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Thursday, September 04, 2008 amanda jarmey, Community Member, asks

Q: my bp normal but pulse over 100 since july?

hi,i wonder if you can give me any ideas as to what may be causing my elevated pulse rate? mp probs started back in early july when i experienced some dizzy spells,then i started to get very out of breath,and also noticed that i had some ankle odema.

i saw my gp,who sent me for a chest x-ay,and i also had blood tests and an ecg.everything came back normal,apart from my protein levels being borderline,and having a pulse of over gp said it was prob caused by stress,and put me on a course of betablockers.i stopped taking them a few days ago,as they make me feel very tired and was getting bad stomach pains while taking them,but now my rapid pulse has returned,along with the shortness of breath,and i also have a bad cough,ive never felt stressed,so i dont think that is the cause of my sypmtoms. the only other thing that has happened recently,is that i have been getting a fluttering sensation that goes from my chest up in to my throat,and when this happens i cant breathe properly,the first time this happened i thought i was going to pass out.

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Answers (3)
Martin Cane, M.D., Health Pro
9/ 4/08 11:25am


amanda jarmey,


Thanks for your question. 


There are a couple of possibilities that come to mind after reading your post.  It sounds like you need to be checked again with another EKG.  If your tachycardia (rapid heart rate) is a sinus tachycardia (electrically normal type of rhythm originating from your natural pacemaker), then underlying causes need to be ruled out.  The first is an overactive thyroid, which is more common in females and usually causes a rapid pulse.  It could also cause sweating, anxiety, hair loss (eyebrows and front of scalp), weight loss, diarrhea, poor tolerance of heat, and occasionally, rapid cardiac arrhythmias (abnormal rhythms).  This can be checked with simple blood tests, and if abnormal, more thyroid evaluation will be needed. 


Another area to check out is the lungs.  Underlying lung disease such as asthma, chronic bronchitis, and emphysema, can cause fast heart rates, as well as a cough, sputum production, and shortness of breath.  A chest X-ray can be normal in asthmatics.


Be sure to have a blood count repeated, as anemia can also be a cause of rapid pulse rates.  Also have your protein levels repeated.


Cardiac arrhythmias can cause much of your symptoms.  If an EKG is negative, then ask about a 24 hour monitor of your heart.  Some abnormal rhythms are intermittent and a longer period of monitoring is needed to "catch" it. 


I have to agree that something is going on, especially with your symptoms in early July.  If this next evaluation is not fruitful, ask for a consultation with a cardiologist. 


Best wishes and feel better.


Martin Cane, M.D.




Terry McGlocklin, Community Member
3/20/10 7:08am

I myself have developed a racing heartbeat ranging from 96 - 100, it scares me at times , I also have a heart murmur. I had some testing done and they found 2 bi-lateral masses on my adrenal glands, my GP says this may be the underlying cause of waking up with a racing heart. I would tell you to have EKG, 24 hour heart monitor done, abdominal cat-scan and series of bloodwork, if not under stress, which this caused me stress, you keep on your Dr's till they give you a good answer. Good Luck God Bless

Search525, Community Member
12/13/11 7:14pm

You have described my symtoms to a T. I went to the ER a few times and was told it was panic attacks. It happened again 3 weeks later and went to the heart center and I had blockage in the LAD. I had all the test mentioned above and still no answers. One thing you have to do Is be persistant with your doctors. I could of died if I didnt demand a stress test after the EKG's came back clear. During the stress test I had that same feeling again and the Cardiologist said it was PVCs. 7 weeks later and I still get them but not as bad with the heart meds im on now. I have anxiety, rapid heart rate, tired and a few others I can't think of right now. I was told by a nurse to have my Thyroid retested. I tested once and it showed hypothyroidism. My doctor retested me 2 weeks later and it showed clear. I have been reading everything I can about this and I have read many people found after multiple tests it ended up being their Thyriod. I hope this helps and good luck to you. Maybe we both will figure this out soon.

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By amanda jarmey, Community Member— Last Modified: 02/23/13, First Published: 09/04/08