Rapid Heart Beat & elevated Blood Pressure

Can be one of the signs of autoimmune hemolytic anemia

Do you have FATIGUE?


Have you had a serious cold or flu?

Exposure to 2-butoxyethanol causes AIHA or IMHA
and I suspect the other odd symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome ... CFIDS, CFS, FM

Something that doctors wouldn't look for most of the time, so you might suggest it
and give some additional info


What is your temperature?

What kind of work do you do?

Are you taking any meds?


It might be exposure to 2-butoxyethanol

are there other signs like FATIGUE?

rapid heart beat is one of the signs of hemolytic anemia

I think there would also be other clues like Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction, if so

Some things to consider

Develop rapid heart rate while sleeping - Concerns / Questions

I HAVE RAPID HEART BEAT AT NIGHT, this wakes me up and my heart is beating so fast I can't count the beats, my blood pressure is like 190 over 90 and I'm lightheaded and very shaky, after maybe 10 minutes I start to get better. I don't know what causes this does anyone out there know.  dobroplayer
Racing heart rate while sleeping!  This is so crazy I have been experiencing the same exact thing for the past two weeks with the rapid hear beat at night and it waking me up.  I also have chest pains that go along with this after my heart stops beating so fast.  It is really getting to me since I am losing sleep at night. So if anyone knows what this is can you please help us out. Thanks Daccordv6
1999: I have had three episodes now during the middle of the night that are terrifying. (One was just while laying around) Out of a dead sleep I will awaken and my heart is racing so fast I can't even count the beats.  I start trembling and shivering and feel very weak.  The first time it only lasted about 5 minutes.  Last night it lasted almost 30-40 minutes before it would slow down.  I was so close to going to the ER, but was afraid the minute the ambulance showed up it would be normal again.  I had heard if you hold your nose and mouth shut and try to blow that causes your heartbeat to slow down...well that didn't work...Finally I decided to take a xanax and within about 2 minutes it slowed down.  I can't believe the xanax worked that quick, but after that I was ok and could go back to sleep.  This morning I awoke and feel like I have run a marathon.  Very shaky, weak feeling and tired.  This was so scary and I'm afraid it will happen again, but next time my husband might be out of town and I'll be alone.  I don't want to seem like a hypochondriac and run to the ER every time this happens but it really has me worried. I had a dr. appt last week and mentioned to him about the one when I was laying around and that it only lasted about 10 minutes and he said it was probably just an adrenalin rush, mostly because I do tend to have anxiety problems to start with.  What would cause this while sleeping.  I had no problems before going to bed.  How could anxiety bother you while sleeping?  I had worked in the yard earlier in the day and really pushed my heart rate up for a few minutes and had to go lay down and rest for a minute, but after that felt fine.  Could the exercise earlier in the day had caused this 12 hours later?  Can adrenaline really effect you in this way with rapid heart rate and palpitations versus being a true heart problem?  Sorry for all the questions, but I am so scared it's probably adding to my symptoms now.  Please don't just tell me to go see my dr.  He thinks I'm a head case now as it is.  These are true symptoms and it's not all in my head.  Thx for your advice. pyle - Later bad night sweats, soft tissue breast sarcoma, enlarged spleen

How are you?  3-2009

I noticed several things in your post that look like what exposure to 2-butoxyethanol would cause

Do you recall a serious flu or ongoing congestion?

What was different before these symptoms started up in 1999 than before?
I have the same thing happen to me, but add to it I get a warm sensation starting at my feet and moving through my body up to my head and my heart is racing.  I get up and walk around, but they seem to be lasting longer than they used to.  It makes me so nervous and I'm sure that adds to the problem.  I am completely worn out the next two days when this happens during the night. Linda
When I read your post, I felt as if I could have written it myself.  In the past month I have had the exact same thing happen to me.  The first time it happened I had woken up just a few minutes earlier, I noticed that my heart skipped a beat then went into a very rapid heartbeat, it lasted 17 minutes.  Then  in the past couple weeks, I have awoken twice with a rapid heartbeat, it was beating  very fast and hard, the type of beat you get when you have just finished exercising.  Both of these times it lasted between 3-5 minutes, it terrified me so bad, and I am sure that my increased anxiety at this  time was only making the matter worse.  During these times I did not experience any other symptoms such as dizziness, chest pains or shortness of breath.  The rest of the day I felt kind of tired, I think when you get something that scares you as much as this, it can make you feel worn out.  I'm 36 and I try to take good care of myself by eating a low fat - high fiber diet, I do not drink, smoke, or have any caffeine in my diet.  The last time I had my cholesterol checked about 6 months ago it was 140.  From what I have read it seems like anxiety and stress can cause this.  I have always been a VERY anxious person, there are days where as soon as I wake up I feel jittery, those are the days I try to  keep busy.  But I always feel like I am "on edge" for no particular reason.  I am not on medication for my anxiety, I try to just deal with it, but some days are hard.  But ever since I have had these episodes of rapid heartbeat, I have been extremely anxious.  I have family that live about 2 hours away, I would drive there every week, but since this has happened, I am worried about driving that far.  As I mentioned, I don't get any dizziness, but if the rapid heartbeats happened while I was driving I might get so scared I'd bring on a panic attack or something.  I know exactly what you are going through with the anxiety and worry that accompanies this. I wake up every morning feeling like I am waiting for something to happen, and when another day passes and I have no problems, i feel better.  I just wanted to let you know you are not alone with what you are going through, I think that helps alot.  I know after I read your post and many other on this site, I felt much better.  If you want to communicate further about this feel free to email me at ***@****  Lynn
O my God...I cannot believe people are experiencing the exact same attacks I have been.  I have never written in a forum such as this but I am baffled by these experiences because I have been experiencing the exact same thing.  The last three night I have woken to go to the bathroom with my heart over 100bpm (easily) and have gone into full blown panic attacks because of it.  I was diagnosed with Supra Ventricular Tachychardia four years ago but this seems different.  When I get the tachychardia I usually feel a skipped beat and then my hear will go off into an irregular fast rate for anywhere from one to thirty minutes.  But what's been happening in my sleep is clearly different.  It's my natural heart beat but just extremely rapid.  I have been prescribed ativan for my anxiety issues in the past but rarely take it.  I took a half when this happened and my heart settled down along with the rest of my body which makes me think this is definitely anxiety related.  It is the scariest feeling in the world and I too am scared to be alone at night or drive far distances since this has been happening.  I've avoided the ER thus far since I see a cardiologist every 6 months and have been reassured my heart is fine- but after all the tests (echo stress, echocardiogram etc...) I am still not convinced:(  It does make me feel better to know others have had the same experiences.  I'm still so scared now to sleep because of it- it seems to happen all the time now.  Chrissy27
I am sorry that I am glad to hear of other folks with exactly my experience. My doctor suggested that I may be suffering from sleep apnea whereby my oxygen levels are reduced to a level while I'm asleep, that triggers a systemic panic response that results in the racing heart and panic attacks that I've been having at night. I have now completed two sleep studies and have be diagnosed with severe sleep apnea. I also read more on the health effects of sleep apnea and found that it's related to high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and other cardiac issues. I am starting using my CPAP machine tonight, ironically enough. I'll let you all know how it goes with my heart racing/panic attacks. Best, Liz   Lizzzz
I also am suffering from night time tachycardia and it is very scary. Please keep this board posted as to how you are doing. I also have been awakened by rapid heart rate and am very scared. I am a 39 year old male nurse. I sleep fine and only when I am awakening do I find myself succesptable to tachycardia. This happens about 3 times per week. Example, I go to bed at 1130pm and then I sleep very well until 0300am, at which I awaken. While I am in the asleep/awake mode, if I move, turn over in bed, I go into tachycardia for about 5-15 minutes. It feels like my heart is beating out of my chest. I have called 911 twice only to turn them away as to the time they get here I feel fine. The only thing is as I am awakening I can feel my heart beating and it is slightly iregular. During the day it is not. I do feel the occasional irregular beat though. I had a cardiolyte stress test and It came back fine. The cardiologist told me I must have an electrical problem and gave me an event monitor. I will keep this board posted. My home email is nydhg.twcny.rr.com  DaleG 
Male, 40, Frankfort - NY, member since Mar 2008
I am a 39 year old male nurse with 3 children. A 3 year old girl and twin boys a year old.
I am a 29 year old male, non-smoker, non-coffee drinker, and a don't drink anything with caffeine.  I recently had the same situation.  It seemed like a dream I was having actually caused it though.  I was dreaming that I was running down a hill.  Then when I got to the bottom, I was breathing heavy and my heart was racing, as would normally happen.  Then I woke up and I was breathing heavy and my heart was racing.  It took me a few moments to realize I was actually awake and that this shouldn't be happening.  I got up and slowly I caught my breath and my heart rate went down.  But it really scared the heck out of me.  I dream all the time and I always remember them when I wake up.  But I had never awoken in this situation.  I suppose it is possible that some people were in fact dreaming and this was the cause.  But I also suspect that sleep apnea could be the culprit.  I have had numerous instances of rapid and/or irregular heartbeats.  But this was the only time it happened while I was asleep and woke me up.  I have had multiple ekgs, an ultrasound, a stress test, and have worn a halter monitor for a day.  And all of the results showed that I had a healthy heart.  The only thing I have is a slight amount of backflow in one of the valves( heart murmur) that they've told me is perfectly normal.  I have numerous instances where I feel my heart skip a beat, and then pound once and go back to normal.  Sometimes it only happens once or twice a day.  Other times it happens frequently, and is very discomforting.  The halter monitor didn't pick any of these up, so after that my doctor had me carry around a heart card for a month.  At the time I was also having a lot of unexplained rapid heart rates, usually when I wasn't active and just sitting on the couch or lying in bed.  Well I recorded a bunch of the rapid beatings, and I was actually able to catch one of the skipped beats and then the hard pound.  My doctor said that was just an early heartbeat, and it happens to everyone all the time.  But only some people notice them.  The rapid beating for no reason, especially while I was laying in bed and couldn't fall asleep, he chalked up to anxiety.  So he gave me a prescription of Xanax.  I haven't had too many instances where I have needed the Xanax because of the rapid heart rate, rather I use it when I'm having anxiety accompanied by chest pains.  And it helps.  But I think it is in my best interest to get tested for sleep apnea to see if there is anything there.  I have read that a lot of people have it and don't know it, and it's a serious health risk.  And if you snore loud, you could very well have sleep apnea.  But I have a hard tie believing it is the cause of awakening with a rapid heart rate.  So I'll see what they say.  I'll let you know if there's something there.
Dave   Dave704  April/2008    medhelp.org/posts/show/437111
Thyroid disease can cause heart palpitations..and they happen when you are at rest because the thyroid is trying to splutter back to life and goes into overdrive.  See Hashitoxicosis.  I too thought it was my heart and all tests came back fine - but turned out was my thyroid.  
...Julia   lazydog
I hate to say it but I do have almost all the above symptoms - racing heart with elevated BP at 3-4am, moderate sleep apnea and slightly hypothyroid (TSH 3-9). And the condition usually occurs during or right after heavy dreaming and alleviated by getting up moving around but sometimes requiring a 0.5 mg Ativan dose. I am also a late sleeper fearing that the attack might occur earlier with earlier sleeping. It is annoying and robs you of vital sleep particularly the REM stage. I am however on Coreg 6.125mg and one of the side effects appears to be dreaming although the med insert does not list this. I do not wish to scare anyone but I have tried both C- and B-pap but could never tolerate any form even after several tries. I even used at great cost a special dental fitting which attempted to pull forward the lower jaw but also could not sleep with this. So for the time being I am on the getting-up and/or Ativan routine but would welcome any other comments or solutions to this virtual nightmare.
ChrisR   chrisr  103 posts
I also experience some of these problems.  I am a 22 year old male, non smoker, in shape and my experiences seem to happen around the first half hour or hour of sleep i will awaken (usually not some horrible dream or at least that i can remember of) just out of no where and my heart will be thumping out of my chest at a rapid rate.  I will automatically get up and walk around (i guess my body's natural reaction) try to get some fresh air and it will usually go away a half hour later and i will fall back asleep no problems.  I went to the doctor and got checked for thyroid problems no go and got an Ekg and was said that i have a slow heart rate (but said to be somewhat normal for athletic people).  I wore a heart monitor for a couple of weeks and never really had the problem then yesterday it flared up again and seemed worse.  I feel it happens during periods where i try  to eat healthier and exercise  Jcams46
I too have rapid heart beat while sleeping. This has been going on for about 6 months now.  I usually wake up about 2 or 3 in the morning with very rapid beating.  Sometimes I am very warm and perspiring - other times I just feel very warm. Once I get up and my body starts to feel cool - the rapid rate seems to go down - sometimes takes 15 minutes.  I have talked to my doctor about this and she does not seem very concerned - just gave me Xanex.  She indicated that it could be because of my age - 61 (maybe menopause) but I really don't think so.  Yes - this is very scary and I can relate to what everyone is saying. I too feel tired the next day and sometime take a nap at my lunch break. I am at a loss as to what is going on so perhaps testing for sleep apnea might be a good idea.

One time when I went to doctor she wanted to give me Coreg for my BP.  I told her I wanted to try to get it down myself and started taking liquid magnesium.  I was able to get it down about 10 points and she was happy with that.
I stopped taking it because I forgot to take it so I think I'm going to try that again before the test.  I also have had 1/2 of thyroid removed so I guess it could be that also.  I just want answers and there are none at this time. daffodil9898

A cause of rapid heartbeat and high BP:  Recall a serious flu?

Exposure to 2-butoxyethanol would cause this

it is a sign of hard to find AIHA or IMHA of CFIDS


I am 25yr old male. I don't smoke, or drink heavily. I have experienced some of the symptoms listed here. I've woken up with an irregular heartbeat and breathing as well as sweaty feet & palms. Sometimes shaking uncontrollable as if I am cold, but i'm not. I've felt my heart and it feels like it is about to jump out of my chest. I've been to the ER a few times, and by the time i get there, it has subsided. One thing they recommended was to lie as still as I could, and take slow, deep breathes. When your heart races, you breath heavier & faster; which in turn burns your oxygen faster. Not enough oxygen in the blood stream causes alot of issues. I can't say that I suffer from anxiety or high stress levels. I have many mornings where i've woken up and have felt exhausted, but do not remember waking up or having the heart racing symptoms. y0jeremy
I am a 33 year old over weight male. I found out about 6 years ago that I had real bad hypertension.  Back then I was smoking, drinking and eating whatever until I was hospitalized. Even after hospitalization I still didn't take everything that was going on to serious because I figured the Meds they put me on would take care of everything. Aside from the occasional spike in blood pressure I was fine, but weighing a lifetime largest 420 lbs.  About 2 years ago I looked at my 2 kids and decided I was willing to do whatever it takes to live a longer life for them and I changed my eating habits, started working out 3 times a week and I did the impossible, stopped smoking and drinking. I'm down to 350 right now and I still have a long way to go but it seems like the better I feel in the daytime the worst I feel at night.  I'm on about 6 different medications for angina and hypertension and all day long I feel fine. No complications at the gym or all day at work. At one point I was going through what you guys were going through with the rapid heartbeat while sleeping but mine would go a step furthe and I would also have an elevated blood pressure.  Some nights it would go as high as 180/110. After realizing a lot of the reasons that was happening was because I ate kind of late at night and also I took my meds in the morning.  After implementing a no meals clause after 7 and changing my meds to nigh time consumption I did fine for about 6 months.  Now a new problem has arisen.  Now when I lay down, I have difficulty catching my breath and pains running through my chest, stomach and left side.  If I do manage to fall asleep I awake almost struggling for air with a slowly increasing heartbeat.  If I sit up I feel fine but once I lay back down again it comes right back.  It's an almost indescribable feeling, like your about to die.  I thought it might have been my pressure spiking but when I take it it's fine.  My wife thinks I'm paranoid or stressed out but that's not it either.  Although I have some stress, it's no worse than any average husband and father.  Every time I see my doctor he does some blood work and everything comes back normal.  He even reduced the dosage of one of my medications because of the progress I have made with my weight loss.  This last week has been the worse because I have gotten approximately 20 hours of sleep in the last 7 days.  I'm afraid to go to sleep and I don't want to keep running up my insurance to be told the same thing.  Could digestion issues such as reflux and gerd cause these symptoms? Please someone help!!!  mrbiggut
To  DaleG  From  ozunder

Hope you still watch this forum.
Your story is mine exactly.  Have had this for over a year, nearly every night.
Only thing found is adrenal adenoma, not thought to cause the problem.
Have had every test imaginable.  Still given no reason other than possibly
sinus tachycardic syndrome....  Just wondering if you have found
any solution.  Only thing I take is 25mg metoprolol at night.  Does not stop
it but the bp does settle.  Can wake up with bp 170/105 Pulse 115.

I too wake up with a rapid heart beat mostly from a dream!  I can wake up with my heart beating 200 beats per minute and when your sleeping heart rate like mine is in the 40's this really *****.  I have been told it is not something to worry about but I am hard fought to think going from 45 to 200 in a split second a couple times a week is good for my heart.  I have wore the monitors and had everything checked out all we can tell is that it's anxiety and stress related but nobody is 100% sure.  The scary thing is I think mine is changing I now notice all day long my heart rate moves up and down non stop.  If I am sitting and I even change positions it spikes 15-20 beats per minutes if I get up from sitting down it's even worse 20-25 beats per minute.  Has anyone else seen anything like this or heard of it.  I am 33 years old 6'1'' 160 lbs and from all the tests they have done I am healthy though I don't feel like it.  Thanks so much, Shane   bigtime4
Hi Shane,
Mine seems to spike upon movement from deep sleep at night.  Always around 2-3 am.
Sometimes dreaming often not.  The only way I could ease it off was to get up and walk around until the BP settled, then try and sleep again, but if I went into a deep sleep it would start again on waking.  This happened through the day too.  I did have pericarditis in the middle of all this and high noradrenaline levels (adrenal gland).  Doctors at the time thought the adrenaline levels were causing it.  Activity raises adrenaline. Had holters, ecg's, mri, sleep study.  Found I was getting First Degree Heart Block when the pericarditis was involved.  That has gone now.   Pulse normally goes up and down with activity.  After having it for over a year now and nothing showing as a reason, I don't stress about it but find it frustrating not to sleep through the night.  I am currently trying sleeping with the bed raised a bit under the pillow area and that has helped a bit. by ozunder