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Left Bundle Branch Block
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Left Bundle Branch Block

I am a 48 year old woman who just had an ECG done that showed Left Bundle Branch Block.  I think the doctor ordered the ECG to ease my mind because of what I went to see him for really had nothing to do with my heart, but I thought it did.  My symptoms were pain, tingling, numbness, and a feeling of a tight constraint around my left arm.  I had been seeing a chiropractor for several years due to neck pain and was told all the arm pain was related to that.  I have been continually reassured that I am not having a heart attack or have a blocked artery.  Today's ECG sheds a different light on this. Now I am more worried than ever. I take Hyzaar for mild hypertension and K-Dur because my potassium level was very slightly below normal.  I do not exercise the way I should, am overweight, and alas...smoke.  I am not your model patient, but after today, things will change.  Even though the doctor hasn't even seen the ECG report yet, I know that I must change my lifestyle and will make every effort to do so.  My question is this:  Is it too late?  Has my notice to the Big Guy been given?
Tags: block, Heart, Smoking, test, Heart Attack
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Avatar_n_tn
Dear snodeo,
Based on what you have told me I wouldn't turn in your resignation letter yet.  The left bundle is a part of the heart's electrical conduction system and block in the bundle branch can occur for a number of reasons.  It does not always mean that there are blockages in the coronary arteries or that you have had a previous heart attack.  Quitting smoking is a good idea anyways so if this will help convince you then I would encourage that.  

I probably would recommend seeing a cardiologist.  He/she may recommend some heart tests such as an echo or a stress test depending on your history and other findings.  In the meantime I wouldn't become overly alarmed by this finding.
8 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi,

I'm not a Doctor, but It's my understanding that someone with a left bundle branch block can look forward to a normal life span.

I also have a left bundle branch block, it was detected in 1990. I'm a 54 year old male, and lead a very active and normal life.

I'm sure your Doctor will put your mind at ease once he reviews your test results.

God Bless
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you.  Your response was very much appreciated.  I'm sure I will hear from my doctor in the next couple of days, but until then, I will carry your comments with me and not dwell.  Besides, the new membership at the gym and those walks my husband and I promised the dogs will keep me busy.  Now if I can find a way not to do serious bodily harm to mankind while I try to quit smoking, I should be all set.  Once again, thanks.
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Avatar_n_tn
Many people with LBB live normal,long lives.I would take the diagnosis as aift(I know that sounds strange) and recongnize the fact that continued smoking and being overweight is not a health way to treat my body.Sometimes with the weight reduction and not smoking the blood pressure may go down.Get your physician to send you to a nutritionist who can help you get the weight off safely and keep it off.Also if you are a member of a health club or gym ,investigate if they have personal trainers.They can be pricy but with what you'll save in no cigatrettes it could pay their fee.I am not trying to be condesending.,Iam a former smoker who has not smoke for 20 years,just put them down because of health reasons.Good luck,this really is a gift from your body.
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Avatar_n_tn
the worst thing that could happen (i would think) is that you might end up with a pacemaker....and still live a normal healthy life.
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Avatar_n_tn
I would just like to say thank you to all those who answered my questions and gave support.  Since my posting, I have heard from my doctor who scheduled an echo and a stress echo.  I will have these done on April 1st.  (Uh...this better not be some kind of an omen or anything).  He also reassured me that I will have many years left to apologize to my husband and kids for putting them through hell while I quit smoking. Once again, thank you for the support and I will post an update in April.
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Avatar_n_tn
http://heartdisease.about.com/library/weekly/aa020101a.htm

This will take you to an excellent discussion on LBBB written by DrRich, an electrophysiologist from Pittsburgh, PA that has helped me better understand the condition.
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Avatar_n_tn
A Rn in 11/94 I made a quick trip to my gp before second shift in mom/baby. My husband insisted that my cough was more than the bp med I was on. After a couple of test my gp said "you are in heart failure". Knocked me off of my feet. I was sent the hosp. immediately for test which revealed a dialated cardiomyopathy. My ejection fraction at hosp was 17% which improved over a couple of years to 47%. We seem to be in a decline now as recent test before ovarian surgery read 21%. I have the LBBB. I don't now if that is the cause or the result of CHF. My cardiologist said that I might be a candidate for the biventricular pacemaker. I have seen some on this device on the net. Does anyone have any comment. I battle lipid levels constantly with med. I am on disability and at this point it is a slow go. Advise. Thanks.
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