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Arrythmia when lying on left side
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Arrythmia when lying on left side

Hi,  I have been noticing that I experience heart arrythmia whenever I lay on my left side at night.  I am 52years old, and have high blood pressure, for which I take Diovan 320 once a day.  My dad died from coronary artery disease and a blood clot that was loosened during a heart cath.  He had had quadruple bypass surgery, as well.  I had a heart cath that turned out normal two years ago...Do you have any idea why my heart does this when laying on my left side?  Thanks!  Tina Blackwell, Columbia, S.C.
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74076_tn?1189759432
Hi Tina,

Many people experience the sensation of increased heart pounding when they lay on their left side.  When you are lying on your left side, gravity pulls your heart closer to your chest wall and makes it easier to feel the beats.  Just about anyone that feels the left side of their chest in the right place will feel their heart beat and this sensation is increased when lying on the left side.

If you think this is more than just an increased sensation, I would suggest a EKG while on your left side or a holter monitor to try and record the rhythm.

I hope this answers your questions.  Thanks for posting.
17 Comments
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61536_tn?1340701763
Hi there.  A lot of doctors will tell you that you feel an irregular heartbeat when you're on your left side more because it puts your heart closer to your ribs or something like that.  I say maybe, but my cardiologist said the same to be and I have surprised him a couple of times when he does my echo testing and sees for himself that I actually DO have more ectopics on my left side.

As does my mother, my sister and others I have talked to.  Mine are PACs.  I can get just a couple or a whole run of them.  Calming down before bed, starting out on my right side then turning left later, or sitting up for a few minutes all seem to help.  Holter monitor also saw it, but in my case it's nothing abnormal, just ectopic beats.

I'm 28, and I started noticing this was happening when I was in my early 20s.  My mom is 57, and she says it's been that way since her 20s also.  If it concerns you, a Holter monitor could show what it is.
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97628_tn?1204465633
To my understanding, the heartbeat is commonly going to feel more pronounced when lying on the left side. You will note that for echocardiograms they have you lie on the left side.I suppsoe this brings the heart closer to the chest wall? If you go to the archives here, and type in PVC, you will find a lot of info there as this question has been answered several times on the forum.
A Holter monitor test could tell you what type of beat it is.
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Avatar_n_tn
Durn burn it, I cannot come up with the reference right now, but I remember reading in a physiology textbook (Ganong, maybe?)  that if you take a bunch of healthy young medical students, wire them up, and have them lie in various positions, many of them will show pvcs on the EKG, but a fair percentage of those will toss more pvcs when they roll onto their left sides.

But, as I say, I can't document where I read this, so take it with a grain of salt (or potassium, or magnesium).
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84483_tn?1289941537
Well I must be an anomaly, on the contrary I get less palps when i lay on my left side, though I hear most people that suffer with palps feel them more in this position. I do have mild/moderate pectus excavatum, I wonder if it is because of my chest being sunken that when i turn on my left side it makes me less heart aware. An electrophyiosologist told me from 1987 that what made me more aware of my heartbeat was probably because of the pectus excavatum. Strange though both of my sons has pectus excavatum slightly more severe than mine,though mine has gotten better with age, yet both are not heart aware like me.Very interesting!

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Avatar_f_tn
How do you know what you're feeling is arrhythmia? has it been documented on a holter? or do you have previous history? your pulse might just be increasing due to the pressure and blood volume shift, kind of similar to what you see in sinus arrhythmia.
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21064_tn?1309312333
Hey!!

I've been on hiatus for awhile....needed a break : )

I've also been told I have pectus excavatum and that it is kind of common with mvp.  I tend to feel the pvcs a bit more on my left side than on my right.  No explanation for it though : )

Hope you are well!

connie
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Thanks so much to everyone who posted!  I appreciate it!  I have had a lot going on lately, so not having to worry about this thing helps a lot...
I have been having a lot of trouble keeping my blood press. normal, even with taking Diovan 320.  One day my b.p was 169/113 with the medicine!  I am losing handfuls of hair and staying completely exhausted no matter how much rest I get.  I have Fibromyalgia and Osteoarthritis and Sjogren's Syndrome.  Between the three, I literally hurt all over, all the time.  My feet, especially, feel like someone is beating them with hammers almost all the time, as do my legs, hips, and arms. None of the anti-inflammatories, including "Mobic" help much at all.  I can never see a difference no matter what they give me to take.  And, after a short while, everything I take either hurts my stomach, or my kidneys, or makes my blood pressure go up.
I have also had unbearable acid reflux, which the traditional meds. did not help.  I am now on "Aciphex", which is helping some, but my gastro doctor actually thinks that the dryness produced by my severe Sjogren's may be really irritating my esophagus and stomach!  My eyes stay so dry even with the moisturizing drops that I have to "pry" them apart when I wake up!  I get up at least 3 times a night just to drink water to relieve my sore, dry throat.
So, a lot is happening...Please say a prayer for me...I am only 52, and my husband and I have custody of our 8 yr. old granddaughter, so I need to feel better.  
Anyway, thanks again to all of you...God bless you all...Tina Blackwell, Columbia, S.C.
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Sounds like ur goin through a very rough time! im sure everyone here will pray for you :) i hope you get to feeling much better soon!
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It sounds like more than a full plate, Tina!  

As a person with Dry Eye myself, I might suggest that during the night, you try Lacri-Lube or a similar product, which comes in a tiny little tube.  It's way heavier than the drops, being partly petrolatum, and doesn't dry out at night.  Some people try to use it lightly during the day, but I find that it blurs my vision then.  It's pretty good stuff for really dry eyes.
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hi there
i too am sufering frm these symptoms.
mine is ..  wierd..
i get my skipping of the heartbeats/ mainly.. when after eating food. in fact always after food. ard an hour or so that last for a few hours.. the.. so called extra heartbeat/
and then i can digest my food my tummy really has this cramping feeling and soon i get the heart skipping/pausing feeling at night,
i have done a trial test on a poretable ecg meter and its came out with
sinus arrthmia  and ventricular bigenemy.

the past two nights and days have been super super bad that i have taken medical leave..
i have a super bad flu. its yellow in colur.  could it have made my heart missing a beat even worse ? casue its really scary that i break down.

so far i went for ecg readings and  a blood test and an ex ray and the cardiologist says  eveything is ok.no chest pain also.
over here the echo and stress tests cost a bomb.. and i cant afford them.
one more thing.. whenever i climb up a flight of stairs and move or run.. my heart speeds/races up alot. its soo scary.. and if its a short distance. my heart skips the beat..its really put me to a point where i dare not mvoe roo much.
i get these racing heartbeats/racing and hard heartbeats. when after i coem out of a warm shower. or after lunch frm  my air conditioned office into the hot sunny weather of singapore/.. after meals expecially..  geezx.. any help pls.. i am afraid if i continue with these.. i might loose my job..
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61536_tn?1340701763
I know you didn't direct your question to me, but I know when I have an arrhythmia because I can feel each beat.  Most people rely on symptoms like fluttering or dizziness to know anything is wrong.

When I was in the hospital (throwing very frequent atrial AND ventricular ectopics) I called them as they happened.  I kept saying, "There was a PAC.  PAC.  There went a PVC.  Oh, an atrial couplet.  Whee!"  My nurse was so puzzled that I called PACs and PVCs and couplets without missing a beat that she called in other nurses to witness my "talent", lol  They were looking around the room to see if I could somehow see the monitor, but I was calling them a hair before they actually showed up on the screen too.

Good to know I have SOME talent, hehe.
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Avatar_f_tn
Yah i understand.. ive had SVT for years, like 3-4 episodes a day, lasting hours until i had an ablation in april..Always after i ate too..i was so scared to eat i got down to under 90 lbs. im so sensative to the feeling, but for someone whos not used to it, it can be hard to distinguish the difference between sinus tach and svt.. i can only tell the dif because i have a ton of pvc's when im in svt, and i can feel my pulse in my neck.. creepy! Do you have svt too?
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Collegegirl143, Hello, I talked to you awhile back on my SVT that I got diagnosed with.  You mentioned you had SVT but got it ablated and I know your really happy with it.  How long did you have SVT and did your medicines not help you at all?  I know what you mean about knowing when your in SVT, because it throws the pvc's, in my case it throws pac's, but I can tell them when it's different.  But, do you think someone can be in sinus tach at rate 170 and have pac's?  I am just hoping that maybe they misdiagnosed me.  I am having another Dr. look over the holter monitor strips to see if they think it was svt too, but either way I was in tachycardia.  Anyways, did you try meds first, I just started Inderal last week, and I'm trying to work through my anxiety, because my tachycardia is anxiety/adrenaline induced, so I am having a hard time adjusting to this.  I called the Electrophysiologist here and asked them if I should be seeing him instead of my regular physician, and they said they always try their patients on meds first before jumping into the ep study and ablations.  So for now, I'm doing what they would do too.  I don't like living in this fear, even though they keep telling me I'm perfectly healthy and fine.  Any advice on this?  Even if I eventually do the ablation, I have to get insurance first, and then wait a year for the preexisting condition to go through.  It costs about $35000 here.  (We are flat broke.)  What was the procedure like?  And, are you still having hard conditions now?  Take Care, Michelle

ParanoidAndre, Hello, I would suggest you go get a 30 day event monitor.  Everything you described is what I have been going through for a couple years, and my EKGs, last few holters, Echo, blood work all showed up normal.  But my heart races bad after a hot shower, or going out in the heat, or climbing stairs, and of course for me having anxiety attacks or getting stressed.  Anyways, they kept telling me I was fine, it was anxiety, and they just found two episodes finally last month on a holter of SVT.  So, maybe just to set your mind at ease, ask for a 30day monitor, that way it will catch what your episodes are and then you will know one way or the other.  Good luck.  Michelle
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I had episodes of SVT periodically starting at age 8, but they started becoming more frequent at 19, and started happening 3-4 times a day almost exactly a year ago. I tried Toprol once, but it gave me horrid nightmares. My EP is a new school doctor and he was not interested in medicating me whatsoever. He said my case of SVT was the worst he had ever seen (pulse around 250, sustained for hours everytime i ate) my weight got down so low because i was so scared to eat that my life was in jeapordy, so he just gave me the toprol to take while waiting for my ablation. The first time i ever saw him, he took one look at my chart, told me to find a new cardiologist because i should have been referred to an EP months ago, and schedualed me for an ablation a week and a half later ( the waiting list is over 2 months long but i was an emergency case)

You can definatly have sinus tach at 170 and be throwing pvc's.. Ive many MANY times been told im in SVT while on an EKG, only to be told later by a doctor that when the waves where looked at, i was NOT in svt.. In my EP study they also noted that my heart is very sensative, to adrenaline, medications, pretty much anything, so i know how you feel when you say you're sensative to adrenaline and stress. The best thing i can tell you is you arent going to die from this. Its hard to accept when it feels so awful, but there is hope and you can be cured :)

The EP study and ablation werent that bad. I was more scared than anything, and i really dont remember much. Its a little scary when you first go in and arent sedated yet, and they're sticking cold metal defibrillators on you and tying your arms down, but once they give u the happy juice its all good :) I dont remember anything except for once they induced my SVT, i woke up like a shot, tried to sit straight up , got jerked back down by restraints and started yelling at the doctor "thats it thats it now make it stop!" he said "i know hunny im the doctor" and the nurse pushed me back down and gave me more sedatives (i was so anxious they gave me almost double the ammount of sedatives they have to give "normal" people.) The only problem i had was bleeding. I had a really inconsiderate nurse who tried to move me an hour before she was supposed to because the out patient center was closing, and i started bleeding from my femeral artery. she wasnt paying attention to me and didnt notice i was bleeding until i was unconsious and in shock on the bathroom floor. DONT LET THAT STOP YOU THOUGH. my experience is by FAR the exception and not the rule, and ide do it again in a second. I havent had another episode of svt. i feel great. If meds work for you, thats great, but ill always advocate ablation just because its a cure and not a cover up, like beta blockers (which are notoriously unreliable.) Good luck, any more questions just lemme know!
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Avatar_n_tn
I had an experience similar with CG143's.  I was catheterized twice, and had a fair amount of bleeding both times.  The original arrhythmia has been eliminated as a result of the ablation, but has been replaced by something far less imposing (ectopics and short runs).  I agree that the ablation for SVT is definitely worth considering, and that the experience isn't that bad.

I doubt there is much out there to tell us how common these sorts of experiences are (eg bleeding and complication rates).  Probably the thing to learn from such experiences is that once you opt for an electvie procedure that carries risk, you can minimize your chances for problems by exercising your choices --- doctor and support staff.

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Avatar_n_tn
I began to develop PVCs in about 1999 at age 71. These were slight and unnoticable except during EKG. They became progressively worse, even chaotic. Quite worrisome. My internist and cardiologist said there was no effective treatment. I remembered that I began taking "Mobic" at about the time these symptoms began, so I decided to stop taking this med. The PVCs began to diminish and now haven't been evident for about 3 months. My internist is puzzled. Anybody got a parallel experience with "Mobic"?
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