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I get a tingling in my hands and occasional lightheadness when my heart rate goes above 160, usually while working out.
August 11, 2009 5:51 PM   Subscribe

I get a tingling in my hands and occasional lightheadness when my heart rate goes above 160, usually while working out. [you are not a doctor]

So I recently started weight training and after just a little bit my heart rate stars to soar...going from about 80 to 150 and then 160, which is where the tingly starts. The only think I can compare this to is years ago when I first starting acting and got very nervous before going on stage, my heart would start to point and I would get the exact same feeling (sometimes worse).

This heart rate soaring doesn't seem to happen when I do cardio. For a while I as running 30 min every other day and NEVER had it happen.

My theory is that my muscles are very weak so its pulling blood from extremeties to fuel my muscles...which causes my heart to try to push much harder cause parts of the body are not getting the blood they need.

I am on atenelol for occasional heart beat irregularities. Slightly high BP, but nothing crazy. I have been to two cardiologists over the last 3 years, and they did a holter monitor and a stress test and said I had no problems other than the slightly irregular heartbeat.

So

A) What might this be?

B) When I meet with my new cardiologist what should I ask him?
posted by UMDirector to Health & Fitness (12 answers total)
 
As you say IANAD but this could be a whole range of things. Is it general tingling in your hands similar to the sensation of being cold, or is it specific to a certain area? It could be circulation, and it could be nerves. I don't buy the weak muscles argument. Tingling/loss of sensation etc can (though not often) be associated with a host of nervous-system disorders including MS. It's not to be taken lightly. If you're really tight in the shoulders (if you work at a desk) it can cause nerves to be pinched and give you tingling.

Having said that, the drugs may be causing it but that's a question for the cardioligist.
posted by jimmythefish at 6:06 PM on August 11, 2009


Yeah not MS...had a scan for that last year. They did a whole nerve workup too.
posted by UMDirector at 6:09 PM on August 11, 2009


During what exercises does this occur? How much weight are you moving and for how many repetitions? At what point in your workout does it happen?
posted by ludwig_van at 7:25 PM on August 11, 2009


Happens during actual weight lifting. In todays case a cable based leg extension while standing with I think about 18 or 20lbs. first have is okay but about 30 sec in (maybe 15-20 reps) is when heart rate takes off.

Last time it happened much more near the end of hour long workout but today started only maybe 20 min in after some crunches. Maybe of note: this morning twelve hours before this workout I did an hour on the treadmill at maybe 110-120 heart rate. Last time (wheni got through more of the workout) I had not previously been on the mill.
posted by UMDirector at 7:34 PM on August 11, 2009


B) When I meet with my new cardiologist what should I ask him.

This one.
posted by outsider at 8:22 PM on August 11, 2009


about 30 sec in (maybe 15-20 reps) is when heart rate takes off.

Well I can't tell you what your problem is for sure. I've experienced tingling in my limbs towards the end of a very heavy set of 5 -- it usually means I'm about to fail. I think it's happened most on the overhead press in my upper arms. I don't think it's a big deal and I keep on training.

But in any case, I'd advise you not to do so many reps. You're basically doing cardio in that rep range. Strength training is typically done with 5-10 reps. See if you still have the problem then.
posted by ludwig_van at 10:00 PM on August 11, 2009


When I get these symptoms, it's usually hypoxia, but then I'm asthmatic, so it totally may not be this for you.
posted by kalessin at 5:18 AM on August 12, 2009


IANAD(Y), but out of curiosity, what kind of arrythmia do you have? Did you do this sort of weight-training when you were on the Holter?
posted by greatgefilte at 6:24 AM on August 12, 2009


Also, have you ever had an echocardiogram done?
posted by greatgefilte at 6:32 AM on August 12, 2009


Not sure what type of arrtythmia I have...just one that is fixed by 25mg of Atenelol.

I was not doing that weight training with the holter, but I was on the treadmill doing cardio.

I had an echocardiogram done the same time as the stress test.

@ kalessin - I am also asthmatic. Do you also begin to sweat fairly quickly or anything? My asthma is not out of control but I certainly have it and am on a few medications, but I have never been hospitalized for it or anything.
posted by UMDirector at 5:41 PM on August 12, 2009


@UMDirector, I sweat really quickly, but aside from exercise-induced, I also have allergy-induced attacks (from airborne allergens as well as food allergens).

I'm on Advair 100/50 and Zyrtec for most of my allergy triggers.

I find that I get asthma attacks if I exceed a heart bpm of about 160, no matter what I'm doing, but that hypoxia manifests earlier than getting a full-blown attack.
posted by kalessin at 11:21 AM on August 13, 2009


Again, IANAD(Y), but I think it be worth having another stress test done while you're doing the strength-training type of activity. Ask your new cardio fella about it.
posted by greatgefilte at 7:52 PM on August 13, 2009


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