A heart beat line remains steady until it passes a threshold where it begins to spike.

Lupus and Tachycardia

I recently came down with a rather nasty virus. I was concerned it may have been COVID but I was relieved when my PCR test results came back negative.

Although it wasn’t COVID, I did notice it seemed to be more severe than the usual cold-type symptoms I often get and I ended up with a chest infection which I needed antibiotics fir however I also noticed that my heart rate seemed to be quite fast. In fact early one morning I was woken up by it beating incredibly fast.

I have an oximeter at home which measures your oxygen saturation and heart rate and when I read it was beating at around 130 Bpm it really freaked me out! I thought I was going to have to call for an ambulance. When I stood up it rocketed up to 170 bpm. Luckily, my partner was fantastic and reassured me. It calmed down very quickly but it left me feeling quite shaken. I called my doctor's office and made an appointment for a check-over. She did all the necessary checks but couldn’t find anything concerning but she referred me to the hospital to see the cardiologist just to be on the safe side.

What is tachycardia?

Over the years I have had bouts of tachycardia and it’s where your heart beats faster than 100 beats per minute. It can also cause chest pain, breathlessness, and nausea.

This seemed to occur when my lupus symptoms were getting worse before my diagnosis. At the time I had a plethora of investigations done at the cardiology unit but they told me that my heart was healthy and they could not explain why it was racing. They offered to put me on beta-blockers which is a type of medication that slows your heart rate down but I was warned that one of the main side effects as fatigue and for me, that was something that I definitely didn’t need!

Lupus and tachycardia

As we all know lupus can affect any organ system in the body and there have been many heart conditions associated with it including pericarditis, myocarditis, coronary artery disease, and POTS (postural tachycardia syndrome) which is why it’s vital that we inform our lupus doctors of any symptoms that might be of concern in this area. Of course just because we might be having tachycardia doesn’t necessarily mean we have one of those conditions.

I read an interesting fact that even in healthy individuals our heart rate increases when our bodies are fighting an infection or virus and that it reflects inflammatory responses that are going on inside of us. It’s usually a case of riding it out until we are feeling better.

Recovering

It’s been a few weeks now since I was sick with the virus and I can say that my heart rate seems to be back to normal or at least my level of normal which is a relief but I feel reassured that I’ll be seeing the cardiologist just as a precaution.

It seems tachycardia for me is one of the many symptoms that lupus gives me without explanation!

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