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Avatar universal

Abnormally slow heart rate 39bpm

I'm a college student and I just had a physical as required by my study abroad program. Everything was fine except for my heart rate. It was abnormally slow at 39bpm and 37bpm. They wouldn't sign my medical form and I have to see a cardiologist.

I'm a 20 year old male, 5'10 and a half, 147 pounds. I exercise a ton, basketball, weightlifting, and have always been known for my great stamina. Eat extremely healthy. No health problems.

What I didn't tell my physician was that I'm a daily marijuana smoker. And I didn't tell her how much I drink. Usually I drink no more than 2-3 nights a week, but I just came off a huge bender in which I drank Friday and Saturday, got really drunk  Monday and Tuesday, got really drunk Friday and Saturday, drank Sunday, got pretty drunk last night. Lastly, I ate mushrooms on Saturday, which I hadn't done in about 6 months. It might also be worth pointing out that I haven't smoked marijuana since Thursday and don't plan on doing so for a little while longer, probably another week or so. Also, about 3 months ago I started taking adderall occasionally to study, probably about three times every two weeks, usually 30 mg extended release, sometimes two 5 mg instant release.

They gave me an EKG and there were no irregularities with my pulse. It's just slow.

So I have two questions: What's wrong with my heart, if anything? And can I tell my physician/the cardiologist about my recent drug use? I don't want my parents to find out, and I don't want my insurance to go up. But of course I want to make sure there's nothing wrong with me.

Please help, and thanks so much.
2 Responses
612551 tn?1450022175
COMMUNITY LEADER
Sounds to me like you need to give your body a couple of weeks of "healthy" living and seeing if your heart condition improves.

I understand both alcohol (maybe the same for weed) is a depressant, that may help account for your low HR.   On the other hand, you talk about a lot of aerobic activity (sports etc) which may account for a lower rest HR.  People who regularly do aerobic exercise frequently have lower rest HR.

Do you know what your history of HR is?
Avatar universal
Smoking pot and drinking 2-3 times a week won't have much affect if any at all on you. You are 20 and extremely fit, I take it. The pot will do nothing for you if it doens't have any other stuff in it. Definitly quit someday because there's a lot of tar in it and you don't want lung cancer. The alcohol is also something to keep an eye on longer term but you are are student, right? That's what you are supposed to be doing at 20. The pot and drinking would increase your heart rate if anything. That's unlikely to be the cause.
You should definitely get checked out but I'm pretty sure you are fine. When I was 20, I was outpacing you in the 'extracaricular' activities and would probably still have run laps around you (was a D1 athlete), no offense. Point is, my heart rate was always in the very low 40s or high 30's. I was off the charts by several cardio metrics my university physio team conucted on me but it was because I was very fit, not because I had a sick heart.
Warning though: I'm not sure what caused my arrhythmia over the past 2 years (am 28 now) but continued heavy drinking and enormous stress coudn't have been helpful. Take care of yourself and pay attention to what your body tells you. You'll someday start to recover more slowly the next day and this is the point where you start doing damage, I think.
Be honest with your doc. They will not tell the insurance companies. You'd be surprised how many docs used to do drugs...all my doctor friends have at least smoked pot.
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