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?

Hi, @alanblackwell. Very timely question. As an A-fibber for five years, my own experience is that my beta-blocker (Carvedilol, COREG) has been effective it reducing the impact of the arrhythmia, but it hasn't stopped it. It shows up every time I take my blood pressure (usually once a day on average). The answer will be different from others, I suspect, because the A-fib symptoms differ across a wide range of rhythmic disturbances in the heart. In my case, I almost never feel the heart-beat errors. Others I know have talked of "pounding" in their chest (although that description is used more often in ventricular arrhythmia than in atrial misfires). I hope others will add to my experience for your benefit. How severe are your A-fib episodes? Martin

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I was on high dose of Sotacor, 3x per day for almost 2 years. It stopped the a-fib completely. The cardiologist told me to lower the dose because he said that such a high dose could stop my heart!… But if I took slightly less, my heart would go into wild arrhythmia pounding and misfiring in my chest, feeling dizzy and air hungry. I started going to a gym every day except Sunday for 65 minutes; half hour on the treadmill and the rest strength and flexibility training. At the end of a month, bit by bit I was OFF the beta blockers. I kept up my exercise routine for 4 months and was cured! The cardiologist said it would come back but here I am 24 years later and I only have the very occasional blip if I have chocolate, coffee or alcohol…which I avoid like the plague.

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@predictable

I'm not surprised that your medical team has "outlawed" Diltiazem and Metoprolol at the same time — I think they amount to a double-barreled attack on arrhythmia. According to <drugs.com> "Diltiazem is a calcium channel blocker. It is used to treat hypertension (high blood pressure), angina (chest pain), and certain heart rhythm disorders." It also is one of the first-option medication treatments for hypertension. Metoprolol is a common beta blocker used for hypertension and easing of heart beats.

In my case, A-fib is my problem along with hypertension. I'm taking Coreg (like Metoprolol a beta blocker). I was prescribed another calcium channel blockers (Amlodipine) a few years ago, but my nephrologist cancelled that and listed it as an allergen when she started me on Coreg (Carvedilol). Because of A-fib, I also am on a Coumadin (Warfarin anticoagulant) regimen to prevent clots from forming in my heart.

Mysteriously, the Coumadin failed me 20 months ago, and I suffered a "small stroke" that caused me some minor imbalance and uncoordination problems that have been overcome with physical therapy — teaching my brain to pay attention, stop assuming what I want to do, and behave. It turns out that this brain behavior — issuing subconscious signals and directives to certain nerves, muscles, and glands — has a far broader effect on me than I ever imagined. Frequent urination, for example, is necessary — not because my bladder is full to overflowing, but because my assumptive brain believes that's what I want to do when I draw a glass of cold water from the refrigerator or turn on the kitchen faucet or roll over in bed ! ! ! ! My nephrologist has me exercising my brain to break its tendencies to initiate urination on the basis of false signals from my environment . . . and I think I'm making progress! I also think my nephrologist is a miracle worker.
Martin

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Hi Martin. Please describe the brain exercises that have relieved bladder urgency. I am desperate Thanks. tdrohan

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@tdrohan

I have overactive bladder for same reason as you.
Warfarin mini stroke then same as you. Horrible impact on my quality of life. What brain exercises
Are you doing that are helpful to control bladder
Urgency. Switch from warfarin To Eliquis to protect
Against more mini strokes. hope you help me
With brain exercises & other tricks

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Three quick points about training my brain to knock off its pressure to have me urinate. First, my problem may be different from yours. For example, I have an inherited kidney defect that causes me to rely on Amiloride, a specialized diuretic designed to preserve/reclaim potassium. The diuretic speeds removal of water (and wastes) from my body. As a result, my brain has been trained to respond earlier and more often to stimuli that suggest my bladder needs relief. Second, perhaps I made a mistake in using the word "exercising," suggesting a regimen that we haven't yet developed fully. Third, I was a victim of benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH) that stole a lot of the space in my bladder and encouraged my brain to take that into account; a golf-ball sized hunk of prostate flesh was removed by a transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) several years ago. That said, here's the other advice from my nephrologist.

First and foremost, I am much more conscious about hydrating my system regularly and more often than in recent years. By over-consuming water somewhat, my brain is expected to learn that I need more water in my organs and that my bladder should tolerate more pressure than my urine has been developing there. This helped us understand why rolling over in bed at night — in effect, simply irrigating bladder lining on one side that has been "drying out" from lying horizontal for a couple of hours — wakes me up and sends me to the bathroom. The challenge here is to find a position in bed that I can maintain for longer periods.

I should try to drink each day at least 8 cups of water between arising in the morning and 3-4pm (we have dinner about 6pm and retire about 11pm). Routinizing the schedule here might train my brain to expect hydration at fixed times, so changing the schedule every day is being tested for effects. We're looking for a way to slowly increase water consumption over a couple of months in order to increase my capacity for maintaining better hydration without resorting to urination.

I also should try to consciously reject bladder signals to urinate when they are triggered by an environmental experience. So far that has meant "holding" my urine when thoughts of drinking water, washing hands, taking a shower, doing the dishes, or getting my feet wet triggered an impulse to urinate. It remains to be seen whether routinizing my daily exercise, conducting it longer, changing motions, and changing start times and duration might have an effect. Martin

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Thank you Martin for detailed response. We both take a diuretic which increases need to expel urine from bladder. When I have a social family engagement I do not take diuretic that day. I urinate 100 ml once per hour. Use of mirabegron allows me to urinate once every 2 hours. With no diuretic
Interval increases to 2.5 hours. I have to use pampers. Let’s stay in touch to help each other with urinary urge incontinence . Best regards tom

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@ch665296f

I am taking eliquis, losartan, hydrochlorothiazide, verapamil,and metoprolol. Various doses, some twice a day. Also, I now am wearing a loop monitor. This treatment is for apical hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, ventricular tachycardia, and some myocardial bridging. To be honest, I'm not sure any of this is doing much. It doesn't take much for me to feel fatigue and breathing heavier, and I used to run marathons. Go figure!

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@ch665296f Did you know that there is a Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy group here? https://connect.mayoclinic.org/group/hypertrophic-cardiomyopathy-hcm/

Liked by healthytoday

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@afrobin

I was on high dose of Sotacor, 3x per day for almost 2 years. It stopped the a-fib completely. The cardiologist told me to lower the dose because he said that such a high dose could stop my heart!… But if I took slightly less, my heart would go into wild arrhythmia pounding and misfiring in my chest, feeling dizzy and air hungry. I started going to a gym every day except Sunday for 65 minutes; half hour on the treadmill and the rest strength and flexibility training. At the end of a month, bit by bit I was OFF the beta blockers. I kept up my exercise routine for 4 months and was cured! The cardiologist said it would come back but here I am 24 years later and I only have the very occasional blip if I have chocolate, coffee or alcohol…which I avoid like the plague.

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Your heart adapts to physical activity. It will do the same work at a lower energy with training. It happens in muscles also after recruitment. Heavier exercise damages muscle fibers. They heal to the new level, So you rose above the crowd. Good for you!

Liked by healthytoday

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@eileena

Beta Blockers help control your blood pressure. PERIOD. Not your heart rate. To totally control your heart rate you might need what is called an ablation where the problem nerve is eradicated via electrical burnout. The procedure is only used in uncontrollable conditions and you must be observed for at least 5 hours afterward, sometimes overnight.

Maybe you should look on the web to learn about Beta Blockers.
I've had a Quadruple Bypass, and had a PVC (Preventricle Contraction) problem corrected through an ablation. It was activating 20 times a minute and depriving my brain of the necessary blood to continue functioning. Occurring 20 times a minute is not conducive to proper functioning of one's brain nor of the heart that got plugged enough to present with the signs of a heart attack; profuse sweating, shortness of breath, extreme fatigue. Coming home after work, sleeping 2 hours, then getting up, fixing dinner, eating, going back to bed and getting up 6 hours later to go back to work.

I also had, in the past been on Lisenopril, and ACE inhibitor. Did nothing to help with any problems I was experiencing.

Please look up information on your medication and ask your MD as many questions as necessary to get the information that satisfies your mind. Your kids need their entire dad's attention and these health problems leave so little time to devote to your kiddos. They will be there for you all the way.

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I am on a beta blocker and ace inhi. For blood pressure and rate control for afib.

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Once again thank you. I still take Eliquis as a blood thinner. The Pace maker gave me more energy and is insurance against a stroke. Getting mine as a precaution against throwing a clot was the best decision for me. I am glad I did. A rep will need to be present to turn it off during surgery. . I have 8 yrs before my next battery and I have had none since my implant in 2005.. My pressure is 100-110 over 55-70 depending on activity. My demand pace maker is for 60.

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Hi, I’m David. I have 2 stents already and one day started having AFib when I walked. I was given pills and bought a monitor, checking 5 times per day. Apart from an episode a few weeks later, I have no signs of AFib showing up on my monitor. I do note that I get chest pain when my heart rate is up from walking up hills. However once I rest and then go in, it’s fine until another hill. I wonder if this is AFib or a small blockage.

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Since you already have two stents you know you have CAD, Coronary Artery Disease, which means maybe there is another small blockage slowly building up somewhere in your coronary artery system. Only way to know is to go to your Cardiologist and get tested to determine if the extra exercise on your heart is having the pain caused by another small blockage.

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@maryrohrer1

Since you already have two stents you know you have CAD, Coronary Artery Disease, which means maybe there is another small blockage slowly building up somewhere in your coronary artery system. Only way to know is to go to your Cardiologist and get tested to determine if the extra exercise on your heart is having the pain caused by another small blockage.

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One of the members of my cardiology team at the Mayo Clinic said, if you experience some heart discomfort, take some deep breaths, and see if it clears up. This works for me. Says the area isn't getting enough O2.

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@asianeagle

Hi, I’m David. I have 2 stents already and one day started having AFib when I walked. I was given pills and bought a monitor, checking 5 times per day. Apart from an episode a few weeks later, I have no signs of AFib showing up on my monitor. I do note that I get chest pain when my heart rate is up from walking up hills. However once I rest and then go in, it’s fine until another hill. I wonder if this is AFib or a small blockage.

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David. I only had Afib. I did not realize how much I needed a demand pace maker at 60 demand from St Jude until the cardiologist Implanted it. Could this be a direction for you? So simple and effective.

Liked by healthytoday

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@predictable

Three quick points about training my brain to knock off its pressure to have me urinate. First, my problem may be different from yours. For example, I have an inherited kidney defect that causes me to rely on Amiloride, a specialized diuretic designed to preserve/reclaim potassium. The diuretic speeds removal of water (and wastes) from my body. As a result, my brain has been trained to respond earlier and more often to stimuli that suggest my bladder needs relief. Second, perhaps I made a mistake in using the word "exercising," suggesting a regimen that we haven't yet developed fully. Third, I was a victim of benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH) that stole a lot of the space in my bladder and encouraged my brain to take that into account; a golf-ball sized hunk of prostate flesh was removed by a transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) several years ago. That said, here's the other advice from my nephrologist.

First and foremost, I am much more conscious about hydrating my system regularly and more often than in recent years. By over-consuming water somewhat, my brain is expected to learn that I need more water in my organs and that my bladder should tolerate more pressure than my urine has been developing there. This helped us understand why rolling over in bed at night — in effect, simply irrigating bladder lining on one side that has been "drying out" from lying horizontal for a couple of hours — wakes me up and sends me to the bathroom. The challenge here is to find a position in bed that I can maintain for longer periods.

I should try to drink each day at least 8 cups of water between arising in the morning and 3-4pm (we have dinner about 6pm and retire about 11pm). Routinizing the schedule here might train my brain to expect hydration at fixed times, so changing the schedule every day is being tested for effects. We're looking for a way to slowly increase water consumption over a couple of months in order to increase my capacity for maintaining better hydration without resorting to urination.

I also should try to consciously reject bladder signals to urinate when they are triggered by an environmental experience. So far that has meant "holding" my urine when thoughts of drinking water, washing hands, taking a shower, doing the dishes, or getting my feet wet triggered an impulse to urinate. It remains to be seen whether routinizing my daily exercise, conducting it longer, changing motions, and changing start times and duration might have an effect. Martin

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That is a lot of good advice. I grew up in home that had a pot at night, (9 children) I trained myself to keep topping off. Socially I developed a "Tiny Tank" 3 things have helped me in old age. 1) Staying hydrated with out excessive fluids can be accomplished by saturating a jar of water with Himalayan Pink Salt . You start by taking 1 teaspoon of the fluid in a glass of warm water early before breakfast. Drink it down and it will pass through the stomach and be absorbed quickly. Do not start with more than 1 teaspoon 3 time a week. In time, increase to 1 table spoon at a session. Too much will cause diarrhea.
Google health effects. 2) I sleep on the left side as recommended by the sleep people 3. I am a Senior proffessor Emeritiss in Biofeedback. I used electrodes to train the pelvic floor to hold off the urge and prolong the periods with guided imagery. I learned to defeat the social habit of childhood. Other people have more serious issues. Women have short urethera 7" compared to men 16". So child birth and pelvic floor issues are greater.

Liked by healthytoday

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@asianeagle

Hi, I’m David. I have 2 stents already and one day started having AFib when I walked. I was given pills and bought a monitor, checking 5 times per day. Apart from an episode a few weeks later, I have no signs of AFib showing up on my monitor. I do note that I get chest pain when my heart rate is up from walking up hills. However once I rest and then go in, it’s fine until another hill. I wonder if this is AFib or a small blockage.

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Hi David, I'm Nancy (shortshot80) I did not know I was out of rhythm, nor I did not know I ever had AFIB as I have a pacemaker and have had for over 10 years, I'm on my 2nd pacemaker and have had it for over l year. I also have two kinds of lung cancer. I have mesothelioma on my left side and plain small cell cancer on my right side. I have had chemo, immune therapy, and finally radieation on my right side. Nothing can be done on the Meso side, (so far I don't have any pain) Radiation twce on my right side and that is because I was coughing up blood. That is all I can have. I found out that I had this in 2016. I had surgery and the doc put a 4 foot plastic tube in my lung and let it drain for for days, then told me I had "meso" . Nothing can be done for this. Next month I will be 87 years old. Yea!

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