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?

@hopeful33250

@kanaazpereira

Thank you for starting this discussion group! I too, had my first experience with tachycardia (fast heart beat) when I had a minor outpatient surgery. After that experience I obtained the anesthesiologist’s records from that surgery (that showed when my heart rate increased and what meds they used to bring it down) and any time I have surgery at a different hospital I take that record with me and show it to the anesthesiologist. Most anesthesiologists gladly look at it and assure me that they will keep a watch out for tachycardia.

Since that surgery, I’ve had other times when my heart rate has increased, once during a stress test, and once when I got very busy and tired. I now take a small amount of a beta blocker at noon and that keeps everything under control.

Once when I had the rapid heart rate during a stress test, the cardiac RN suggested coughing, when that didn’t work she suggested “bearing down” like you were trying to have a bowel movement. When that didn’t work she gave me an injection which brought everything back to normal, but I certainly was tired when all was said and done.

Someone mentioned staying away from caffeine – I have a friend with A-Fib and she told me that caffeine is often in cosmetic products and they affect her A-Fib as well. So we should all read the labels of skin care/hair products before using.

I’m glad to hear of everyone’s experience. I learn so much from hearing the experiences of others.

Teresa

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Hi Teresa!
I am happy that you seem to have found an answer to help with your tachycardia. If my heartbeat is rapid during a regular exam, I tell them I had my heart checked out and everything is fine. When I have surgery, I always let the surgeon and the anesthesiologist know I always get tachy when I am under.

ronnie

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@ryman

Hi, I am Ryman. The first I really noticed my palpitations was back in the summer. I was kneading bread and my heart just started pounding. In October my heart rate dropped to 20. So I received a pacemaker. Actually, I have had a lot of trouble with it. They replaced the lead in January. The last two weeks while grocery shopping I had pain and a pounding heart. They checked my heart and the pacemaker and said they were both fine. I am having a stress test tomorrow. I have a daughter and two grandsons. My husband passed away 4 years ago. So I live with my oldest grandson.

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The first lead was too close to the phrenetic nerve and was causing pain and burping. They left the old lead in and told me because of that I cannot have an mri. The pain is gone but I still get the burping.

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@ryman

Hi, I am Ryman. The first I really noticed my palpitations was back in the summer. I was kneading bread and my heart just started pounding. In October my heart rate dropped to 20. So I received a pacemaker. Actually, I have had a lot of trouble with it. They replaced the lead in January. The last two weeks while grocery shopping I had pain and a pounding heart. They checked my heart and the pacemaker and said they were both fine. I am having a stress test tomorrow. I have a daughter and two grandsons. My husband passed away 4 years ago. So I live with my oldest grandson.

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Hello
I too get a beating heart at timestoo hard. Always , take theApplecidar vinegar with water.Very quickly, it gets the big burpsOut.What releaf.I highly recommend.Cut back on the acids. And,Things get better. Only, my opinion.But, talking to your doctor.,Is most relevant.
I am. an A fib senior.  And. Being careful, of eating drinkingand more lowkey, works wellFor me.

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Hi – thanks for the invite. My name is Sharon. I began having tachycardia in my 20s. My resting heart rate then was 120. Also started having palpitations then. Around the age of 23, I saw a cardiologist — wore a Holter monitor, and had an echocardiogram done. Basically I was told that structurally and functionally — my heart was fine but was hyperdynamic. I had the option of starting a beta blocker for symptomatic relief which I did start then. Prior to seeing the cardiologist, for a while there was concern that I could have Marfan\'s simply because of my body habitus but the echo was normal and that was ruled out. I was on the beta blocker for 11 years and decided to go off of it because I felt like it was making me feel sluggish. I was fine for a lot of years with only some palpitations but a generally lower resting heart rate. In 2013, I was at a Christmas sing and after the fifth song, was out of breath and my heart started beating crazily. I was evaluated and revealed some concerning ST-T wave changes on EKG — was placed on a Holter, echo ordered and stress test. It is crazy to have a stress test when your resting heart rate is already at 115. I remember they said — \"You tell us when you want to stop. We won\'t stop you.\" But finally (actually only after 6 minutes) — they said, \"Okay — I think that is enough\". It showed ischemic ST-T wave changes and I was sent to a cardiologist in Walla Walla. There I had a nuclear stress test which was very normal. The tech even invited me back to look at the pictures. Apparently, fifty percent of the time, with women, a regular stress test is false positive. But after all of this work-up, I still was having palpitations — lots of PVCs, PACs and even a nonsustained run of ventricular tachycardia. I was placed on the beta blocker metoprolol and am still on that at a very low dose. It does a pretty good job of keeping my rate down. The cardiologist told me I have a \"special\" heart. Gee thanks, doc.

However, in early 2016, my palpitations changed and were more in my throat or felt higher up, sometimes left me winded and I felt fatigued. Due to that change, a Reveal LINQ was placed. Not that I want to have something wrong, but since I\'ve had this monitor inside me — I have not had those type of palpitations. I\'m hoping that I do– just so it can be caught on the monitor. I am considering at my annual asking whether I can go off of the metoprolol and see how I do.

I don\'t love the Reveal LINQ because it moves around and isn\'t that comfortable.

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I\'m Judith, age 72 with a birthday coming this spring. I have bradycardia (slow heart rate), which can get down to 38 bpm, and supraventricular tachycardia, known as SVT. But the SVT is intermittent and occasional, although it used to happen more often. It is most likely to happen with stress or exertion. Also have Grade II diastolic dysfunction, which translates to symptomatic heart failure, but doing relatively OK so far.

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I\'m 44 yr old. My problems started about 2 yr ago when I started getting dizzy while driving (having to pull over and then completely stop driving for awhile. Tons of tests and very worried about a brain tumor (I\'ve had malignant melanoma cut out). First find (MRI) was a terrible sinus problem; 110% blocked :). 2nd find was about 8,000 PVC\'s/day. I have felt weird heart beats for 20 years, but… Got sinus surgery done and started taking Metoprolol Succinate(15 mg/d). Literally overnight, I woke up rested for the 1st time in about 10 years and 100% of my issues went away (except for still being able to feel my PVC\'s). I\'m now \"sinus clear\" and taking a 1/2 of toprolol/day. My heart doc is awesome, but I\'m lucky to have a cousin who\'s a cardio. at Duke. She\'s been reviewing everything (halter monitor, recommendations, etc.) and says (like my hometown cardio.) that all is well. That PVC\'s are not destructive, just a nuisance. I\'m in good shape (not running shape :), I\'ve never smoked/done drugs, but drink lots of coffee and a lil\' bit of Lone Star Beer! You have to drink Lone Star in Texas while BBQing… it\'s the law.

Luckily, for now, I don\'t have 1/100th of the issues that others are dealing with in regards to their heart; prayers go out to all of you. The joys of getting old…er!
WE PRESS ON…

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Hi I'm Mark, I'm 54 and live in Plano, TX (near Dallas)…I guess I'm here because I want to know about pacemakers, but I might be the only one of the group that has no arrhythmia issues whatsoever. I'm considering a surgical myectomy to correct my hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). The kicker is that this surgery typically gives you left bundle branch block, and I am so lucky to already have right bundle branch block! So unless my heart's electrical system gets real creative, I'll have a permanent pacemaker after surgery. That freaks me out a little because pacemakers and other devices are typically part of the "negative" outcomes for corrective procedures for HCM, but in my case it would just be expected. My cardiologist still says myectomy is the best course and I do believe him, but since the decision is irreversible, it's weighing heavily on me.

I don't know anyone with a pacemaker and I'm talking to people to understand how it would affect my quality of life. So far the feedback is very positive. I'm very active physically, play tennis, snow ski, etc. Hoping to get back to running after surgery. Thanks for any feedback!

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@hopeful33250

@kanaazpereira

Thank you for starting this discussion group! I too, had my first experience with tachycardia (fast heart beat) when I had a minor outpatient surgery. After that experience I obtained the anesthesiologist’s records from that surgery (that showed when my heart rate increased and what meds they used to bring it down) and any time I have surgery at a different hospital I take that record with me and show it to the anesthesiologist. Most anesthesiologists gladly look at it and assure me that they will keep a watch out for tachycardia.

Since that surgery, I’ve had other times when my heart rate has increased, once during a stress test, and once when I got very busy and tired. I now take a small amount of a beta blocker at noon and that keeps everything under control.

Once when I had the rapid heart rate during a stress test, the cardiac RN suggested coughing, when that didn’t work she suggested “bearing down” like you were trying to have a bowel movement. When that didn’t work she gave me an injection which brought everything back to normal, but I certainly was tired when all was said and done.

Someone mentioned staying away from caffeine – I have a friend with A-Fib and she told me that caffeine is often in cosmetic products and they affect her A-Fib as well. So we should all read the labels of skin care/hair products before using.

I’m glad to hear of everyone’s experience. I learn so much from hearing the experiences of others.

Teresa

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Hi Teresa,
I just wrote my introduction a moment ago — in a nutshell i don\'t have arrhythmia but may need a pacemaker as a result of heart surgery that I\'m considering. But for my condition, caffeine is disastrous on my heart, so I can certainly vouch for the fact that caffeine can have a dramatic impact on how the heart works….for some people, at least.

I also work for a cosmetic company and I can\'t tell you everything you need to know about caffeine in skin products, but I can dispel some myths about cosmetic ingredients:

Myth #1: The manufacturers of skin care products have done research on all the ingredients and fully understand all their effects on humans. FALSE — the only research they have done, is a) is the ingredient legal, b) are people getting sued over it, and c) will it make my product more marketable. Oh, and what will it cost, but see Myth #2:

Myth #2: If it\'s on the ingredient list, then the concentration is significant. FALSE — we often put ingredients in the formula at what\'s called a \"claim amount\" — so small that it probably has no impact on the product, but it shows up in the ingredient list — i.e. just there for marketing purposes. Caffeine is definitely one of those ingredients that MAY exist only at a claim amount. Ingredients are listed in order of weight percent, down to 2% or 1% (depending on what markets they sell into). All the ingredients below that magic 2 or 1% can then be listed in any order. Most cosmetic and beauty products have several ingredients above 2%…I can\'t say for sure, but ours typically have 4-8 ingredients above the threshold and then a large number of ingredients (usually more than half) at below the threshold. So caffeine could appear about 1/3 down the list and still not have a significant amount. Shocking, I know!

Myth #3: Caffeine on the skin is the same as drinking it. FALSE – your skin can absorb caffeine into the bloodstream, although the amount is debatable; what few legitimate studies have been conducted suggest that it isn\'t very much. Interestingly, caffeine may have lots of benefits that don\'t have anything to do with its stimulant effects…studies show that it may kill some cancer-causing cells and that\'s why some sunscreens include it. One researcher found that the amount one would have to use topically, in order to have the same efficacy on the skin as drinking coffee, would an enormous amount. One could argue that for someone who can\'t drink coffee and get the skin benefits would actually be the best candidate to use in a lotion because that\'s the only safe way to deliver it to the skin. And that\'s an example of how complex the question of ingredients in skin products can be. (see myth #4)

Myth #4: If a lot of websites say an ingredient is good or bad, then it\'s probably true. FALSE – there is an entire industry based on people with no scientific data making science-y sounding claims — they write articles that appear in major new sources, host blog sites, speak at consumer product forums, have Youtube videos, etc.. If you want to know if a product meets certain claims (moisturizing, color improving, non-greasy, etc.) those websites might of LIMITED usefulness — look for negative reviews to balance the positive ones. But if you want to know something that only scientific research can tell you, STAY AWAY from those websites. They need to quote research studies to talk about scientific stuff. I am frequently HORRIFIED with flatly false statements these people routinely say about ingredients — both good and bad — using \"science\" to support their statements, but having no real science behind it. A funny example is one blogger who said sulfates are harmful but sulPHates (with a \"ph\" instead of an \"f\") are completely safe. The actual truth is that British typically spell it with the PH and Americans use an F — they are the same thing!

My personal opinion is that if you don\'t drink caffeine, and therefore don\'t have any tollerance built up, that any skin care product that cause you to absorb enough caffeine to affect your heart would probably cause you to stay awake at night. If you found that on nights after using the product were consistently more sleepless than nights not using the product, that might be convincing that the product could be dangerous. But I doubt that vast majority of products that use caffeine would actually cause that.

Well, sorry that was so long — I\'ve never written that out before! Hope it helps!

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@texas7777

I\'m 44 yr old. My problems started about 2 yr ago when I started getting dizzy while driving (having to pull over and then completely stop driving for awhile. Tons of tests and very worried about a brain tumor (I\'ve had malignant melanoma cut out). First find (MRI) was a terrible sinus problem; 110% blocked :). 2nd find was about 8,000 PVC\'s/day. I have felt weird heart beats for 20 years, but… Got sinus surgery done and started taking Metoprolol Succinate(15 mg/d). Literally overnight, I woke up rested for the 1st time in about 10 years and 100% of my issues went away (except for still being able to feel my PVC\'s). I\'m now \"sinus clear\" and taking a 1/2 of toprolol/day. My heart doc is awesome, but I\'m lucky to have a cousin who\'s a cardio. at Duke. She\'s been reviewing everything (halter monitor, recommendations, etc.) and says (like my hometown cardio.) that all is well. That PVC\'s are not destructive, just a nuisance. I\'m in good shape (not running shape :), I\'ve never smoked/done drugs, but drink lots of coffee and a lil\' bit of Lone Star Beer! You have to drink Lone Star in Texas while BBQing… it\'s the law.

Luckily, for now, I don\'t have 1/100th of the issues that others are dealing with in regards to their heart; prayers go out to all of you. The joys of getting old…er!
WE PRESS ON…

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Hi!
So happy you have a great cardiologist (who happens to be family) and have found a way to treat your issues!!
I too, took Metropolol and it did help. What worked the best was losing 90 pounds!! I am now off the meds. After being off of caffeine for decades, I started drinking it again this year. I\'ve noticed more incidents of a racing heartbeat. Guess it is time to get off the caffeine!

Keep up the good work!
ronnie

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@soloact

I\'m Judith, age 72 with a birthday coming this spring. I have bradycardia (slow heart rate), which can get down to 38 bpm, and supraventricular tachycardia, known as SVT. But the SVT is intermittent and occasional, although it used to happen more often. It is most likely to happen with stress or exertion. Also have Grade II diastolic dysfunction, which translates to symptomatic heart failure, but doing relatively OK so far.

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Hi Judith!
I hope you continue to do well!!!
ronnie

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Hi Sharon,

My resting heart rate is also around 120, which makes everyone nervous. I\'ve gotten used to it since I have had it checked.
Funny, when I wore the halter monitor, several years ago, my heart rate was \'good\' from around 6pm to 5am. At 5am, it went up significantly and remained that way until around 6pm. I am sure you can figure out why. I arose at 5am to get ready for work, and by around 6pm, I had time to relax after work. So, work was not doing me any good. I really should wear a monitor now since I have been retired almost 6 years (lol).

My resting hear rate used to be higher. My doctor put me on the Metoprolol. After losing 90 pounds, my rate came down to 120. For about a year after the weight loss, I only took the meds when my heart rate went above 120. I now am off the Metoprolol. Because I am no able to take any NSAIDs, I take Crestor to protect my heart. I am really very good about it because of the positive impact it has on my heart.
Be well!
ronnie

REPLY
@ryman

Hi, I am Ryman. The first I really noticed my palpitations was back in the summer. I was kneading bread and my heart just started pounding. In October my heart rate dropped to 20. So I received a pacemaker. Actually, I have had a lot of trouble with it. They replaced the lead in January. The last two weeks while grocery shopping I had pain and a pounding heart. They checked my heart and the pacemaker and said they were both fine. I am having a stress test tomorrow. I have a daughter and two grandsons. My husband passed away 4 years ago. So I live with my oldest grandson.

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Did they do this to you at Mayo? I probably need to replace my lead too and am concerned about having a dead one in the heart too. I think that pretty much all pacemaker users cannot be MRI\'d.

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@hopeful33250

@kanaazpereira

Thank you for starting this discussion group! I too, had my first experience with tachycardia (fast heart beat) when I had a minor outpatient surgery. After that experience I obtained the anesthesiologist’s records from that surgery (that showed when my heart rate increased and what meds they used to bring it down) and any time I have surgery at a different hospital I take that record with me and show it to the anesthesiologist. Most anesthesiologists gladly look at it and assure me that they will keep a watch out for tachycardia.

Since that surgery, I’ve had other times when my heart rate has increased, once during a stress test, and once when I got very busy and tired. I now take a small amount of a beta blocker at noon and that keeps everything under control.

Once when I had the rapid heart rate during a stress test, the cardiac RN suggested coughing, when that didn’t work she suggested “bearing down” like you were trying to have a bowel movement. When that didn’t work she gave me an injection which brought everything back to normal, but I certainly was tired when all was said and done.

Someone mentioned staying away from caffeine – I have a friend with A-Fib and she told me that caffeine is often in cosmetic products and they affect her A-Fib as well. So we should all read the labels of skin care/hair products before using.

I’m glad to hear of everyone’s experience. I learn so much from hearing the experiences of others.

Teresa

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@markjones

I appreciate that detailed information about ingredients in skin care products. Thank you!

Teresa

REPLY
@skymya

Hi!
Am 39 years of age. Last year on May 18 I had at least 2 heart attacks, blood clots, complete rental shutdown and grand mal seizures. I was in a coma for 9 days and it took 75 days for me to get back home to my 5 kids/husband. I now have a irregular heart beat,heart damage, beats to fast tachycardia and my blood doctor thinks i have APLS a blood clot autoimmune disorder also so blood thinners for the rest of my life.. I was supposed to have a EPS ablation tomorrow with the option for a defibrillator but the doc office called now its next month. I had chest pain off and on for a few years but just blew it off as stress/panic attacks. My mother had Afib for a number of years and two ablation later is Afib free now. Happy to start talking to others and learning their stories.
Amber

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Hi @skymya,

I can only imagine the stress of all that you\'ve been through! Thank you for joining Connect, and sharing your story. Here\'s some information about Antiphospholipid syndrome (APLS) from Mayo Clinic: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/antiphospholipid-syndrome/symptoms-causes/syc-20355831

I\'d also like to invite @soitis4590 and @lena999 to join the conversation and share their experiences. You can view @soitis4590\'s posts here: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/antiphospholipid-and-lyme-disease/

Although this is an older discussion, https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/antiphospholipid-antibody-syndrom/, I hope @taogirl2 @colettehellerud @lagata are keeping well, and will return to share their insights as well.

@skymya, may I ask why the ablation was postponed?

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