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irregular hearbeat post partum
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irregular hearbeat post partum

God bless you for your time!!
Normal 3rd pregnancy and 1st c-section.  Developed a-fib that night with hr of 200 bpm, felt no sxs's.  Converted on my own.  Developed it again several months later and again converted on my own.  Took Tiazac and aspirin therapy for 3 1/2 months and now taken off everything.  
Lab work normal at this point.  Twice before had low potassium (3.4?)  Passed treadmill stress test.  During echo, was told I had a very slight leak in one of the valves (thought it was because I was only 2 months postpartum), but given a "normal" result.  Most recent ekg normal.  BP 95/60 on avg. Wore 30 day loop monitor twice and found to have pvc/pac/atrial runs and heart rate from low 50's to high 120's.  Oten I feel short of breath/light headed and frequently feel I just can't get enough air, although I try to inhale very deeply.  I sometimes get winded just vacuuming the house.
Cardio P.A. believes this is likely all stress related, but I honostly do not feel stressed.  I have a wonderful, but busy life.  
Is it possible to have cardiomyopathy or an "electrical problem" and the tech student missed it during the echo?  Even developing sick sinus...?  Is this common postpartum? I am at my wits end can't help feeling something was overlooked.  Any advice on what to check for further?  I've always been very healthy and began feeling this after the pregnancy, without warning symptoms.  Requested a second opinion but was told I didn't need one/couldn't get the referral through my pcm or cardio.  In his opinion, the next step would be Zolof.
Thank you very much!!
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Hello,

Is it possible to have cardiomyopathy or an "electrical problem" and the tech student missed it during the echo?

The echo is the gold standard for looking at cardiomypathies.  I doubt a significant decrease in ejection fraction was missed.  Unfortunately the echo does not look at electrial problems.

Even developing sick sinus...? Is this common postpartum?

For someone your age it is unlikely to have sick sinus syndrome.    From what you describe, it does not sound like your holter showed sick sinus syndrome.

I am at my wits end can't help feeling something was overlooked. Any advice on what to check for further?

If your echo is ok, I doubt it is cardiac problem.  I am not sure how to explain your symptoms though, although, common things being common, symptoms related to a recent child birth would be high on my list.  We are never able to give an exact diagnosis in these circumstances.

I hope this helps.  Good luck and thanks for posting.
Thank you very much!!
11 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi,
I t sounds like you are going through what I have been for the past several months.  Mine started right after my second cardiac ablation which was the end of June.  I am 39 year old female and I also have frequent PACS - they may be related to the ablation - but I have been complaining of the shortness of breath, feeling of not being able to get a good breath unless I sigh or yawn, and generally not being able to tolerate any type of exercise without getting fatigued or short of breath.  This is really getting me down.  I had the ablation for AV nodal reentrant tachycardia which is a type of supraventricular tachycardia.  I complained of palpitations for years and they finally caught it on an EKG and was diagnosed.  I wonder if another round of the loop monitor may show something for you.  I know what you mean about the docs wanting to call it anxiety and throw you a pill - that is pretty much the respone I have been getting.  I keep telling them that anxiety is not causing my problems, the problems are causing my anxiety.  I find it hard to believe that I suddenly developed this anxiety disorder the day after my procedure. As far as not being able to get a breath - what helps me when I am able to lye down is having my head and feet propped up, closing my eyes and taking slow deep breaths through my nose - let your abdomen rise - not your chest. I hope you get some answers.  Take care and keep posting..............
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Avatar_n_tn
I developed a cardiomyopathy during my third pg (delivered Nov 05) it was dx in December, when I finally remembered to mention my tachycardia and swelling to my PCP, the echo picked up a low EF and the BNP was also elevated.  

I also had severe SOB that developed in January 06.  My bloodwork was off and showed that I had an increase in muscle enzymes consistent with a myositis or myopathy, although I never did the muscle biopsy which is the gold std for dx.  The best thing to set your mind at ease for your SOB is to have a pulmonary consult - could be something as simple as asthma for instance. I was seen during my hospitalisations and repeated in depth pulmonary function testing showed a less than 50% function and muscle weakness on expiration and inspiration.  

I would be wary of any Dr who states you do not need a second opinion.....that is one person I would be steering clear of as a medical practitioner personally.

The other thing that springs to mind is to have your bloodwork checked for blood clot risk, post partum women are more at risk than normal for clots, D dimer is classically elevated in blood clot situations - mine was but the CAT scan never picked up an actual clot.  It can also be elevated in the wks after delivery but I am not sure how much its elevated post partum and still considered normal.  Low potassium can also cause heart symptoms as you have no doubt discovered.

If all goes well and nothing else shows up, then I would try the antidepressants, even good stress can be stressful LOL.

Fiona

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61536_tn?1340701763
I had a major increase in atrial ectopics around 11 weeks postpartum, second normal pregnancy.  Otherwise, I had no symptoms.  Echo found I had a mildly decreased ejection fraction (49% from my usual 51-55%) and a very slightly enlarged end systolic measurement.  My cardiologist still called the overall report 'normal' and insists I didn't have cardiomyopathy.  Another cardiologist who studies pregnancy-related cardiomyopathy specifically says I may have had a 'marginal' one, but he can't be sure.

If your echo only showed a bit of valve leakage, I wouldn't be concerned about peripartum cardiomyopathy, especially in the absence of symptoms of it.

Hope you find some reassurance, and some relief to your symptoms.  I know it can be maddening to go through all of this.  Just be sure to eat right, sleep enough and exercise regularly...all of those seem to be key for controlling my ectopics (PACs, PSVT and atrial runs).
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi, Im due to have ablation done soon and am worried  (a) about the actual procedure...being awake while the trigger the dodgy heartbeat,and of course the procedure going wrong, and  (b) I already have tons of pac/pvc daily and wonder could the ablation cause this to be even worse ??   I was just wondering what was your experience having it done and whats your opnion now....are you glad you had it done? Thanks.
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Avatar_n_tn
hi, sorry you are havning these darn scary beats! they steal our joy in life! Just wanted to let you know that IVe had them for about 10yrs. I have six children with the first three being born naturally and the last three by c-section. I started getting them right after my first c-section which was a emergency c-section.

After each birth my heart rate can be all over from a slow beat, its like the heart is more relaxed after unloading that baby lol! to beating fast from excessive blood loss.

My last pg 7th ended in a missed m/c and I hemmoraged:.( I lost alot of blood! very scary to say the least starting that night my heart went into a tachy and stayed that way for at least a week.

After being on K tablets and high iron treatments things started to slow down, still very weak for about 2 months. Felt out of breath dr. said it was all from the blood loss. All this that you are experiencing could just be your body trying to readjust itself. My adopted sister had cardiomyopathy right after giving birth, she had several things going on too that might have caused it, her heart was the size of a football there was no way it could have been missed in a echo. She was very discolored and lethargic too, age 23yrs. For your own piece of mind get another echo so you can move on and be reassured all is really ok. If you are like me you'll stew about it and everytime you have a episode you'll think great they did miss something! I dont know why I started getting mine after my first c-section but Ive had so many test done I just have to believe and trust them.

Please take care of your self and eat right, get plenty of rest and slowly add exercise back in to your schedule, nice walks are so great and enjoyable you can take your babies along too and it relieves so much stress.

Our bodies are amazing and for us women they go thru alot! lol! but can  take time to heal, and rejuvenate itself. Im so ready for another baby blessing and praying I get to keep it. This all took a year of healing! My palps are doing much better, my body feels normal again, after being checked out and all is normal try and rest in that, although in the midst of a af episode who cannot be but anxious! I hope you have less and less of these beats so that you can enjoy your blessings! and congrats to you!

~Debbie

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Avatar_f_tn
Hi!  What do your atrial runs feel like?  I have had episodes (not in a long time, thankfully!) where I felt like I was getting palpitations over and over in a row but they've never been caught on a Holter.  I have more frequent PACs than PVCs so I'm wondering if they were brief bursts of SVT.  Hope all is well for you - I'm enjoying my time off with my daughters!  The baby is 4 weeks now and so sweet!  :)
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi Suzzie,

I hope these posts aren't scaring you.  My biggest frustration is that I had infrequent PACs before the ablation and now have them constantly.  As far as the procedure, My second was better than the first.  Believe me I was plenty anxious going into the procedure room.  I have never had surgery or an anesthetic in my life.  Just so you won't be alarmed, the first thing they do is put defibrillator pads on you as a precaution.  I really didn't worry about that much because you could not be in a safer place in case you develop an unwanted rhythm.  They also have to strap your arms and legs down for obvious reasons - you can't be jiggling around.  I am not telling you this to scare you because believe me I would rather have known before so I wasn't temporarily alarmed. As anxious as I was I was suprisingly calm after The initial sedation.  They also give you a local to insert the catheters in your groins. I experienced no discomfort at all from inserting or advancing the catheters. They gave me Fentanyl and versed for my 1st ablation, about 4 hours into the procedure I got extreme nausea and they had to give me an anti nausea med. It is a little uncomfortable (not painful) when they stimulate your heart to put it into the arrythmia.  Just remember they are controlling it and they can stop it.  Obviously my first ablation didn't work and I had my second 8 weeks later.  They gave me versed and propafol the second time - I didn't get nauseated and I didn't seem to remember much.  It wasn't bad at all.  I know it is useless to tell you not to worry - I was practically in a panic attack before the 1st ablation  - It's suprising how the sedation really makes you feel like you don't care - the panic feeling went away after about 30 seconds.  As I said, I am not trying to scare you, these were just a few things that I wish someone would have told me first.  Good luck and post if you have any other questions...
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61536_tn?1340701763
Four weeks?  Wow, I remember those first weeks.  Sleepless, but so precious and happy :)

As for atrial runs, mine have only been caught a couple of times, but they are always the same...either bigeminy (every other beat is a PAC) or short runs of paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia.  They each feel slightly different, but relatively similar.

When I get the bigeminy, it usually lasts for about 5 and 5 to 15 and 15 beats.  It usually breaks on it's own, but I can stop it by coughing hard.  The beats are usually very distinct...I can feel each part of it in my chest.  It goes thumpthumpBOOM, regular beat, thumpthumpBOOM, regular beat.

Now the PSVT is different.  It's usually triggered by a distinct PAC, then it just feels like my heart is racing.  Well, technically it sort of is.  They're a rapid firing of very "light" beats.  That's how I can tell a PAC from a PVC...to me atrial beats feel light while ventricular ones (I do get the occasional PVC, though rarely) feel heavy, like a thud.  PSVT also gives me sort of an adrenaline rush too.  Coughing hard breaks PSVT 9 times out of 10, and if it doesn't, cold water to the face is a certain cure.  I just hate that one because it drops my heart rate *very* fast and I feel a little funny from it.  I can go from 180 in PSVT to 80 in mere seconds.

Because PSVT is so fleeting, it is really hard to catch.  I tried my hardest to induce it while on a Holter - TWICE - and failed - twice.  The most I got was an atrial couplet.  Some people even fail to catch it on a 30 day monitor, so it can be frustrating to say the least.

Hope all this helps!

Glad to hear motherhood is treating you well!  My little guy just turned 9 months yesterday and he's becoming such a little boy!  I can't believe 3/4 of a year has gone by already.  Enjoy every second of that snuggly little baby, they grow too quick ;)

Btw, if you ever want to e-mail me I'm at ***@****
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi everyoone! New to this forum. I started to have irregular heartbeats after the birth of our 2nd boy. I also was diagnosed with anti-phospholipid syndrom (syndrome) during this pregnancy. My mother has been getting the same "fast heartbeat" her whole life so wondering if it's hereditary? I never have had any problems with this until 4 weeks after the birth of our 2nd boy. Went to the ER for dehydration and found my heart racing in the 130's. They did everything to slow it down, nothing see to work. Finally, after 4 doses of cardizem they sent me home. Heartrate started to slow down the minute I got home. Now I've had 4 other episodes since then. I can seem to tell when they are coming on and it feels like a "switch" or "thump" triggers the fast heartbeat. Then, the anxiety takes over and I swear it gets worse. Sometimes I have felt like a "quiver" feeling in my left breast muscle or "spasm", but then it goes away. What could all this be? I tried Zoloft for anxiety but it gave me loose bowels and I didn't care for it. I'm thinking of seeing a cardiologist today because I can't take the anxiety anymore. I'm a stay at home mom and feel I can't even be a good mom because I sit around and worry when my heart is going to race. I often even go into town and go to my in-laws house just to be around people. My huband works long hours, 60-70hour weeks, so I get nervous being by myself at home with the boys. I guess my question is should I see a cardiologist or is this something that is just post-partum related?
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61536_tn?1340701763
"I can seem to tell when they are coming on and it feels like a "switch" or "thump" triggers the fast heartbeat."

This is exactly what I get.  It sounds like "paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia", though I'm not a doctor, only a sufferer.  I also got a ton of it after the birth of my second baby.  It began around 10 weeks postpartum.  I finally went to the cardiologist after about a week of having it every day.  The rhythm is benign and not harmful, but my heart was slightly enlarged (from the pregnancy).  The two do not apparently seem to be related.
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi there, I'm having severe slow heartbeat at night most of the time and the lowest rate was at 30+. It can last from few seconds to fifteen minutes. Whenever it happens, I will feel slightly lightheaded and feels hard thud on my chest. When thru echo, holter and ECG all came back normal just some ventricular ectopic bigeminy with really low heartbeat at night. I'm really lost now don't know what I can do as the doc said it's all stress ad anxiety after birth. I have just started to have all these problem 2.3mths after giving birth. I feel so relieved finding this forum where I can share my problem. Do share your experience and thoughts :)
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