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Arrhythmias possibly caused by bulimia?
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Arrhythmias possibly caused by bulimia?

Hi,

I am a 29 year old female, 5'6", have always weighed in the 140-155 lb range. No known health problems, no family history of heart problems. Somewhat active lifestyle (try to get to the gym a couple of times per week.)

Last year, all of a sudden, I started experiencing PVCs - I could clearly feel them fluttering in my chest and could feel skipped beats when I checked my pulse. I experienced three near-syncope episodes over the course of a month, and went through the whole cardiac workup - holter monitor, 2-week CardioNet event monitor, cardiac stress test, cardiac echo and cardiac MRI. The monitors found PVC's (~500 per day) and some incidences of couplets, triplets and runs of 5 or 6 PVCs. Otherwise blood flow and heart structure looked normal, and my doctor recommended no treatment. I still feel the PVC's everyday throughout the day, and sometimes feel a bit lightheaded, but am happy to ignore these if I'm sure that they are not posing a serious health risk.

My question is related to bulimia - during middle/high school and college I struggled pretty seriously with bulimia, totaling roughly 10 years of my life. I was in a regular pattern of bingeing/purging (usually once per day). At some point after college, I read about how dangerous this can be to the heart, and it scared me right out of the habit. I've never done it again (it's been about 5 years) and will never do it again.

I'm wondering if the arrhythmia I'm experiencing may be somehow related to my history with bulimia? I've read that electrolyte imbalances associated with bulimia can lead to heart arrhythmias, but shouldn't my electrolyte levels be normal now? Is it possible for heart arrhythmia to be induced 4-5 years after overcoming bulimia? And if so, is it possible that my heart is structurally damaged in some way that possibly wouldn't show up on a cardiac MRI, but which may present a serious risk factor for cardiac death?

thanks,
Jennifer
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230125_tn?1193369457
It is unlikely that your PVCs now are caused by eating problems 5 years ago.  I think guilt/fear my be getting the best of you and making you worry.  If you have PVCs and a structurally normal heart and your doctor is comfortable with what is going on, I don't think you need to worry.  This is where a second opinion might help put your fears to rest.  If the doctors agree that you are low risk, you are probably low risk.

I hope this helps.
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I am 29yrs old and have suffered from bulimia for aprox. 10 to 15 yrs off and on it has progressively gotten worse over the last few yrs i am experiencing rapid heart beat dizziness and such the rapid heart beat is constant now i just went for an EKG and my Dr. said that I also had an enlarged upper chamber and has referred me to a cardiologist neither doctor knows I'm bulimic what does all this stuff mean? What is going on with my heart?
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