Fast Heart rate

Hello Everyone !  I am 66 years old and have had a PM for 13months . I have had a very active life playing sports and working out etc.   When I work out certain motions make my heart rate shoot up to about 120.  Example, pushups or a short sprint.  I am able to walk at a fast pace for 40 min and my pulse may get above 90. Most other exercises have  little or no effect. Early on, rolling over in bed would make my pulse go up also . When I am on a treadmill walking at fast pace, I am fine but as soon as I go into a jog motion at the same speed my pulse jumps up. Once I go back to a walk it comes right down. My Doctor does monitor me and says everything looks fine.   I was wondering if there are some adjustments that can be made or if anyone else has experienced this.


Sounds like classic rate response

by jds66 - 2021-01-16 16:21:31

Sounds like this is a rate response effect. Your pacemaker, depending on the brand, may have an accelerometer in it. If it does not, then there is something built into your pacer that senses your movments, they all do a variation of the same thing: raise your heart rate when it thinks you are doing activity that needs more blood pumping. (of course, this can be undesirable if it is adjusted wrong. Mine was so sensitive that simple bumpy car rides were turning it up to 120bpm while sitting in my car)

It can be adjusted to based upon the type of activity to be very sensitive or not very sensitive to  moments. 

Things that move the actual pacer quickly, quick sprints, the motion of pushups and jogging would absol be things that would trigger rate response to come on. 

There are a bunch of recent posts here about rate response. Your EP can totally change that and I recommend you do some jogging in place at the office, let him see the effect and he can lower the sensitivity. 

Unless others have different ideas, I think this is a pretty clear and consensus answer. 

Maybe ask to wear a holter monitor

by Persephone - 2021-01-16 18:30:51

Hi Jimmy, if you're feeling like you may need data to show your doc what you're experiencing, you may be able to request a holter monitor, and keep a log of your activities and how you're feeling.  It could provide more data than your PM transmission.

How is this a problem?

by Gotrhythm - 2021-01-18 15:36:29

It won't hurt anything to talk to your doctor about your rate response settings, but here's the thing about our pacemaker settings--all of them. What matters is not what the settings are. What matters is how you feel and whether the settings help you do what you want to do.

You seem to be concerned that your heart rate increases when you go from walking to jogging. If your heart rate goes up when you are exercising--well, it's supposed to, and the pacemaker is there to make your heart speed up when you need for it to. For cardiac condtioning, there's even a formula for how high you should get your heart rate and for how long.  The last time I did it, the target heart rate for me was 120 bpm for 20 minutes. As long as it comes back down when you are at rest, there's nothing wrong with a heart rate of 120.

It's possible that if your RR were less sensitive, when you went from walking to a jog, you would get out of breath and feel exhausted very quickly.

When it comes to pacemaker settings, the gold standard is "how do you feel?" If you feel okay jogging with a heart rate of 120, then the settings you have are probably right for you.


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It may be the first time we've felt a normal heart rhythm in a long time, so of course it seems too fast and too strong.