Heart Rhythm Conditions – Welcome to the group

Welcome to the Heart Rhythm Conditions group on Mayo Clinic Connect.
Did you know that the average heart beats 100,000 times a day? Millions of people live with heart rhythm problems (heart arrhythmias) which occur when the electrical impulses that coordinate heartbeats don’t work properly. Let’s connect with each other; we can share stories and learn about coping with the challenges, and living well with abnormal heart rhythms. I invite you to follow the group. Simply click the +FOLLOW icon on the group landing page.

I’m Kanaaz (@kanaazpereira), and I’m the moderator of this group. When you post to this group, chances are you’ll also be greeted by volunteer patient Mentors and fellow members. Learn more about Moderators and Mentors on Connect.

Let’s chat. Why not start by introducing yourself?

@menotpvcs

A quick medical profile:
I'm a 64 year old male
6'1" 210 lbs
Walk 4-7 miles a day
I take magnesium supplements
I drink 1 cup of coffee per day
I avoid sugar
I eat no red meat
Yet, I've had 2 heart attacks and have had 3 stents placed
Test data says the plumbing in my heart is great, but…

I experience as many as 34,000 pvc waves per day, 72% are classified as bigeminy, some trigeminy.
– To date they're benign; not increasing with exertion
– Symptomatically, I can become light headed, dizzy and sometimes short of breath
– I can be out of breath after feeding the dog, but be fine 20 minutes later doing a 3 mile walk.
– I had an attempted ablation, but the origin of the PVCs was not accessible.

I've subsequently been diagnosed with severe central sleep apnea… my breathing stops on average of once every 60 seconds (severe apnea is considered more that 20 times a hour.)

Additionally, my brain has become desensitized to the constant stopping of breaths and surges of adrenaline resulting in Cheyne-Stokes breathing.

Both of these are likely drivers of my PVC's.

I'm now on a type of CPAP; an Adaptive Servo-Ventilation (ASV) sleep machine that has eliminated the occurrence of apnea events and seemingly reduced the PVC load. By how much is hard to say until I wear a monitor again, but interruptive symptoms are down to about one hour a day.

I'm here because I want to make sure I'm not missing anything in my control that I can do to avoid a lifetime of medication without compromising my health.
Are you aware of any holistic approaches to mitigate or eliminate pvc waves or interventions not requiring meds?

Thank You!

Jump to this post

Buc7777,
Over what period of time did you experience 9000 PVCs? 24 hours? or 72 hours?

PVCs are the most dangerous as the amount of blood that builds up following a PVC is far more than a regular beast and is what causes thickening of the left ventricle wall as the heart has to work much harder to push the extra volume out to the rest of the body. This thickening is whaat actually causes heart failure in many of us.

Glad you are doing far better.

Elena

REPLY
@menotpvcs

A quick medical profile:
I'm a 64 year old male
6'1" 210 lbs
Walk 4-7 miles a day
I take magnesium supplements
I drink 1 cup of coffee per day
I avoid sugar
I eat no red meat
Yet, I've had 2 heart attacks and have had 3 stents placed
Test data says the plumbing in my heart is great, but…

I experience as many as 34,000 pvc waves per day, 72% are classified as bigeminy, some trigeminy.
– To date they're benign; not increasing with exertion
– Symptomatically, I can become light headed, dizzy and sometimes short of breath
– I can be out of breath after feeding the dog, but be fine 20 minutes later doing a 3 mile walk.
– I had an attempted ablation, but the origin of the PVCs was not accessible.

I've subsequently been diagnosed with severe central sleep apnea… my breathing stops on average of once every 60 seconds (severe apnea is considered more that 20 times a hour.)

Additionally, my brain has become desensitized to the constant stopping of breaths and surges of adrenaline resulting in Cheyne-Stokes breathing.

Both of these are likely drivers of my PVC's.

I'm now on a type of CPAP; an Adaptive Servo-Ventilation (ASV) sleep machine that has eliminated the occurrence of apnea events and seemingly reduced the PVC load. By how much is hard to say until I wear a monitor again, but interruptive symptoms are down to about one hour a day.

I'm here because I want to make sure I'm not missing anything in my control that I can do to avoid a lifetime of medication without compromising my health.
Are you aware of any holistic approaches to mitigate or eliminate pvc waves or interventions not requiring meds?

Thank You!

Jump to this post

I am wondering if you have heard of Hawthorne? It is used world-wide for heart problems. Now onto another thing…Have you heard of ATP? What it stands for I don't know, but I do know that the building blocks for ATP are D-Ribos, Carnatine and CoQ10. My Cardiologist told me to take them to help my heart. D-Ribose is a 5 sided sugar that is necessary for optimum heaart function and will not raise your glucose levels.

Elena

REPLY

Hi there .My name is Allen.
Iv recently been diagnosed with left branch bundle blockage. I went in to have steps completed for hip replacement
and after EKG a echocardiogram were ordered and this was the findings. I don't have any symptoms that are noticeable
but my surgery was postponed and am now on drug therapy for it. I'm 60 and still working with about 5 yrs. before my projected retirement
What is my options to get my surgery at a faster pace then the Kaiser cardiology dept. is taking. I'm getting very disappointed in the time
Its taking and my hip dysfunction is interfering with my job duties. Any suggestions? Thanks Allen

REPLY
@sanibelsandy

I am a 70 year old female with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation/flutter.I do not have any significant coronary artery disease (I was told by one cardiologist that the echo showed my arteries were "squeaky clean" 🙂 ) I am in regular sinus rhythm most of the time but have episodes of arrhythmia. I may go days, weeks or months without an episode, but when I do have an episode I am very symptomatic with severe chest pain, some shortness of breath, and a very irregular heartrate. I have been told that I have a rapid ventricular response with the episodes, meaning the ventricles also beat rapidly. My understanding is that as a result the ventricles don't have time to fill completely between beats and that can lead to sudden heart failure. I have had two cardiac ablations. The first ablation was unsuccessful. I did well after the second ablation for about 5 years, but the episodes have reappeared and I was recently told by my electrophysiologist that I need to have a third ablation. My arrhythmia has never responded well to medications i.e. none of the antiarrhythmics have really prevented the episodes. With the episodes the chest pain becomes so severe I have to go to the emergency room. Usually I am given a bolus dose of diltiazem followed by a diltiazem drip and that necessitates a 1-2 day hospital stay. I know there are many people who have a-fib and aren't even aware they have it because they have no symptoms or they only have occasional palpitations. My a-fib seems to be a "horse of a different color," and the experience has been very frustrating and disheartening. But at 70, I am grateful for the care I have received that has helped me cope with my condition. (I understand there is a genetic component to a-fib. I am pretty sure my father had it; I know he had episodes of chest pain and a rapid heart rate. He died at age 61, and I often wonder how much longer he might have had if he had the care I have received.) At any rate, I was just curious if there are others on the site that have symptomatic a-fib/flutter and what their experience has been. (Haven't read all the posts, so maybe I will find others who have had similar "journeys.")

Jump to this post

My experience has been the same as yours but have had only one ablation. Ditto the hospital stays. In some ways I think the symptoms are a good thing as they alert me to the problem.

REPLY
@sanibelsandy

I am a 70 year old female with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation/flutter.I do not have any significant coronary artery disease (I was told by one cardiologist that the echo showed my arteries were "squeaky clean" 🙂 ) I am in regular sinus rhythm most of the time but have episodes of arrhythmia. I may go days, weeks or months without an episode, but when I do have an episode I am very symptomatic with severe chest pain, some shortness of breath, and a very irregular heartrate. I have been told that I have a rapid ventricular response with the episodes, meaning the ventricles also beat rapidly. My understanding is that as a result the ventricles don't have time to fill completely between beats and that can lead to sudden heart failure. I have had two cardiac ablations. The first ablation was unsuccessful. I did well after the second ablation for about 5 years, but the episodes have reappeared and I was recently told by my electrophysiologist that I need to have a third ablation. My arrhythmia has never responded well to medications i.e. none of the antiarrhythmics have really prevented the episodes. With the episodes the chest pain becomes so severe I have to go to the emergency room. Usually I am given a bolus dose of diltiazem followed by a diltiazem drip and that necessitates a 1-2 day hospital stay. I know there are many people who have a-fib and aren't even aware they have it because they have no symptoms or they only have occasional palpitations. My a-fib seems to be a "horse of a different color," and the experience has been very frustrating and disheartening. But at 70, I am grateful for the care I have received that has helped me cope with my condition. (I understand there is a genetic component to a-fib. I am pretty sure my father had it; I know he had episodes of chest pain and a rapid heart rate. He died at age 61, and I often wonder how much longer he might have had if he had the care I have received.) At any rate, I was just curious if there are others on the site that have symptomatic a-fib/flutter and what their experience has been. (Haven't read all the posts, so maybe I will find others who have had similar "journeys.")

Jump to this post

Hello @sport and welcome to Mayo Connect.

I am glad to hear that you needed only one ablation and are doing better now. You mention that they symptoms were a good thing in that they alerted you to the problem. If you care to share more, what symptoms were you experiencing?

Since you have had the ablation, do you still take meds to control the symptoms?

I look forward to hearing from you again.

Teresa

REPLY

Hi I am an 84 year old male, recently diagnosed with A FIB, tried Cardio version, worked on first try but back to A Fib by follow up visit, currently on XARALTO

REPLY
@allens

Hi there .My name is Allen.
Iv recently been diagnosed with left branch bundle blockage. I went in to have steps completed for hip replacement
and after EKG a echocardiogram were ordered and this was the findings. I don't have any symptoms that are noticeable
but my surgery was postponed and am now on drug therapy for it. I'm 60 and still working with about 5 yrs. before my projected retirement
What is my options to get my surgery at a faster pace then the Kaiser cardiology dept. is taking. I'm getting very disappointed in the time
Its taking and my hip dysfunction is interfering with my job duties. Any suggestions? Thanks Allen

Jump to this post

Hi @allens,

I'd like to introduce you to a few members who have talked about left branch bundle blockage; please meet @eolex @kian8 @markjones @robot1 and @hopeful33250.

Here's some information on bundle branch blocks, which you may find helpful:
http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/bundle-branch-block/basics/definition/con-20027273
To rule out any underlying heart issues (with a diagnosis of left bundle branch blockage), and avoid complications during surgery, non-cardiac related procedures may be recommended after you undergo a full cardiac evaluation.

@allens, has your doctor offered an explanation for postponement of surgery? Have they recommended a cardiac evaluation?

REPLY
@allens

Hi there .My name is Allen.
Iv recently been diagnosed with left branch bundle blockage. I went in to have steps completed for hip replacement
and after EKG a echocardiogram were ordered and this was the findings. I don't have any symptoms that are noticeable
but my surgery was postponed and am now on drug therapy for it. I'm 60 and still working with about 5 yrs. before my projected retirement
What is my options to get my surgery at a faster pace then the Kaiser cardiology dept. is taking. I'm getting very disappointed in the time
Its taking and my hip dysfunction is interfering with my job duties. Any suggestions? Thanks Allen

Jump to this post

Hello @allens

I would like to join Kanaaz (@kanaazpereira) in welcoming you to Connect. I am glad that you found Connect and posted regarding your concerns regarding the left bundle branch block (LBBB). I too, have had a LBBB diagnosed many years ago. I urge you to read the links that Kanaaz provided. I believe that being well educated about your health condition is an important part of taking good care of yourself.

I agree with Kanaaz that you need to ask more questions about the postponement of your hip surgery. Perhaps they are waiting to do a more complete cardiac work-up. Has this been suggested to you? Generally, a stress test is used to determine heart function prior to surgery. Since you have a LBBB, they might not put you on a treadmill, but instead give you an injection that would increase your heart rate so that they can safely see what happens to your heart upon exertion.

You mentioned being on drug therapy. Would you be comfortable sharing what type of meds you are taking?

Before the LBBB was discovered had you had any other symptoms of lightheadedness, fainting, etc.?

I can imagine that you are looking forward to getting your hip surgery done so that you can get on with your work and life without so much pain.

I look forward to hearing from you again and knowing how you are doing.

Teresa

REPLY

Im Frank. Had CABG in 2015; bovine aortic valve and 3 bypasses. A month ago, diagnosed with typical atrial flutter/arrhythmia. Cardio doc pushes electric cardioversion, but wont discuss how long that lasts. I found chart that suggests its 1 to 3 years.

REPLY
@allens

Hi there .My name is Allen.
Iv recently been diagnosed with left branch bundle blockage. I went in to have steps completed for hip replacement
and after EKG a echocardiogram were ordered and this was the findings. I don't have any symptoms that are noticeable
but my surgery was postponed and am now on drug therapy for it. I'm 60 and still working with about 5 yrs. before my projected retirement
What is my options to get my surgery at a faster pace then the Kaiser cardiology dept. is taking. I'm getting very disappointed in the time
Its taking and my hip dysfunction is interfering with my job duties. Any suggestions? Thanks Allen

Jump to this post

Hello @allens

It has been a while since I have heard from you regarding your need for a hip replacement and dealing with the left bundle branch block. How are you doing? Have any decisions been made about your surgery? Please feel free to share as you are comfortable doing so.

REPLY

Had cardioversion and lasted onemonth. Others have had better luck.

REPLY
@1943

Had cardioversion and lasted onemonth. Others have had better luck.

Jump to this post

Have you had more shocks, or ablation?

REPLY
@ybrik

Im Frank. Had CABG in 2015; bovine aortic valve and 3 bypasses. A month ago, diagnosed with typical atrial flutter/arrhythmia. Cardio doc pushes electric cardioversion, but wont discuss how long that lasts. I found chart that suggests its 1 to 3 years.

Jump to this post

Hello Frank,

It is my understanding that cardioversion works best when it is applied when A-Fib first occurs. I had A-Fib for years before I had the cardioversion and it lasted for a month. A friend went to ER after experiencing erratic heartbeats and had the cardioversion at that time. I believe he stayed in normal sinus rhythm for close to two years.

Mary

REPLY
Please login or register to post a reply.