day) for about a year. I have recently begun to take note of my heart rate, and how fast it gets when I smoke. My resting rate is around 80-90 bpm, but see levels over 130 after I have had a smoke. This all seemed to occur, or at least when I began noticing it, when I tried weed and had an even more drastic increase in heart rate (around 160 bpm) and passed in and out of consciousness. Since then, though I do not smoke weed any longer, I have been paying attention to how my heart responds to substances such as nicotine. I have done some research, but cannot seem to find a concrete answer as to whether this is something I should be concerned with or not. I should also mention I have been having heart palpitations whether I smoke or not, as well as occasional chest pain and shortness of breath with a feeling of dizziness accompanying the latter symptoms. I do not know if these are related at all, but again just thought I would mention it. Any advise is much appreciated.

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3 Replies:

  • Hi SilentHill, could possibly be a Supraventricualr Tachycardia (SVT). This is (normally) when a different pacemaker site in the heart (above the ventricles) takes over from the main pacemaker site. it can come and go (Paroxysmal SVT) and may last for random periods of time, up to two days. you need to see a cardiologist re this as it can lead into a Ventricular Tachycardia (VT) which can be fatal. Depending on what bloods show you can be medicated in a variety of ways. they may put you on a holter Monitor for a couple of days to see if they can capture your heart rhythm while these feelings are occuring. the palpitations you are probably feeling are Premature Ventricular Contractions (PVC) this is when the ventricles of the heart throw off an extra beat by themselves. this can often feeling like a wee thump, palpitations or as though your heart is out of rhythm. four of these PVC's in a row are considered a run of VT as i discussed earlier. You may require an ablation of some of the electrical pathways on the heart. A wee bit of reading for you, let us know if this fits with your symptoms, would be good to know. BRgds Cam:)
    Ambocam 11 Replies Flag this Response
  • Thank you for the reply.I did some research on the symptoms of SVT, and I seem to be experiencing all of them except the Fainting. Would SVT explain my extreme elevation in heart rate while smoking? I assume I would need to see a Cardiologist to have this diagnosed?
    Silenthill33 1 Replies Flag this Response
  • from what i gather there is a bit of debate as to nicotine causing tachycardias. however, nicotine is a CNS stimulant and alloows for the release of epinephrine (adrenaline) which will incrase the hearts rate. The rapid heart beat during an SVT will make the heart a less effective pump as it does not have time to fill properly between contractions. this will drop your blood pressure and thus can bring on a syncope (faint) Hope this helps Cam
    Ambocam 11 Replies Flag this Response
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