Heart Rhythm Episodes

Posted by jayhawk57 @jayhawk57, Tue, Jul 30 12:42pm

Hello! I'm looking for feedback and any information on anyone who has episodes of excelled heart rate 160 + with increased blood pressure. I have been experiencing this for the past year. It comes without warning. If I try to eat or drink it will happen as well periodically and have lost 18 lbs in 6 weeks. I feel confused, dizzy, nauseated and foggy with a hard time breathing. It can last approx 1 hr. My pulse usually goes back down but blood pressure usually stays up. Feel sick 24 hrs after these flare ups. Any feedback would be appreciated, thanks!

Have you been worked up for causes? Have you been considered for pheochromocytoma? Can cause episodic times of increased heart rate and BP. Just a thought.

REPLY

I have had increasing episodes of increased heart rate over the past year but it is episodic. Mine, I believe, is related to dysautonomia – a dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system due to my connective tissue disease, Ehlers-Danlos. I have a Reveal LINQ implanted which has caught all of these episodes. Last year, within less than a two week period, I had over 600 episodes of heart rate over 130 but the longest episode was under 3 minutes and most were around 1 minute in length. Most of the time, I was unaware of the increased rate. My cardiology provider gave me the option to increase my metoprolol if I felt I needed to, in January or February, I bumped it from 37.5 mg to 50 mg a day. I am apparently still getting the episodic tachycardias. But my provider is not particularly concerned — no really concerning arrhythmias.

REPLY

Look up paroxysmol supraventricular tachycardia (PSVT) – a not uncommon heart arrhythmia . I was a runner, did ballet etc and one day while calmly at a cosmetic counter feeling happy looking at lipstick i felt my heart start racing – mine went up to 180 and higher. It would happen like you turned a light switch on and then, off, after 20 minutes.I was young and healthy and I was treated horribly by doctors who treated me as if i wereneurotic , having panic attacks, exaggerating, wanting attentio etc. It took me TWENTY YEARS to get diagnosed. During that time, I did my own research and tried maneuvers to break the tachycardia (whch means a heart rate over 100 pbm) I found in Merck manual and elsewhere .. this was long before we had the internet. Carotid artery massage,pressure on eyes, bearing down – did not work. I finally found for me the mammalian diving reflex ( plunging face in cold water and breathing slowly ) worked like a charm. Due to my work (and my work changed course because of my interest in medicine ) I ended up being respected and not treated like a neurotic person somehow making up my acute episodes – I was in the office of the chairman of the department of medicine, a cardiologist at a large university and health center, due to my work and i finally just let it out – what i had been going through with my heart. In TWO MINUTES he said " you aren't having panic attacks – it's WPW or PSVT . And we can fix it!" I collapsed sobbing. I had given up having someone actually LISTEN TO ME. those were my own "diagnoses" and i was right!! I had worn monitors but never were they kept on me long enough to catch the arrhythmia. Finally this wonderful doctor kept a monitor on me for weeks to document the arrhythmia so insurance would approve an electrophysiology study (EP study); first tried beta blockers but made me feel exhausted and rotten. I had an EP study during which my heart went up to 220 ! an ablation was performed – I went home less than two hours afterwards to cook dinner for my son and only had a few skips here and there over the next 12 years or so. The last 3 years , I've had one recurrence a year oddly . I have a loop recorder now (technology has so improved ) but no more occurrences so far. Sometimes psvt can come back after an ablation – or it may recur so rarely it's no big deal. I hope that's the case now for me. I cannot diagnose you but I can say that it wouldn't hurt to ask your doctor about PSVT.

Liked by AFRobin, sue225

REPLY

By the way @jayhawk57 due to your symptoms of weight loss etc, definitely talk to the doctor about pheochromocytoma if you haven't already.

REPLY
@slynnb

Look up paroxysmol supraventricular tachycardia (PSVT) – a not uncommon heart arrhythmia . I was a runner, did ballet etc and one day while calmly at a cosmetic counter feeling happy looking at lipstick i felt my heart start racing – mine went up to 180 and higher. It would happen like you turned a light switch on and then, off, after 20 minutes.I was young and healthy and I was treated horribly by doctors who treated me as if i wereneurotic , having panic attacks, exaggerating, wanting attentio etc. It took me TWENTY YEARS to get diagnosed. During that time, I did my own research and tried maneuvers to break the tachycardia (whch means a heart rate over 100 pbm) I found in Merck manual and elsewhere .. this was long before we had the internet. Carotid artery massage,pressure on eyes, bearing down – did not work. I finally found for me the mammalian diving reflex ( plunging face in cold water and breathing slowly ) worked like a charm. Due to my work (and my work changed course because of my interest in medicine ) I ended up being respected and not treated like a neurotic person somehow making up my acute episodes – I was in the office of the chairman of the department of medicine, a cardiologist at a large university and health center, due to my work and i finally just let it out – what i had been going through with my heart. In TWO MINUTES he said " you aren't having panic attacks – it's WPW or PSVT . And we can fix it!" I collapsed sobbing. I had given up having someone actually LISTEN TO ME. those were my own "diagnoses" and i was right!! I had worn monitors but never were they kept on me long enough to catch the arrhythmia. Finally this wonderful doctor kept a monitor on me for weeks to document the arrhythmia so insurance would approve an electrophysiology study (EP study); first tried beta blockers but made me feel exhausted and rotten. I had an EP study during which my heart went up to 220 ! an ablation was performed – I went home less than two hours afterwards to cook dinner for my son and only had a few skips here and there over the next 12 years or so. The last 3 years , I've had one recurrence a year oddly . I have a loop recorder now (technology has so improved ) but no more occurrences so far. Sometimes psvt can come back after an ablation – or it may recur so rarely it's no big deal. I hope that's the case now for me. I cannot diagnose you but I can say that it wouldn't hurt to ask your doctor about PSVT.

Jump to this post

Wow! What a riveting story! I am so happy for you that your 20 years of terrible and frightening episodes came to an end. And it was not from lack of trying to find a solution that you suffered that long. You teach us all an important lesson. Trust your gut, do your research and persevere! All the best…and BRAVO!

Liked by sue225

REPLY
@afrobin

Wow! What a riveting story! I am so happy for you that your 20 years of terrible and frightening episodes came to an end. And it was not from lack of trying to find a solution that you suffered that long. You teach us all an important lesson. Trust your gut, do your research and persevere! All the best…and BRAVO!

Jump to this post

Thank you! I was terrified often, had absolutely no support from then spouse (who was told I "just wanted attention" or so-called friends who told me my extreme racing heart must be panic attacks and to basically shut up about it). It wasa truly life changing experience, however, because I began studying medicine and health on my own when I realized there was NO help for me – and I ended up changing career paths and actually having doctors treat me with respect and often as a colleague, ask me questions about certain research and more. I am appalled by a lot of the inaccurate so-called medical information on the internet and what passes for "health " info on sites pushing agendas and products. I would encourage people to do research to understand what constitutes factual information. And I would also encourage people to ask questions of your doctors – do not put them on a pedestal. Yes, treat them with respect but nobody is perfect and there is certainly prejudice and sometimes intellectual laziness (wanting to make the easy , quick diagnosis to get a patient out of the office, too often with a prescription medication) among physicians. Do not think understanding your body and any medical condition is above your intellectual capacity – most often, it is not. But you need to do the work to learn — and question so you learn more.

Liked by AFRobin

REPLY
@slynnb

Thank you! I was terrified often, had absolutely no support from then spouse (who was told I "just wanted attention" or so-called friends who told me my extreme racing heart must be panic attacks and to basically shut up about it). It wasa truly life changing experience, however, because I began studying medicine and health on my own when I realized there was NO help for me – and I ended up changing career paths and actually having doctors treat me with respect and often as a colleague, ask me questions about certain research and more. I am appalled by a lot of the inaccurate so-called medical information on the internet and what passes for "health " info on sites pushing agendas and products. I would encourage people to do research to understand what constitutes factual information. And I would also encourage people to ask questions of your doctors – do not put them on a pedestal. Yes, treat them with respect but nobody is perfect and there is certainly prejudice and sometimes intellectual laziness (wanting to make the easy , quick diagnosis to get a patient out of the office, too often with a prescription medication) among physicians. Do not think understanding your body and any medical condition is above your intellectual capacity – most often, it is not. But you need to do the work to learn — and question so you learn more.

Jump to this post

I agree with you 100%. I had such severe arrhythmia (atrial fibrillation) that I didn't have 3 steady beats in a row. I was tested etc..and put on beta blockers. The highest dose was required which the cardiologist said was a danger in itself and to try to lower the dose. But even reducing a bit caused the A.F. to return in full force.
I was only 45 years old and felt like an old lady. I was determined to be well again and I started my research which was before the internet…so I was in the library. I read that lower estrogen can cause arrhythmias so I got a doctor to give me estrogen (unopposed with progesterone which can lead to reproductive cancers). On the estrogen my arrhythmia stopped even after gradually getting off the beta blockers. My GP was shocked to discover I was on unopposed estrogen and prescribed progesterone to go along with the estrogen and the arrhythmia returned and required beta blockers but half the dose.
I researched some more and read that pushing the heart through aerobic exercise can steady arrhythmias. I joined a gym and did an hour of aerobics every day but Sunday. Within a month, I was off the beta blockers (gradually reducing…very important). I continued with the daily exercise for another 3 months. My cardiologist said it wouldn't last. I would soon be back. Well, here I am 25 years later with no arrhythmia. However, my heart will skip occasional beats if I drink coffee or have caffeine in any form or drink alcohol or have stimulant medications (decongestant or dental freezing) So I avoid all these things.
All this is to say that as you said, slynnb, do not put the doctor on a pedestal. I've always considered doctors as a resource with myself in charge of my case. Don't follow blindly what the doctor says without being fully informed. Do your own research and take responsibility for your own health. And make sure your sources are credible…such as the Mayo Clinic here.
What I am writing here about hormone therapy and aerobic activity working for me, you need to research and discuss with your own cardiologist.

REPLY
@afrobin

I agree with you 100%. I had such severe arrhythmia (atrial fibrillation) that I didn't have 3 steady beats in a row. I was tested etc..and put on beta blockers. The highest dose was required which the cardiologist said was a danger in itself and to try to lower the dose. But even reducing a bit caused the A.F. to return in full force.
I was only 45 years old and felt like an old lady. I was determined to be well again and I started my research which was before the internet…so I was in the library. I read that lower estrogen can cause arrhythmias so I got a doctor to give me estrogen (unopposed with progesterone which can lead to reproductive cancers). On the estrogen my arrhythmia stopped even after gradually getting off the beta blockers. My GP was shocked to discover I was on unopposed estrogen and prescribed progesterone to go along with the estrogen and the arrhythmia returned and required beta blockers but half the dose.
I researched some more and read that pushing the heart through aerobic exercise can steady arrhythmias. I joined a gym and did an hour of aerobics every day but Sunday. Within a month, I was off the beta blockers (gradually reducing…very important). I continued with the daily exercise for another 3 months. My cardiologist said it wouldn't last. I would soon be back. Well, here I am 25 years later with no arrhythmia. However, my heart will skip occasional beats if I drink coffee or have caffeine in any form or drink alcohol or have stimulant medications (decongestant or dental freezing) So I avoid all these things.
All this is to say that as you said, slynnb, do not put the doctor on a pedestal. I've always considered doctors as a resource with myself in charge of my case. Don't follow blindly what the doctor says without being fully informed. Do your own research and take responsibility for your own health. And make sure your sources are credible…such as the Mayo Clinic here.
What I am writing here about hormone therapy and aerobic activity working for me, you need to research and discuss with your own cardiologist.

Jump to this post

I absolutely agree and what works for one person isn't necessarily the key for another. Take caffeine for instance, yes it can and does cause palpitations in some people but not all – may even have the opposite impact in some (rare) and multiple studies which assumed caffeine triggered a-fib found that's not true! Yet, if it true for one person, it is true for THEM. Physiology in humans is not always exactly the same. I would also urge people to especially question medications and not hesitate for a nanosecond to ask " why am I taking this? Are there other alternatives? What is the risk if I don't take it?" and , of course, what are the side effects. Thanks for your comments – I'm delighted you found an answer and are doing well!

Liked by sue225

REPLY
@slynnb

Look up paroxysmol supraventricular tachycardia (PSVT) – a not uncommon heart arrhythmia . I was a runner, did ballet etc and one day while calmly at a cosmetic counter feeling happy looking at lipstick i felt my heart start racing – mine went up to 180 and higher. It would happen like you turned a light switch on and then, off, after 20 minutes.I was young and healthy and I was treated horribly by doctors who treated me as if i wereneurotic , having panic attacks, exaggerating, wanting attentio etc. It took me TWENTY YEARS to get diagnosed. During that time, I did my own research and tried maneuvers to break the tachycardia (whch means a heart rate over 100 pbm) I found in Merck manual and elsewhere .. this was long before we had the internet. Carotid artery massage,pressure on eyes, bearing down – did not work. I finally found for me the mammalian diving reflex ( plunging face in cold water and breathing slowly ) worked like a charm. Due to my work (and my work changed course because of my interest in medicine ) I ended up being respected and not treated like a neurotic person somehow making up my acute episodes – I was in the office of the chairman of the department of medicine, a cardiologist at a large university and health center, due to my work and i finally just let it out – what i had been going through with my heart. In TWO MINUTES he said " you aren't having panic attacks – it's WPW or PSVT . And we can fix it!" I collapsed sobbing. I had given up having someone actually LISTEN TO ME. those were my own "diagnoses" and i was right!! I had worn monitors but never were they kept on me long enough to catch the arrhythmia. Finally this wonderful doctor kept a monitor on me for weeks to document the arrhythmia so insurance would approve an electrophysiology study (EP study); first tried beta blockers but made me feel exhausted and rotten. I had an EP study during which my heart went up to 220 ! an ablation was performed – I went home less than two hours afterwards to cook dinner for my son and only had a few skips here and there over the next 12 years or so. The last 3 years , I've had one recurrence a year oddly . I have a loop recorder now (technology has so improved ) but no more occurrences so far. Sometimes psvt can come back after an ablation – or it may recur so rarely it's no big deal. I hope that's the case now for me. I cannot diagnose you but I can say that it wouldn't hurt to ask your doctor about PSVT.

Jump to this post

Thanks for posting your story, slynnb. I experienced Tachycardia, but while running. For me, simply breaking into a walk would get it to stop. I had the good fortune of getting referred to a cardiologist who diagnosed PSVT. I tried blocker med’s but stopped due to heavy fatigue. I got evaluated for an ablation but the EP said my episodes were too short to catch for electrical mapping. I’ve reluctantly stopped running as my solution to avoiding PSVT.

REPLY
@ronbyrd

Thanks for posting your story, slynnb. I experienced Tachycardia, but while running. For me, simply breaking into a walk would get it to stop. I had the good fortune of getting referred to a cardiologist who diagnosed PSVT. I tried blocker med’s but stopped due to heavy fatigue. I got evaluated for an ablation but the EP said my episodes were too short to catch for electrical mapping. I’ve reluctantly stopped running as my solution to avoiding PSVT.

Jump to this post

I suggest asking your doc about magnesium – helps a lot of people. Also, some common medications are now being hinted at possibly being triggers for arrhythmia. My electrophysiologists thinks PPIs ( over the counter medications for GERD, heartburn) may trigger them in some people..

REPLY

One should definitely NOT drink alcohol or ingest any foods or drinks with caffeine.
Speaking of GERD, I recently made the connection between bread and GERD. I didn't want to believe it but I cut it out and my GERD symptoms of severe burning which required many TUMS per day, stopped abruptly. An example of doing one's own research and trying to figure things out for oneself.
I have been taking magnesium citrate for years to help at bedroom with sleep and to keep regular. An article on magnesium worth reading is the following: https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/blog/evolutionary-psychiatry/201106/magnesium-and-the-brain-the-original-chill-pill

REPLY
@afrobin

One should definitely NOT drink alcohol or ingest any foods or drinks with caffeine.
Speaking of GERD, I recently made the connection between bread and GERD. I didn't want to believe it but I cut it out and my GERD symptoms of severe burning which required many TUMS per day, stopped abruptly. An example of doing one's own research and trying to figure things out for oneself.
I have been taking magnesium citrate for years to help at bedroom with sleep and to keep regular. An article on magnesium worth reading is the following: https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/blog/evolutionary-psychiatry/201106/magnesium-and-the-brain-the-original-chill-pill

Jump to this post

I'm fully aware of the magneisum research and also that it is intracellular magnesium – not blood levels – that are needed to truly see if a person is magnesium deficit ( a very strong cause of arrhythmia). Also PPIs deplete magnesium. I disagree about caffeine . I look at the science. YES, it causes palpitations in many people but not everyone and cardiologists are surprised that multiple studies show coffee is not the factor they thought it was in inducing a-fib. The explanation is, perhaps, that based on genetic differences, people metabolize caffeine different. Of course, perfectly health young people have DIED from mammoth ingestion of caffeine in supplements and sports drinks. But it is not accurate to claim that nobody should or could drink caffeine if they have arrhythmia. Of course, there's nothing wrong in erring on the side of caution. Here's an interesting article on the subject (an editorial with footnotes to research, published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology last year): https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/2047487318778650?url_ver=Z39.88-2003&rfr_id=ori%3Arid%3Acrossref.org&rfr_dat=cr_pub%3Dpubmed

Liked by sue225

REPLY
@slynnb

I'm fully aware of the magneisum research and also that it is intracellular magnesium – not blood levels – that are needed to truly see if a person is magnesium deficit ( a very strong cause of arrhythmia). Also PPIs deplete magnesium. I disagree about caffeine . I look at the science. YES, it causes palpitations in many people but not everyone and cardiologists are surprised that multiple studies show coffee is not the factor they thought it was in inducing a-fib. The explanation is, perhaps, that based on genetic differences, people metabolize caffeine different. Of course, perfectly health young people have DIED from mammoth ingestion of caffeine in supplements and sports drinks. But it is not accurate to claim that nobody should or could drink caffeine if they have arrhythmia. Of course, there's nothing wrong in erring on the side of caution. Here's an interesting article on the subject (an editorial with footnotes to research, published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology last year): https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/2047487318778650?url_ver=Z39.88-2003&rfr_id=ori%3Arid%3Acrossref.org&rfr_dat=cr_pub%3Dpubmed

Jump to this post

And just out, published in JAMA ( Journal of the American Medical Association): "Our data suggest a lower risk of AF (atrial fibrillation) among men who reported coffee consumption of 1 to 3 cups/day." https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/JAHA.118.011346

Liked by sue225

REPLY

Have u looked the triggers that cause the problem. I was having arythems almost every night. I started research and founda alcolhol in any form and any amount was one of my triggers and caffeine was another , so no alcohol and decaf coffee,
Then checked out my meds one at a time all were ok. Getting too hot ,or tired both were triggers, so I limit my yard work each time. Better to take two days than to have arythms. Last was temper, getting too upset or angry, on my last pacemaker checkup tech told me that I had lowered my afib to less than 1percent. I also feel much better

REPLY
@exboater

Have u looked the triggers that cause the problem. I was having arythems almost every night. I started research and founda alcolhol in any form and any amount was one of my triggers and caffeine was another , so no alcohol and decaf coffee,
Then checked out my meds one at a time all were ok. Getting too hot ,or tired both were triggers, so I limit my yard work each time. Better to take two days than to have arythms. Last was temper, getting too upset or angry, on my last pacemaker checkup tech told me that I had lowered my afib to less than 1percent. I also feel much better

Jump to this post

Totally right with all the triggers I had everyone Mentioned stress , anger , alcohol , unhealthy eating triggered my Afib even vomiting for some odd reason

REPLY
Please login or register to post a reply.