High Symptoms

I'm sensitive to highs (gee, I wonder why I'm on meds...), but there's a weird one I get sometimes that I've never heard of before.

When I hit around 140 (yeah, I know, not really high), I start to feel my heart pounding. My pulse (and probably my BP) stays the same, but it feels like there's a drum beating in my chest. It sounds like an anxiety attack, but I don't have anxiety attacks and they specifically start before I test my BG (meaning, the heart pounding prompts me to check--it isn't in response to seeing a high BG and it isn't in response to the thought of testing).

When I get higher (say, 180 and above), I don't feel well. But the heart pounding thing is uncomfortable and quite irritating. This started after I took Januvia (it used to happen every time I ate, not just when I was high). Any similar experiences or symptoms?

I have had that for years and it got worse after my hospitalization. I went to a cardiologist for a work up finally. I had several tests which showed an irregular heart beat occasionally and blood flowing back into one area of my heart but 10% of the population have this and it usually causes no problems. He recommended losartan to prevent kidney damage due to diabetes and said to come back in a year. My palpitations and fast heart beats often happen when I go up, down and when I lie down to sleep, very typically as soon as I lie down to sleep my heart starts pounding. It's not an anxiety attack I'm sure but if sort of feels like that a bit. I do some deep breathing and eventually it passes.

This happens to me also EVERY time I'm high above 150. I am insulin dependent and I do have a history of an arrhythmia-SVT (an extremely rapid heart rate) as a teen. I have been on a beta blocker-Inderal since I was a teen. I know what you mean though, it feels like a panic attack or something which prompts me to check my blood sugar. I should be getting a Dexcom CGM this week or so, so it will be interesting to track these a little better. As these episodes progress, I eventually get super sleepy-like at around 200 or so. I should also be getting started on my insulin pump very soon, so hopefully this will happen less!

I also have SVT and until recently was on a beta blocker (and may go back on it, haven't decided how annoying symptoms are yet). I have noticed that sometimes after I eat my heart pounds/races, but this is also usually after I have caffeine so I figured that was the trigger. Once I did wake up in the middle of the night with my heart racing and a blood sugar of 23.2 (418 mg/dl), and I nearly ended up going to emergency but it resolved on its own after taking half a beta blocker pill. I'm not sure if the two were related or if one caused the other. I'm pretty sure my triggers are stress, caffeine, and sometimes (but not always) exercise.


I have those same symptoms, plus often severe headahes as a bonus - also starting around 140. I did take Januvia for 2 weeks, but I can't pinpoint whether this started at that time, before or after...

The heart pounding, etc. goes away with the high; however, the headahe often lingers on for hours - with nothing able to give me relief. As a result, I am usually very agressive to keep my BG down. As I am on insulin, that's possible, but at times dangerous, as I can get lows as a result. To help me with that, my doctor prescribed a CGMS (continuous glucose monitoring system) which has helped me a lot.

The Dexcom will help! Has helped my a lot in this regard. I have the pounding thing, but do not have any other issues (other than T2D, of course) that have been detected - and I think I've been tested for EVERYTHING!

Good luck!

I often get headaches from highs, though they go away if I take Aleve right away (which I almost never do, out of stubbornness, thinking it'll go away if I ignore it). The exhaustion from highs, though, doesn't go away easily.

I've had a pulmonary stress test, an echo, and a cardiac stress test. None of these tests were performed because of the palpitations from highs (I don't even remember mentioning it to my endo, let alone my pulmonologist), but they all came back pretty normal. Definitely nothing to explain my chronic tachycardia. I'm just an anomaly...

Thanks. It's nice to not be alone. Maybe I'll mention it to my endo when I talk to him this week.

The problem I have is that I'm at such a high dose of Inderal that it masks hypoglycemia symptoms-I don't shake or sweat when I'm low. I sometimes have trouble finding my words and seem a little uncoordinated to my family, so sometimes they know I'm low when I don't have a clue. Very scary! Can't wait for my CGM to get here!

I was taking a very small dose of bisoprolol, which is a selective beta blocker. In addition to the concern of masking symptoms of lows, I also have a history of asthma and severe allergic reactions, both of which beta blockers can interfere with. My doctor said that the selective type of beta blockers have less of these side effects than non-selective types. They were very cautious with prescribing the beta blocker, but other drugs (such as calcium channel blockers) were ineffective even in very high doses. So I stuck with this one. I stopped taking it in August and will see how it goes. I've definitely noticed episodes where my heart rate shoots up, but haven't had any prolonged ones. (I've had two episodes in the past which lasted 24 hours and required trips to the hospital, which is primarily why I was started on a long-term medication.)

I hope you get your CGM soon and that it helps with detecting lows.

guitarnut - I too have symptoms with highs and lows long before I was "officially" diagnosed. I take Metformin 2x day but I still have symptoms. When I'm going high starting at 140/ml I began to get extremely thirst, and start sweat and get extremely drowsy. When I'm going low starting at 103/ml my vision starts fading and everything becomes blurry. My lips start becoming numb.

I do have mitral regurgitation due to thyroid which causes heart palpitations. My heart does flip flops for a few seconds, then I have a catch in my throat. I've learned to breath through the irregular heartbeat. I do get tired after the episodes. The doctor put me on Toprol XL.