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Exercise-induced bigeminy postpartum
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by kkirk, Feb 28, 2010
I have been a lifelong distance runner and casual athlete.  I just turned 40 last month and am 14 weeks postpartum (easy pregnancies and labors).  

I ented a kinesiology study at my university and took a stress test as part of that study and it showed a bigeminy pattern after 6 minutes of exercise (I was at about 50% Vomax); the test was ended and I was back to a normal rhythm in less than a minute and my heart rate and blood pressure came down quickly as well.

The arrhythmia occurred after several nights of poor sleep and an 11-week chest cold.  It was completely asymptomatic for me, and I am a generally very healthy person.  I had not consumed caffeine or cold medicine before it occurred.  My QTc seemed normal.

I didn't think this anomaly was that significant, but the docs around me seem concerned.  I've had a 24-hour Holter monitor test and an echocardiogram, both of which they said were OK, and just took a CT angiogram (don't know results).  I realize that postpartum cardiomyopathy could be a possibility, but this has been ruled out for me.  I've been banned from all exercise, even walking (!), until I see a cardiologist this week.  

What else are the docs looking for as a cause of the bigeminy and should I be as concerned as they appear to be?  Or are they just being cautious?  It's difficult for me not to exercise at all, and I want to know if I should be more concerned than I am.
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by cindy707, Feb 28, 2010
Hey read your post.......bigeminy is pretty simple in theory it means that your heart beats one normal/one early and the docs are just being cautious i am sure in limiting your physical activity until a heart doc sees you to evaluate if he/she needs to put you on some sort of beta blocker or simply an aspirin a day i am sure.  I am sure what they are looking for is just to make sure that you have no underlying situation going on with your heart and this is just exactly what it is.  It is pretty common when someone has bigeminy that at times untreated it can set off a series of other things during lite/heavy physical activities so the docs are just be cautious to make sure it is just what it is....trust me if that doc thought there was anything super crazy going on with you you would not be posting from your computer no doubt it would be from a hospital bed  while they did major evaluations....so to me that is a good sign. I would just wait till your appt. this week and see what the heart doc says....it is a pretty common occurance believe or not so i wouldn't be too concerned until a heart doc tells you to....i would just think of this as just another check up at the docs and nothing more for now........good luck
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by kkirk, Mar 01, 2010
Thanks for the reply.  This is what I've been thinking too and was only getting a bit alarmed by the pace at which they were doing tests and the restrictions placed on me...I really think they only suspected postpartum cardiomyopathy, and now that this is out of the picture, I'm hoping that will be the end of it once i see the cardiologist this week...

As a mother of a 3-month old, I certainly do not want to hear that there is anything wrong with my heart!