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Polar HRT monitor goes up to 233 all of the sudden

My FT7 Polar HRT monitor goes up to low 200's sporadically.  Tonight it gave me these readings for six minutes straight.  I stood there feeling my pulse in my neck and counted 19 counts in 10 seconds which would have been 114 bpm.  I want to believe that the monitor is wrong!  However, I have also had heart palpitations in the past.  So much so that my t-shirt would slightly move with each beat.  I have seen a cardiologist who gave me a stress test, echo after stress test, and a test that looked for a hole in my heart.  I have also had occurral migraines after heavy exercise, thus the test for the hole in my heart.  Are there any additional tests I should have?  The only medication I am on is generic Celexa, 10 mg per day, for anxiety.  I have also wondered if this medication could be causing me the fast heartrate issues.  Thank you for your help!!!!
6 Responses
1124887 tn?1313754891
I would trust the pulse you measure yourself instead of the pulse monitor. If you counted your heart rate to be 114, that's probably correct. In theory you may have a bigeminy rhythm where you only feel half the beats (one premature beat for each normal beat) but if you can't capture the pulse, neither should the monitor, and further, a bigeminy rhythm is highly unlikely at that heart rate.

Pulse monitors are known to double the results occationally. An explaination may be that when your aortic valve closes for each heart beat, the blood pressure increases a little, and this may (if you have really sensitive fingers) be felt as a double beat. Degrees of tension in your blood vessels (which vary from second to second) may make this effect more or less prominent.

An illustrating picture (though really small):

Also, your pulse monitor may be picking up tremor, muscle spasms, etc, and misinterpret it as heart beats.

I would trust the heart rate you measure yourself. A supraventricular tachycardia with heart rate of 233 for 6 minutes at rest would probably give some symptoms, like dizziness or feeling of palpitations or weakness.

To get a reliable answer, you need to see a doctor, but personally I think your monitor is wrong.
Avatar universal
Thank you so much for your help!!!! What a very thorough and wonderful answer!  My husband reminded me that the cardiologist showed me the echo replay of my heart and how all of the valves open and close well and function properly.  He wants me to throw away the HRT monitor.  I guess I'm a bit of a geek, and I love to know how hard I'm working out, so I don't want to throw it away.  However, when it causes unecessary worry, I understand his point!  Thank you, again, so much!!! I appreciate your time!
1124887 tn?1313754891
You're welcome :) Happy to help.

Yes, throw or sell the monitor, or if you have to use it, only use it during exercise. Heart rate monitors, blood pressure monitors (unless you have high blood pressure), oxygen saturation monitors and similar stuff are turning healthy people into neurotics if you use them frequently or long enough.

Take care :) and do not hesitate to ask questions here!
1569985 tn?1328247482
I had a Polar monitor measure my heart rate up into the 200's, scared me to death, my doctor was ordering tests right and left, when I found the monitor was faulty.  My cardiologist said I didn't need it and to get rid of it.  Where I exercise they use the "perceived rate of exertion" scale and it pretty much works.  The idea is to stay between "somewhat hard" and "very hard" on the scale.  My advice is to rely on your heart rate as you measure it.  
678312 tn?1310010574
Check your batteries on your monitor.  My heart rate does get really high a lot when I'm running but awhile back, it seemed to be really high even more than usual and, I had a reading higher than my ICD would allow, so I kept track of dates when it was between 195 and 204 and then had my ICD interrogated.  Half the readings were correct and half weren't.  Changed the batteries on both the chest strap and the wristwatch, monitored it again and now only the real half of high readings are showing up.  You can also get high readings when the chest strap isn't moist enough or has moved out of position and isn't getting good contact.  Only use it for exercise because most of them need the moisture.  
Avatar universal
I also sometimes get abnormal high rates especially on fitness equipment embedded Polar monitors. 233 or 240 somehow are typical rates. But wearing a wristwatch like M400 at same time shows a "true" rate, say 113 or 120. Changing the battery on the strap H7 did not help. Moving phones and tablets away or putting them to flight mode did not help.  One day the equipment HR has this anomaly, the other say it does not. -Suggest to get another monitor unit, eg I am happy with the new M400.
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