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heart rhythm and bananas, am I crazy?
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heart rhythm and bananas, am I crazy?

I am a 60 year old female who takes metoprolol 50 mg for high blood pressure. Ever since I started taking this medication, I have a tendency to have "heart flutters" off and on throughout the day...usually just one or two "thu-thumps" each time. I find that if I eat a banana in the morning and one in the evening it cuts down these "flutters" at least 75%. If my heart "flutters" more than usual, I just eat another banana and in about an hour everythings good again. No pain...just a sense of movement in my chest. Dr. tried to change me to Terazosin but the flutters were intollerable so he put me back on Metoprolol.  My BP is high on the 50 mg of Metoprolol (169/90) so he wants to give me 50 mg Metoprolol in the morning and another 50 mg at night. I'm worried that this will increase the heart flutters. I'm so sick of bananas...I can't imagine eating even more of them. Other potassium rich foods don't seem to give me the benefit that bananas do. Any advise?
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995271_tn?1312416925
Bananas aren't as potassium rich as people believe them to be.  Other potassium rich foods are things like almonds, orange juice, green veggies.  Do a Google search, you will find tons of stuff to substitute.
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267401_tn?1251856096
Hi Coleen -

You should also consider the idea that the bananas may be the placebo effect.  It sounds like you already know that bananas contain an electrolyte important to the electrical function of the heart. But have you had your blood tested to see if you really are potassium deficient?

So you understand that I know the shoes you're walking in, I've had months where I had tens of thousands of PVCs ("flutters") all day, every day.  At one point I started drinking lemon balm tea because I'd done some online research that showed that it might help, and at the very worst it couldn't hurt.  It's supposed to calm and relax, and I know that stress is one of my triggers.  I thought I'd found the miracle cure!  Fast forward a few years, and I still drink the tea nearly every day (I like the taste), but I can miss a few days and my PVC load doesn't change.  I'm convinced that because I thought it was going to work, it worked.  But in time, that mental connection, de-stressing when drinking the tea, wore off.  I would get lots of PVCs even if I drank 8 cups of that tea.

So I would certainly see about getting an electrolyte test done, but also look at other factors that might be instigating your palpitating heart.  

Jeff
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