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Mon, Oct 28 2:02pm · Feeling heart beat through skin in Heart Rhythm Conditions

jadillow…anything that is "preserved" and that includes canned fruits and vegetables, contain a ton of sodium. You must become an avid label reader!!!! You will be as shocked as I was when you realize how much sodium is in things you wouldn't normally suspect.

Sun, Oct 27 8:31pm · Feeling heart beat through skin in Heart Rhythm Conditions

Hi AFRobin……..just wanted to let you know I got your statin post, read through it quickly, but we're having company for dinner so can't give it the attention I want to right now. I will read this again (and again and again) tomorrow. I want to try, somehow, and get that documentary you talked about! I'm know I'm going to have a long talk with my cardio during my next 6th month visit. I need to figure out where and how my hyperlipidemia fits into all this………and without digging through all my medical files, I don't know what my C-reactive protein level is. You've given me much food for thought. I'll be back in touch soon. How old is your husband if you don't mind my asking.
Again, thanks for this post!
Ruby
(I was born in Winnipeg!)

Sun, Oct 27 7:53pm · Feeling heart beat through skin in Heart Rhythm Conditions

Sue……my cardiologist recently put me on a low salt diet. WOW! It is SO hard since everything is loaded with sodium. Even if it says "Low Sodium," the amount will still shock you. Eating everything "fresh" is the easiest way, besides hiding your salt shaker, but buying fresh can get really expensive. I just bought a book from Amazon called "The Low-Sodium Diet Plan" by Christopher Lower. (There are SO many to choose from!) I like his slow cooker recipes! It was published in 2017 and I got it used for under $10 which included S&H. I'm 68 and have never had to watch my salt intake before and this book is a great primer for the novice and "saltaholics!"

Sun, Oct 27 7:41pm · Feeling heart beat through skin in Heart Rhythm Conditions

You can Google The American Heart Association and download recipes. I think they also sell some inexpensive recipe books. If you can't find any or they are too expensive, write me and I'll give you mine.

Sun, Oct 27 2:31pm · Feeling heart beat through skin in Heart Rhythm Conditions

I agree with AFRobin in her approach to trying lifestyle changes before adding yet another prescription medication to your plate. I, too, believe drugs should be your last option. I just want to say that when, and if, dugs ARE the last option, do not feel guilty or that you have failed in your attempt to improve your condition, and therefore, your health, by turning to pharmaceuticals. Sometimes, unfortunately, we simply have no choice. Case in point…….I have a condition known as hyperlipidemia, this means that no matter how careful and diligent I am about watching my levels of cholesterol, my body produces too much cholesterol. When my lipid panels kept coming back with really bad numbers, my doctor said I needed to go on a very strong statin. I really wanted to avoid that for obvious reason. I was sent for a consult with a nutritionist to help me lower my cholesterol. I was put on a diet for 6 months that I didn't think would even keep a rabbit alive. But I was determined to stay off statins, so I followed that diet religiously. At the end of the 6 months, I had another lipid panel drawn and my LDL (the "bad" cholesterol) numbers had actually gone up! I already had 2 cardiac stents and it was decided that in MY case, there really was no other course of action besides going on the statins. I have been on a very high dose for several years now, my cholesterol levers are nearly normal and my cardiologist is keeping very close watch on my liver function, which so far, knock on wood, has remained very minimally elevated. I wrote this only as an example that SOMETIMES, even when we try our hardest to correct a medical issue naturally, there will be times it simply is not enough and we must rely on medication for optimum health. This does not mean that you should skip any lifestyle changes you've made. I still stick to the ultra-low cholesterol diet the nutritionist put me on, but I DO cheat now and again. Which I see as one of the dangers of believing if we're taking a pill to keep the condition under control, then we can just stop trying to help ourselves…….and that's NOT how it works.

Fri, Oct 25 3:27pm · Feeling heart beat through skin in Heart Rhythm Conditions

Jadillow….your doctor took you off omeprazole, but what did he suggest you take in it's place? Is he the one who recommended the Tums? I also wonder why he is apparently not addressing your anxiety…….which is a two way street. Anxiety can lead to stomach issues and stomach issues can trigger anxiety. It's been my experience for more than 50 years that if you don't "treat" both conditions, you'll always end up back at square one. There is no reason why anyone should have to "truck through" life suffering anxiety. Between medications and therapy, it is a highly treatable condition. I know you have had a number of tests for the chest pains, and those tests were showed nothing other than the bradycardia. It has been suggested by a couple of us that you learn about this condition. Here is the link to the Cleveland Clinics site regarding bradycardia: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/17841-bradycardia
I hope you will take the time to read it so you will have a fairly complete understanding of the condition. If you have questions/concerns while reading this information, jot down questions to ask your cardiologist at your next visit. Discuss your anxiety and what can be done to alleviate it. I understand all too well how easily SOME doctors WILL dismiss anxiety as more of a "character flaw" than a very real medical issues that needs to be treated along with other conditions. Perhaps a short course of a benzodiazepam (anti-anxiety med) would benefit you in a number of ways. Most doctors are as reluctant to prescribe these types of meds now as they are of opioids. But a short course of a mild benzo for 4-6 weeks could be enough to see if your symptoms improve when the anxiety is removed from the equation. There are also many excellent books available to help you understand and deal with anxiety, and these could prove useful for you as well. Just as you joined this forum to help with your heart issues, there are many good forums that can help and support you with anxiety. I believe the Mayo Clinic also has such a forum. If not, I can highly recommend MedHelp. Your posture at work can definitely play havoc with back and neck pain. headache, eye strain and many other issues. It is recommended that if you work at a computer all day, to invest in a pair of UV blocking glasses which help with eye strain and headaches. (If you wear glasses, they have clip on lenses) I began using these as I spend hours on the computer and my migraines have decreased remarkably. They also suggest that even if you use the UV blocking glasses, that every 1/2 hour, you should take about 5 minutes and focus your eyes on the distance. Ideally, if you can look out a window is the best, but even if you just look across the room, this will give your eyes a chance to "relax" and ease the stress of what they call "tight focus," meaning staring at your screen for hours on end. You should also get up and walk around at least once an hour for the same reason they suggest you do this on a long flight. You don't have to go for a hike…….just a couple minutes walking around your office space or up and down the hallway will get the blood flowing. It's good for every system in your body. I've said this before but I'll say it again…..if you are not happy with how you are being treated by your doctor(s) both professionally and personally, find a new doctor! Look for one who has a more "integrative" approach……..someone who takes the "whole you" into the picture, not just your symptom. And in regards to this feeling in your upper back like "a fist," I suggest you bring that to your doctors attention soon. Yes, it COULD be related to your GERD or to gallbladder issues, but unless those "other folks" who have given you suggestions about what it could be are doctors, you need to see a REAL one, not someone who plays one on TV! We must be our own advocates these days and while doctors DO deserve respect, as we ALL do, respect and trust must be earned.

Thu, Oct 24 2:29pm · Feeling heart beat through skin in Heart Rhythm Conditions

Since you have seen your cardiologist as recently as this past August and he/she is NOT CONCERNED, which is entirely different than "dismissing" the issue, personally, I would be relieved. I'm going to assume they took the time to address your questions and concerns and discussed with you any changes in your condition which you need to make them aware of. You said you're on meds for your HBP, but did not say if they were giving you anything for the bradycardia. (Personally, I'm not even sure if there IS anything they can give you) You state that you have GERD, and depending on the severity of that, there are medications you can take for that. I have mild GERD and there ARE times when I get nervous wondering if it's actually cardiac related. Do they have you on a PPI for the GERD? Sometimes when I'm experiencing GERD, I take a couple swigs of Pepto-Bismol and it helps. DO NOT SELF MEDICATE WITH PEPTO UNTIL YOU'VE TALKED TO YOUR CARDIO ABOUT THIS! Pepto is, I believe, contraindicated if you are taking certain other medications. If you believe you are having gallbladder pains, you need to discuss this with your GP or even your cardio. They may advise you to have a CT done and see if there ARE stones causing the pains. I was having right side flank pain that radiated under my right shoulder blade. When I finally mentioned this to my GP, she sent me for a CT and they DID find that I have quite a few small stones in the gallbladder. Since my frequency of these "attacks" are somewhat few and far between and the pain in not horrible, the gastroenterologist said that we could postpone the surgery for now. It was a tremendous relief to know what and where the pain was coming from. I hope you will mention this the next time you see one of your doctors. Going back to your GERD issue, I simply don't know if the acid from your stomach can "make its way to your chest…." and this is another question your doctor needs to answer. I DO know that if my GERD causes stomach acid to "reflux" up my esophagus, the intense burning and pain does seem to radiate across my entire chest. It sounds to me like you have a lot of unanswered questions and concerns that are not being addressed by your doctors. Perhaps if you make a list of all these questions and concerns and GET ANSWERS for them…..this will help you. If you don't understand something, never hesitate to ask your doctor to explain it again! Your other option is to get a second opinion. If you feel your concerns are being "dismissed," and other issues are not even being addressed, assuming you've talked to your doctor(s) about them, then a second opinion would be my advice. In this day and age when we are shipped out to one specialist after another, it can become too overwhelming for us lay people to know what we should do, what we should prioritize. This happened to me and finally, near tears, I went to my GP with all my medications, diagnoses and plans of action and she understood immediately why I was so stressed out. She helped me organize, collate and put everything into perspective. When I left her office, it was the first time in MONTHS that I felt in control and it was the best feeling in the world. I hadn't realized until then how alone and anxious I had been feeling. I hope YOU have someone in your corner.

Wed, Oct 23 2:23pm · Feeling heart beat through skin in Heart Rhythm Conditions

jadillow……while the tests you've had fairly recently show good results, the fact that you are still experiencing chest pain 6 months post these tests would be of concern to me. Did they put you on any medication? Once again, I agree with Sue225 that you should read as much as you can about sinus bradycardia from RELIABLE sources like The Mayo or Cleveland Clinics. The more you understand your condition, the better able you are to discuss (and understand) this with your cardiologist. Please know that I am NOT being judgmental about your weight, but it IS a medical fact that being overweight puts a great deal of additional stress on the heart. Was losing some weight suggested as a possibility to help control your bradycardia? While my heart issues (yes…..plural) did not include bradycardia and while the extra 10-15 pounds I was carrying around was not that bad, I was still told to loose it. My weight was far less of a concern to them than was the fact I continued to smoke! How's THAT for being stupid? I still have not been able to stop completely, but I am trying VERY hard and hope to be off totally by the New Year. So, you see why I cannot "judge" you for some extra pounds when I'm sitting here puffing away……I would suggest calling your cardiologists office and talking with his triage nurse or PA. These highly trained professionals will discuss your ongoing symptoms with the doctor and a decision will be made if you should come in for any additional tests. It's a phone call you will not regret making.