By flowders1 | 16 hours
I think I am losing my mind! A while ago I started experiencing very hard palpitations which I chalked up to a stressful job. Now that I have retired, I am home a lot and have noticed that the palpitations are getting worse. the strange thing is they only seem to occur when I am sitting down. They are so strong that I started monitoring my bp and pulse with a meter that I was given. The readings are all over the place and I only take them when I am relaxing in my easy chair because that is when it all seems to start. Usually what I notice is an elevated pressure with a low pulse rate. I historically do not have high blood pressure. On the other hand, I also get readings with low bp and high pulse. These readings range anywhere from 95/60 with heart rate of 101 to 196/98 & 47 beats/min. it is now starting to happen while I am driving. I can feel, see and sometimes hear my heart beat. It is maddening! I have had normal ecgs just recently and a great stress echo about a year ago. What is going on?! I have recently changed my diet and have been losing weight rapidly, could this be part of the cause? Diet - High fiber, gluten free, anti-inflammatory, diabetic, high protein, no processed foods.
OK, first, your heart has.been checked out and found to be healthy.
Second, everyone--that is to say EVERYONE--has odd, unpredictable, out-of-sequence, yet completely benign heartbeats.
The difference is that some of us have delicate nervous systems that perceive every single one. "Normal" people generally do not even notice them.
What is generally going on is this: Every cardiac cell can contract on its own, but sort of by common agreement, they all follow the lead of one particular group of cells, called the heart's Pacemaker.
However, they still retain the ability to trigger a heartbeat on their own, and if a cell or two is feeling twitchy, and the heartbeat slows down--as it does when you sit down to rest or lie down to sleep--that slowing provides the perfect opportunity for these "rogue" cells to fire one off (there is a physiological explanation for this but it is a little complicated).
The important thing is that in a heathy heart, these extra beats, regardless of their perceived strength or frequency (if under 10,000 per day), are of no medical significance. Repeat after me: "of no medical significance."
There are some medication that might, perhaps, reduce their frequency, but they have their own side effects and there are definite risks as opposed to benefits.
Before your appointment, read up on "benign premature ventricular contractions." so that you will have educated yourself.
Finally, after your cardiologist has declared you heathy (and he almost certainly will), ask him for a referral to a doc, preferably an excellent shrink, who deals with anxiety about heart worries.
Right now, you will find it hard to believe, but experience has taught me that this is the quickest and cheapest way to rid yourself of concentrating so hard on what your heart us doing that you lose out on enjoying life.
Actually, I am enjoying life more than I ever have. The only drawback has been the onset of these "symptoms." I do not have an obsession with my heart rate, I was trying to find out if I should pursue it any further. Are you a doctor?
For the most part the members of this forum are not doctors. Once in a while a doctor will jump in to offer advice but there is actually a Doctors section where you can post for professional advice. You can also try the heart disease section as there seems to be more doctors stopping by that forum than the heart rhythm section. If your issue is simply a heart rhythm issue then you probably do not have anything to be concerned about as the previous poster stated, however, A bp of 198 systolic is really at the danger zone. BP in general is not an indicator that one will all of a sudden have a cardiac event like a heart attack or stroke but a pattern of very high bp does need to be managed. The fact that the bp is accompanied by a very slow pulse may be why it is happening, but a slow pulse in general is not necessarily considered dangerous, even if there is a block involved. If you are not having severe chest pain or passing out from the slow pulse it may not be an issue. Men in particular can have slow pulses and if you tend to slow normally it could be that when it elevates it feels extreme to use because you are not use to it being at 100. Are you on any bp meds? I would say your diet may have thrown your system off a bit and it could wind up regulating itself once your body is use to the new diet especially if you are exercising as well but considering the wild fluctuations in bp and pulse I would consider following up with your doctor telling them what you have been tracking and maybe trying a 30 day monitor to catch what your heart is doing when it is beating at the extreme ends of normal. The good news is your echo was clean so your heart is likely not damaged at this point but it probably prudent to investigate why you are having such fluctuations in bp and pulse to make sure there aren't any issues with clogged arteries or anything like that. If it seems out of the ordinary for you then it always seems best in my experience to get it investigated. It is better to be told there is nothing wrong then to be sorry you didn't get it checked out sooner. Good luck and feel better soon.
"...I started monitoring my bp and pulse with a meter that I was given"
"...I can feel, see and sometimes hear my heart beat. It is maddening! "
"...I do not have an obsession with my heart rate..."
For decades, I have been employed as a "reader" in human anatomy and physiology classes, which means that if you took these classes at the university level in my city, there is a very good chance that I would be reading and correcting your exams.
But I am not a doctor. I only read students' answers carefully for content.
Thank you so much for your explanation! It was very helpful. I am new at this, so please bear with me until I catch on better. I actually thought I was posting to the doctors on my 2nd and 3rd attempt.
My father had his first heart attack at 37 and my mother died two years ago of a massive hemorrhagic stroke. She lasted 4 days afterward and it was a horrible death. Given that history I am a little more vigilant with my own health lately. I am not on any bp meds but have to take a low dose aspirin a day. I have been getting things that have been bothering me for a while checked out lately. As a result I have just found out that I also have some neurological injury and an ulcer, Yippee. I have also been ignoring this problem for quite a while, so I thought I would ask about it. Thanks again for your reply!
To be honest I thought you put it there. Maybe someone who manages the site can let you know. I am not sure why it showed up on yours as I haven't seen it before on any other posts. Well I would say if you have a family history of heart disease I would push for further investigation just to be sure. I did mean to ask when you take your bp do you see an irregular beat symbol on the result? If you have an irregular beat it may throw off the reading. But regardless I don't think it would read as high as the 190s so please do go and get that checked out. One other thing I will say is stomach issues can aggravate the vagus nerve which can send signals to the heart causing it to act up. I do not have bp issues but will get ectopic beats, pacs and pvcs from my stomach issues. So though I think it important to follow up about your bp I think it is also possible that this is all being aggravated by your stomach so address the ulcer as well and you may see improvement. Good luck at the doctors and keep us posted on how you are. take care.
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