Heart & Cardiology/Heart races


I have had this problem for a couple years.  I will be sitting quietly and all of sudden my heart starts racing, usually around 140 to 150.  I can get it to go back to normal by holding my breath and bearing down, or coughing really hard.  I have had every heart test, and they all come back fine, but I do have PVCs.  I am in my 50s, and wonder if I should consider a beta blocker, or just continue to live with it.  My normal resting pulse is in the mid 70's and I have normal blood pressure.
I am hypothyroid and also somewhat hypopituitary due to an adenoma in my 30's which was removed.  I understand these probably won't hurt me, but it always makes me anxious.

Hello Linda,

It's okay to take either course.  Temporary increase in heart rate to 150 is not harmful.  Beta blockers will probably prevent that, but I favor no medicine, since it's not mandatory.

Please write back if this doesn’t answer all your questions.

David Richardson

Heart & Cardiology

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David Richardson


Adult heart function and disease. Not very good about children lesss than 12. Hypertension is o.k. Heart rhythm a special interest.


Certified in cardiology by the American Board of Internal Medicine. Was chairman of division of cardiology at the Medical College of Virginia. Am now mostly retired.

Fellow of American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology and member of American Physiological Society..

Circulation, American Heart Journal, Hypertension.

M.D. from Harvard Medical School. Residency training at Yale Uhniversity School of Medicine and Medical College of Virginia.

Awards and Honors
Gold Heartt Award from American Heart Association in 1995.

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