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Avatar universal

Tachycardia After Shower

I am a 28 year old male Nursing student, living in upstate NY.  Over the past 6 months or so, I have noticed an intermittent increase in heart rate after a warm shower.  My resting heart rate is around 70-73 (after waking), my normal heart rate is about 80-84 (during walking hours), and after a shower I have seen it go to about 114-118.  This lasts about 10-20minutes, and causes me to go into panic attack mode.  I feel dizzy and spacey, and I usually lie down or drink cold water.  My BP during these episodes is my usual - about 105/68.  Within 20 minutes, my rate returns to about 85 gradually.  No dyspnea, syncope or blurred vision noted.  

My question is - is this a normal response to a warm shower ?  I usually stay in there a good 20 minutes.  Any techniques to prevent or treat this once the HR is at 115-118?  I read ice cold water may help on the face.  I had recent blood chemistry done & CBC - electrolytes all normal, blood counts normal (no anemia). I take no meds except multivitamins and Lorazepam .5mg as needed.   Any information would be greatly appreciated!  
11 Responses
194555 tn?1264290523
Hey, i don't know why or what causes this, but i to have this happen, Mine goes crazily fast and flutters whilst in am in the shower and upto about 10-20 mins after.  Frightens me so much we got rid of the shower pod we had and put in a bath with a shower for my other half!

I suppose it something to do with the hot water on your body, fight or fright response?
Avatar universal

I agree.  I am awaiting a Medical reply - but I think you are quite right.  Happened again today, but lasted shorter and only reached 100-105bpm.  It is freaky, I agree.  I also take long showers because I shave in there - and I do recall hearing something about excessive long hot showers (and saunas) causing tachycardia.    Mine occurs AFTER the shower..usually not during (or I dont notice it).  Thank you for the reply.
520292 tn?1232039450
easy answer.  Hot water causes blood vessels to expand which in turn causes your heart to try and pump faster so it can still deliver the oxygen rich blood to the rest of your body.  An increase to 110 - 125 bpm while in the shower and coming outta of the shower is normal.  It happens to me every time I take a shower.  What also could be happening is that before you get in the shower you are sub contentiously thinking about your heart rate going up, and the anxiety is making your heart rate increase also.  So if you think about your heart rate going up before you get in the shower, well you better believe it will.  
Avatar universal
Why has a medical professional not replied here?
187666 tn?1331176945
This is not the medical forum, the "ask the expert" forum. We are simply people with heart issues that share our experience and feelings. Trust me - between everyone on here, we have more real life experience than one or two doctors and have gleaned enormous amounts of information over the years.
That's one-hundred. The people on this sight know they s**t. I can vouch for there accumulated live/learned medical knowledge. Just the other day I seen't em perform online heart surgery on one of the only. They......Saved......his LIFE!! Amazing really, no medical knowledge gained through scholastic achievements or residential training. They acquired  their vast intuit from CHATTING with similar patients ONLINE!! Are you blanking kidding me!?!?!? Y'all better not be giving out medical advice on this sight. Usually medical conditions are significant to the diagnosed. Because many others share a diagnosis with the same name, doesn't warrant the same treatment for name sharing masses. Holy pickles!! And slap my biscuits!!! Even though it was a little over 10 years ago I am having a difficult time knowing the fact that someone actually ment this comment when they wrote it!!  
*seen't em perform online heart surgery on one of the *Homies!! Not "only", stupid smartphone spellcheck gets me like that all the time!!!                  
           (hee-hee, see what I did right there?)
1182699 tn?1297578384
I do the same...being hot increases your body temp which increases your blood vessels and blood pressure which makes your heart speed up.  Yesterday my bath was so hot, I jumped in the car right after to run a quick errand, and as I was cooling off in the car, I was getting hot flashes and nausea from being so hot from the bath.  I got so dizzy, I thought I was going to pass out.  Naturally, this threw me into a panic which escalaled the entire situation.  I will never again go anywhere right after I take a hot bath or shower.
Avatar universal
My blood pressue is normal, it's around 115 over about 74, but my heart rate is in the 120s for hour after hour. As a result, I get short of breath quickly when doing any kind of physical exertion. I've been spending lots and lots time in the sauna and lots of time in the hot tub, about 20 to 25 minutes a day in each and that's probably way way too much. I'm age 71, I maintain a good weight (am 5'11" oin height and weigh 160 lbs), I eat about a 75 percent plant-based raw food diet, drink high pH alkaline ionized water. I'm thinking I need to cut out the sauna and the hot tub for a time, and that whenever I start back that I ought not enjoy sauna and hot tub more than about 5 minutes and that I ought not do it everyday. I will appreciate receiving comments and/or suggestions.
1807132 tn?1318747197
I might suggest starting anew thread if you are looking for responses.  A lot of people don't necessarily look at old threads and the people who posted aren't always still around.  I would say try to make sure you drink lots of water before you go into and after you do your sauna and showers and see if that helps.  Obviously you can take cooler showers but in general you are probably not really harming yourself.  I might talk to the doctor about it if you have known heart disease but if your heart is healthy a rate of 120 isn't considered a dangerously fast rate.  If you go over 200 then it might be a bit concerning but overall you likely don't have anything to worry about but do try to make sure you drink plenty of fluids before you go into a situation where you may sweat a lot of it out.  Take care.
4100843 tn?1349813235

Please look into Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS). It is a very unheard of nervous system disorder that prevents the body from being able to properly adjust to the pull of gravity. Therefore, symptoms arise, such as: rapid heart rate upon standing, low or high blood pressure, dizziness, fainting, fatigue, sweating, headaches, shortness of breath, inability to exercise, digestion problems, etc. The symptoms are endless and vary person to person day to day.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Best wishes,
Avatar universal
Yo nursing student! This is shameful for the rest of nursing students! This is a simple, one of the most simple, physiological concepts! Heat = vasodilation = drop in blood pressure = increased heart rate to pump the blood.  When you are hot, your heart rate goes up. When you vasoconstrict (very cold) your blood pressure increases and your pulse decreases.
Avatar universal
Hi, I get this and I have orthostatic intolerance due to hypermobility syndrome.  My resting heart rate is really low, between 55 and 65, depending on menstrual cycle, and after a shower my heart rate shoots up to about 120 and I get dizzy and feeling of almost pain in my neck from the throbbing heartbeat.
I'm on a high salt diet for low BP, usually to recover from this kind of thing I lie down my my feet raised a bit if I can. The panic attack feelings are caused by release of adrenaline, my dr explained to me.
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