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Thread: Smoker with low resting heart rate ?

  1. #1
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    May 2013
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    Smoker with low resting heart rate ?

    Hiiii havenít been on here for a while but now Iv got a gripe and I donít want to rush off to doctors crying about it just yet. So Iím a smoker about 14-18 per day. Itís a disgusting habit I know and at odds with my anxiety I keep trying to quit and all I can say is I will get there in the end. However something is troubling me. So for years I have suffered on and off with palpitations quite bad ones at that. Had a terrible night episode when my son was 12 days old 4 years ago where my heart rate was jumping from 38- 100 an ambulance got called and the ecg detected a very irregular heart beat spent a day or two in hospital where it eventually righted itself they had no diagnosis for it. Iv come to the conclusion it was maybe hormones and my heart shrinking back to normal size ? Anyway had a monitor that picked up several ventricular eptopic beats and sinus arrhythmia whatever that is (I was assured it was fine) and had an echo that said my heart was structurally normal... can that change in 4 years ? so to come back to present day my concern is that my resting heart beat seems to sink to 50-58 bpm first thing in morning. However I have just gone for a walk and it shot up to 135 bpm and I was so out of breath and sweating. Now to my understanding smokers should have a high resting heart rate and their exercise heart rate capacity should be lower than a smoker. Why is mine the other way round. For clarity Iím very physically unfit as I say I smoke quite a lot, Iím 5í3 I weight 10 stone 6 which puts me in the overweight side of things by about half a stone. I used to be fairly active but I acquired a driving license 3 years ago and havenít walked since 😂 dreadful I know but I have zero motivation and energy. My son is autistic and is a dreadful sleeper also constantly seeking sensory input so climbs everywhere and puts random objects in his mouth all day. Iím drained with it some days. Now can anyone slap any clarity or advice into me or similar experiences ?

  2. #2
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    Re: Smoker with low resting heart rate ?

    50-58bpm isn't low. It's exactly where it should be. In fact, it's where mine is first thing in the morning.

  3. #3
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    Re: Smoker with low resting heart rate ?

    Yeah I get that but Iím just a little weirded out by it because I know as a smoker Iím supposed to have a higher rhr. And I know it couldnít be that due to heart health as Iím not healthy at all really. My brother has congenital aortic valve disease and has bradycardia and my grandmother dropped dead when my dad was 12 sadly of an undiagnosed heart condition (unsure what it was) this was in the 60s however. I guess I have had years of heart symptoms like the palps and obviously that dreadful episode when my son was born that was unexplained. Plus I have a few ecgs over the years that have picked up an irregular rhythm. I have had LOTS of ecgs in the height of my anxiety days and even a few since the irregular rhythm has been spotted about 4/5 times in all those incidences. I suppose Iím worried that somethings been missed.

  4. #4
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    Re: Smoker with low resting heart rate ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sarah1989 View Post
    I know as a smoker Iím supposed to have a higher rhr.
    Higher than what?

  5. #5
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    Re: Smoker with low resting heart rate ?

    Higher than a none smoker. I have been led to believe (admittedly by several years of googling) that smokers have high resting heart rates. Like my rationale in my little brain is saying do I have a heart condition? Bradycardia ? How low would it go if I quit smoking. Also every site Iv seen says resting hr should be between 60-100 although I realise the higher the number the more undesirable it is.

  6. #6
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    Re: Smoker with low resting heart rate ?

    I Thought/used to think Bradycardia was just a term used for everyone whos heart rate was below 60 (whether its lower than 55-60 due to a problem or lower than 55-60 and its absolutely fine)

    I've personally been to doctors with a heart rate around 50 and no ones ever brought it up as a problem. I had a colonoscopy a few years back and was knocked out. When I was wheeled back to the ward I was on the machine that was displaying my pulse..it was like 50-51. I expected a nurse or someone to comment but no, they just recorded it and moved on. Hell I'm on a low dose of beta blockers now and I'm well into the 40's..but I have no real symptoms, I'd imagine you would need to show a load of symptoms that your heart is struggling while you have a low BPM for it to actually be a problem?

  7. #7
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    Re: Smoker with low resting heart rate ?

    Thanks for reply that brings me some comfort. Iv been on this site for 8 years when I look at my older posts I realise I was bat s**t crazy I feel with age Iv got better the anxiety is still constantly there but perhaps as Iv got older Iv learned to control/internalise it better. Anything to do with my heart or brain though it sends me spiralling. My daughters just threw a packet of baby wipes down stairs to me and smacked me on side of neck Iím now googling cartroid arteries and pondering if sheís caused me an injury and Iím going to collapse soon 🥴 itís hard the constant worry. When I was younger I was convinced I was going to die in my sleep and fight my tiredness till I would eventually drop off at around 7am it was a very unhealthy and unhappy way to live. I worry Iím starting to sink into it again but then thereís always that little insidious voice inside that says what if.

  8. #8
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    Re: Smoker with low resting heart rate ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sarah1989 View Post
    Higher than a none smoker. I have been led to believe (admittedly by several years of googling) that smokers have high resting heart rates. Like my rationale in my little brain is saying do I have a heart condition? Bradycardia ? How low would it go if I quit smoking. Also every site Iv seen says resting hr should be between 60-100 although I realise the higher the number the more undesirable it is.
    Exactly. You are making assumptions based on vague 'knowledge' supplied by Google.

    You say 'high'.....what is high? What metric are you basing 'high' on?

    The 60-100 resting heart rate range is complete nonsense. It's actually based on the graphing scale for ECG readouts and not actually based on anything scientific, and then you have to ask what 'resting' actually means.

    If you actually do any research (which I suggest you DON'T do....lol), a true resting heart rate of over 80 would be cause for concern.

    50-58 is simply not a low resting heart rate, and you are winding yourself up based on vague, incorrect knowledge and no real basis of what it should be in the first place.

  9. #9
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    Re: Smoker with low resting heart rate ?

    Thanks joe for your words of wisdom in my moment of crazinesss. Feel better although Iím conscious what Iím actually doing is comforting behaviour which I should really be avoiding. Never the less I appreciate your time.

  10. #10
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    Re: Smoker with low resting heart rate ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sarah1989 View Post
    Thanks joe for your words of wisdom in my moment of crazinesss. Feel better although Iím conscious what Iím actually doing is comforting behaviour which I should really be avoiding. Never the less I appreciate your time.

    Everyone is different in terms of RHR, there's no real average. It depends on fitness level as well as heart conditions/triglyceride levels, and alot of factors. But what you described seems like a normal heart.
    I'd advice on being active, you don't really need alot of time for it. Maybe say 5-30mins a day, or 5min sessions every few hours. Maybe do some stretches, or light exercise, or a quick Tabata. Other than that, yeah. Quit smoking. It's definitely not easy, but trust me the benefits are huge. (I used to do 6-10/day for like 10 years...)

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