Avatar universal

Chiari and blood pressure.

Does chiari type 1 effect heart rate and blood pressure?
What is a typical heart rate and blood pressure if you are a chiari patient?
Share your data!

Best wishes!
19 Responses
620923 tn?1452915648

  Hi and welcome to the Chiari forum,

To ur question can Chiari affect heart rate and BP....yes it can, but not everyone with Chiari may have this issue....

I do not recall the numbers for myself b4 surgery, but   I know my BP was always low as the nurses and Drs always commented on it...as well as my HR....I do know my BP has changed some since surgery but still not in a typical "normal" range., but it is my normal.

May I ask have u had a CINE MRI done and do u have a Chiari specialist?
Avatar universal

I have symptoms similar to chiari type 1 but a recent MRI done with and without gadolinium came back normal.

I will still send the photos for a second opinion, so we will see what happens in the end.

I have no chiari specialist, my normal GP ordered the MRI.

I guess there are a number of conditions that can mimic chiari so I guess my diagnosis will not be so easily made.

Thanks for your answer and nice words:)
620923 tn?1452915648

  No worries....just know that some will give a "normal" on a MRI if the herniation of cerebral tonsils do not meet the criteria of 5mm's or more, but that does not mean u do not have Chiari as that is the malformation of the skull....too many do not seem to know how to determine or should I say are not using a standard methods to DX Chiari.

So, a 2 opinion is a great idea.

Yes, there are many conditions both related to Chiari and non related that can cause many of the same symptoms so we do need to rule them all out.
4760166 tn?1398357313
Hi ... what specific blood pressure / heart rate issues are you having?  For all of my adult life doctors and nurses always assume I'm a runner because my blood pressure runs so low (90s/50s) ... after my Chiari surgery, with pain medication in ICU it was 70/30 and they had to give me oxygen and TONS of saline trying to get it up (I left the hospital so puffy it was ridiculous) ...

I would tread any heart rate issue with great care .... I had a tachycardia that I didn't know about (I couldn't tell when my heart was beating 200bpm or 40) ... my neurosurgeon caught it with an oximeter and would not treat me until I had it looked at, so I ended up at a cardiac electrophysiologist (an electrician for the heart) and had an EP study / multiple ablations done.  I ended up with a medically induced sick sinus syndrome (my sinus node was ablated so much I was left in a junctional rhythm that would drop into a ventricular rhythm when I slept) I ended up with a pacemaker/ICD that I will have for the rest of my life.

My neurosurgeon did not think that my heart rate / blood pressure issues were chiari related ... but a PA kind of did, because your brainstem is responsible for autonomic functions.
620923 tn?1452915648

  I did forget to mention to also look to family medical history as well....and as I mentioned always rule out ne and all conditions that can cause the symptoms u r having...as the above poster mentions a echo or other heart related testing should be done....I had them all done to rule it out as a possibility and it is important to note not ALL Drs agree how Chiari can and does affect us, so we have to push for much of the testing.
Avatar universal
What is ne?

Do you mean that heart disease can give similar symptoms as chiari or do you mean that chiari can cause heart problems?

I have kind of normal blood pressure but only 35 in resting pulse. Bp is usually around 120/70. Sometimes little bit less.

My main problem is that my head seems so fragile; I get head pain from all kind of shaking motions and impacts. Just walking too hard on my heels gives me pain in the back of the head. And jumping is totally out of the question.

It is very strange.
620923 tn?1452915648

  ne =many....N.....E....it is a form of shorthand.....

Chiari and some related conditions can affect the heart...as Chiari can affect ne part of the body.....

Those pains u describe are typical for those with Chiari so u r not alone in how u feel.I use to always have a big fluffy bed pillow for car rides to help stabilize my head...it helped.

As for ur BP and HR u need to see a cardio Dr and keep track of it and look to family history as it can be u  have a heart issue as well, and it is possible u do not....so as far as heart disease u do have to rule it out.
Avatar universal
Thanks for your reply, very informative:).

I was at the cardiologist actually, my GP sent me there because I have these sounds of turbulence from my heart. They made a very professional impression on me and did an ultrasound check, a 24 hour ECG plus blood tests. I think most of it looked good except that they were a bit puzzled about my low pulse. I also wonder why I have so low pulse actually. That is why I wonder if it can somehow be connected to my strange headaches.

Actually, can I ask you; if the MRI now shows no chiari, what else could it be? Do you know what else could possibly cause these symptoms?

Thanks again:)
620923 tn?1452915648

  Can u tell me who said ur MRI shows no Chiari? It is possible u have Chiari but the Drs do not recognize it...as many consider Chiari an insignificant finding.

As for low BP, as I said I always had it too...seems to be something we have, but not being in the medical field I have no way to explain it except Chiari affects all of  how our body functions since it affects the spinal cord and brain stem....once that is treated, things tend to get better....my BP is higher, but still not what is considered normal...but as I said all my life it was always low.
Avatar universal

So far it was just the radiologist report saying no chiari. Actually I was checked for low intracranial pressure but then they check "brain sagging" at the same time. So I guess they checked it quite carefully. But I was thinking about sending my images to an expert in the field for a second opinion.

I know there is a chance that an expert would find something that was actually ruled out by the first radiologist. But what if he doesn't? I still have my symptoms.

That is why I am very interested in what else it could be, so that I am a bit prepared.:)

620923 tn?1452915648

  Most specialists will review the MRI on disk not the report as many radiologists may report only on what they are told to look for...and since it says no Chiari he may have been told, but may use the wrong criteria...so worth having a true Chiari specialist review ur films.

There are other conditions related  and non related to Chiari which can cause many of the same symptoms....so ruling them out is in ur best interest,
Avatar universal
Aha ok:)

Yes, I would definitely want to rule them out. Do you know where I can find a list of these conditions or something?

By the way, do you also feel like your brain is somehow loose in your skull bouncing around if you shake your head? I do. And also I become a bit dizzy only for a second if I quickly move my head.
620923 tn?1452915648

  Related conditions-  Syringomyelia (syrinx), tethered cord, ICP (intracranial hypertension).,  POTS (Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome), sleep apnea, scoliosis, disk issues,EDS (ehlers-danlos), vitamin levels should also be checked Vit D, B12, and minerals magnesium and potassium.

Non related- Lymes, Lupus, MS,

Ur heart should be checked if u r having symptoms...heart palps, etc...

Thyroid should be checked- and for auto immune type Hashimoto's Thyroiditis....free T3 and free T4, TPO antibodies, and TSH

Those with Chiari are prone to auto immune conditions and connective tissue disorders,

Yes, moving ur head too fast to one side or the other can create that sensation of being dizzy....sometimes it is just moving in general...as it can change.

Avatar universal
Is there any meds that can make the headache better? I would like to be able to drive the car again, doing sports etc without head pain, is it possible?
Butabital composition is But/Acetaminophen(Tylenol) caffeine. 50-325-40 mg tab.
I feel that everyone is different when it comes down to which medications are effective. I would suggest you see a Pain Management doctor who will be able to suggest many different options to help manage your pain.
Unfortunately, with the government crack down on opioids, a LOT of people are not able to get the medication they had previously used that enabled them to have a better quality of life!:(  I'm VERY GRATEFUL that I started seeing my Pain Management doctor 3 years ago, when my Primary Care Physician referred me to them, at the onset of the new, and in my opinion BARBARIC, opioid laws. Many doctors are fearful to prescribe opioids currently!! Many of them offer injections, of various medications, to help with pain & there are MANY different medications, other than opioids, that they may offer, which may be very effective! I have tried several different ones, injections & non opioid medications, hoping I wouldn't need to take opioids anymore. Unfortunately, that didn't happen!:(  Injections of Botox, that my horrible Neurologist believed would help my severe headaches, have left me with severe, permanent edema. I have to take 40mg of Lasix daily, to help manage the painful debilitating symptoms the edema causes. There is no cure!
I'm sharing this with everyone so that awareness is raised about some of the medications that are available, but may come with horrible, permanent side effects! It's VERY IMPORTANT to review EVERY medication that is proposed & you have all of the facts before you try them!! Unfortunately, desperate for relief, I trusted my former Neurologist & his nurse, when they told me this would work GREAT for me! He NEVER discussed any of the side effects with me & I didn't question it! I was handed a packet of information as I was being walked down the hallway, that I didn't even have time to open, just before I signed the consent form & received my injections! When the severe edema landed me in the ER, being evaluated for DVT and/or blood clots, I called my Neurologist's office the next morning to let them know what had happened & to schedule a follow up, I was told that he would be able to see me in 3 MONTHS!!!:O
Sooo...I highly suggest researching ANY new medications on your own & talk to your provider about any questions and/or concerns you may have! Unfortunately, too many patients that are desperate for relief from debilitating pain, jump on board immediately without researching, assuming the prescriber wouldn't give a medication with horrible side effects, that may put you in even more pain!
I hope this helps at least 1 patient out there from making the same mistakes I did!
I hope you are able to find a good Pain Management doctor, that will effectively be able to treat your pain!!
620923 tn?1452915648

  I personally did not find ne med that helped with the pain...sometimes I could take the edge off but if I did nething, I would feel bad for a few days after.

It is really avoiding certain activities (see the health pages for activities to avoid) and listening to ur body.

May I ask y u no longer drive a car?

I am post op almost 5 yrs and still do not drive, but reasons are different for all of us.
Avatar universal
I do drive but even the smallest bumps in the roads hurt my head. How come you don't drive?

I heard there was a drug called indomethacin that could help, have you tried it?
620923 tn?1452915648

  No,. I was not offered that drug....as I do have issues with aspirin.

I do not drive bcuz I was having drop attacks, and even post op I run the risk of still having them especially the way u have to turn and hold ur head while driving.

I have related conditions and issues that factor in to this decision by my Drs....I have a bulging disk in an area of stinosis, mild scoliosis, CCI, and TCS all of which can add to the issues not only with my neck, but my vision...I can have very blurry vision, and  have depth perception issue and night vision issues...all not a good thing in which to drive...I had the issues for yrs but like many could not find a Dr that could figure it out.

Sometimes we will have some symptoms that remain post op, and mine affect driving.
Avatar universal
I am sorry to hear that. I hope you feel well today anyway and that your symptoms are otherwise manageable:).

Thank you for your answers. They have been very informative indeed.
Avatar universal
There is only one set of "normal" vital signs. Normal BP is less than 120/70 and normal pulse is 60 to 100. There isn't a separate normal for any condition or disease. Having said that, there are conditions that can raise or lower BP and pulse. It doesn't seem unreasonable to try metoprolol,  but if you're still all over the place, you need to tell your doctor.
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