Link between high heart rate and epilepsy?

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Okay, so this is something I had been wondering about for awhile (well, sort of).... For the past few years, my resting heart rate has been fairly high for someone who runs (there are many times it will be between 70-90 beats per minute)... It USED to run BELOW 60 beats per minute on a regular basis, but then randomly a few years ago I noticed it was always kind of high, and there were times I'd feel kinda weird, check my heart rate, and it was in the 80's... while I was just sitting there doing absolutely nothing. I noticed after starting on Keppra when I went to the doctor for an appointment, had my vitals done, and it was around 56 beats per minute. Right where it should be, and where it used to be... Hmmm...

THIS morning I went to get an IUD put in (you women will know what I'm talking about), and I was feeling a really strong aura prior to this (nerves?) that I think just made everything WORSE, and I was really freaking out hoping I didn't have a seizure while they were sticking this thing inside of me. My heart rate was close to ninety when I went in! This morning when I woke up and felt normal about two hours prior to the appointment, it was like... 60 beats per minute.

This has all got me thinking... Is there a link between epilepsy and a higher heart rate? It's pretty obvious after a tonic-clonic the heart rate will probably be higher, as you've been MOVING quite a bit... I was listed as having sinus tachychardia after my last one, with a heart rate of 109 AFTER the seizure was over. But what about just ALWAYS having a slightly higher heart rate? I guess as an athletic person, I may pay more attention to this than your average person (I mean, we often measure how fit we are based on our resting heart rate). Oh, and my blood pressure is also low most of the time... After my first tonic clonic, it was really low, after the last one, it was kinda high (for me) at 120/65... The SAME it was this morning (it's usually around 100/60, so 120 is NOT normal for me). Anyone else have similar experiences? Any knowledge on this area? I don't really have any particular reason for needing to know this information, but I do find it interesting...
my meds drive my heart up. it is a common heart rate. so does the stress of worrying about every thing involved with epilepsy. We tend to worry our selves a lot

I used to have a low resting rate for a long distance racer. and they keep telling me i have have a high rate now. I almost didnt get out of the hospital once because they told me my heart rate was too high, and that drove my heart rate up, because I wanted to leave and find my bicycle.
I don't think there are any consistent links between heart rate and epilepsy -- at least none that have shown up in studies so far.

Resting heart rate does change throughout the day, and also in response to specific stimuli. Tonic-clonic seizures of course are known to feature tachycardia and brachycardia. Even during simple partials, the autonomic nervous system tends to go a little haywire, and the heart can race. I tend to suffer from the "white coat effect" -- my blood pressure is fine until I get in to a doctor's office or hospital, and then it shoots up. Assuming you can rule out the above causes, then you may just run a little higher than normal.

When evaluating cardiac health, a more useful number may be your Recovery Heart Rate: To measure this, you exercise on a treadmill (or any other activity) until you are breathing hard, record your heart rate, and hold that pace for at least a minute. Then stop, and measure your pulse rate exactly one minute after stopping. If your heart does not slow down at least thirty beats in the first minute, you are in poor shape and at increased risk for a heart attack. If your heart rate slows down more than fifty beats in the first minute, you are in excellent shape.

Given that you exercise regularly, your recovery heart rte should be good. If it isn't, you might want to check with your doc.

p.s. IUD works well for me, hope does the same for you :)
Ha, yes, I do tend to worry.... Not fun! I'm sure that didn't help me this morning. It is not usually as high as it was this morning - it usually ranges between 70 and 80 (before meds, etc.), even though it used to be so much lower :(

Glad to know I'm not the only one... Do you think it was just your meds that drove your heart rate up, or do you think having epilepsy had anything to do with it? I know mine went up before I knew anything about epilepsy (other than it meant other people had seizures sometimes, which I still have not seen happen).

Thanks - I'll have to try that! I think mine usually drops fairly quick, though it also gets pretty high - a bit higher than it used to, and much quicker (I can be going at what I feel is an easy running pace and my heart rate will be somewhere around 172-175, whereas it used to be around 156 at the same effort level - so weird). I also saw an endocronologist today for a thyroid issue they found when they did my CT Scan for my last seizure, and I asked her about the higher heart rate - i.e., if it could be related (though it looks like my problem may have nothing to do with that, but we'll see). She did say mine was a little high, and it COULD be thyroid-related, though my levels of the hormone they usually test for were normal, so she had me get some more blood work done (we'll see how that turns out). Maybe my body just changed randomly - who knows!

BTW, which IUD do you use? The doc talked me into Mirena at the last minute, but I was going to go with ParaGard initially.
I always had low-to-normal blood pressure (except for the white-coat thing) until I started Lamictal -- then it became borderline high. So it seems the most likely cause.

It occurs to me that one link between heart and rate and brain health is magnesium, which plays an important role in both. Magnesium can lower blood pressure, as well as protect the brain, so if you have a magnesium deficiency, that could be a factor in both seizures and high blood pressure. Unfortunately it's hard to measure a magnesium deficiency with a standard blood test.
Oh thanks! Yeah, I'm hoping the hormones don't bother me too much, but we'll see! I actually do take a magnesium supplement, and have for awhile, so hopefully that's not an issue, but I guess it's a possibility.
The magnesium supp should help rather than hurt, but it may be hard to tell.
My phenobarbital lowers my blood pressure... 90/65 or at times lower, but conversely my heart rate is high usually in high 80s.
MaryK, those are about what my stats were looking like even before medicine. The blood pressure was always around that, though the heart rate was lower. Actually I've heard Keppra raises blood pressure (which is okay for me I suppose since mine was so low). I think it was just weird that until earlier today, it looked like my stats were back to normal (heart rate was below 60 again for a little while - even in the doctor's office a few days ago). I guess that's what made me think that maybe the epilepsy was causing the higher heart rate... when I wasn't feeling any symptoms and while taking the Keppra, my heart rate was lower, but then today, even while on medicine, while feeling symptoms, my heart rate was high. Perhaps I was having abnormal brain activity before I ever realized it and that was raising the heart rate? Hmmm... Or maybe I'm just over-analyzing correlation versus causation, haha.
Perhaps I was having abnormal brain activity before I ever realized it and that was raising the heart rate? Hmmm... Or maybe I'm just over-analyzing correlation versus causation, haha.

Actually, I do not think you are over-analyzing, I have thought the same thing.
Glad to know it's not just me then :) There probably is some sort of correlation, considering the brain controls pretty much everything.
My heart rate is currently 96bpm resting, which is pretty high. And it has been that for as long as I can remember!
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