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Avatar universal

Body Position and Arrhythmia

I am continually trying to understand the cause of my arrhythmia.
I have noticed that my body position seems to bring it on.  Specifically, when I lean forward, lift objects repeatedly from the floor, lay on my side, or am sitting with a full stomach.
The common denominator seems to be a reduction of the size of the chest cavity.
Can anyone provide any insight.  My Dr. seemed disinterested in this consistency, because I did not have gurd.
20 Responses
1089281 tn?1314567514
I have had atrial fibrillation for about 12 years.  I have discovered several things that seem to trigger my afib.  Swinging an ax  or sledge hammer, lifting 30 lbs or more above my head for several times, sleeping with my hands above my head.  It seems any strenious activity above my head will do it.. other things that have cause it are: eating or drinking chocolate, coffee or tea (any thing containing caffine) also getting around cigarette smoke( nicotine) and one is tequila ...man that one will do it fast... hope you the best....I recently started taking 50 mgs of flecainide 2 times daily and it seems to be taking care of my afib episodes..have had none since he flecainde.. well did have one a doctor gave me an anesthetic that caused it but took some flecainde and got ok ... if you go to the doc or dentist dont let them give you epinphrine.. it will put you in afib also.. be sure and tell your dentist... hope this helps claytex
Avatar universal
thanks for the insight.
I am experiencing arrhythmia as I type.  CHoc and caffine today.  Nothing happebed until pizza at the end of the night.  Again body  position seems to make a difference.
This realy does suck.

Thanks again,
Avatar universal
I notice during my last 13 years with SVT, that doing something with fast movement or leaning forward to pick up something would cause a tachycardia. Laying on my left side when I sleep will almost guarantee me to have an episode ( have slept on that side of my body for years )

Now I am trying a new type of medication until my Ablation procedure, Propafenone 150mg twice a day. The dosage is rather small and going back to see my Cardiologist to get him to up the dose because it doesn't sustain me the whole day or the entire night.

Iane F.
995271 tn?1463924259
Some arrhythmias are vagally mediated, meaning it has to do with the autonomic nervous system (ANS).  The ANS innervates the heart and contributes to heart rate control.  However, attributing the sole cause of arrhythmias to the ANS is very uncommon and much debated.  

In other words, it may *indirectly* trigger an arrhythmia.  People often report that when they perform some sort of orthostatic maneuver (like standing up, bending over, doing something suddenly) their arrhythmias will wig out.  

The ANS' job is to meet these physical challenges by changing your heart rate immediately so your body is not blood-starved during the maneuver (especially your brain).  However, the ANS only speeds up or slows down the heart rate.  It does not control the heart rhythm.  The heart controls heart rhythm.  

The indirect cause is probably the heart's normal pacers reacting incorrectly to the ANS input.  Make sense?

Avatar universal
Thanks for the comments.  I was out of town for a while and just read these.  I have another another follow up with a cardiologist and will not give up looking for a permanent solution.    Thanks again.
Avatar universal
I have Pac's that are responsive relating to body position.
They seem to be brought on by substantially elevating cardiac demand,
and then the Pac's start or worsen as cardiac demand lowers. This can be either stress or exercise induced cardiac demand.

Any how once they are present, the best way for me to reduce them it to relax, breath deeply, relax the torso area, and take a comfortable walk.  If I  am lying down, they are much worse on my right side, than on my left side.

Mine are rythmic, like every 3rd of 4th beat is a PAC.  Sometimes at its worst every other beat is a PAC.  As I can relax the interval gets longer, say every 10-11 beats, and then goes away.

I heard many times that PAC's by themselves are mostly benign.

I do think that my cardiac output is lowered when these occur though, as I am an experienced exerciser, and I don't have as much energy when these occur.
Avatar universal
hello buddy,
I strongly believe that your problem is not your heart, but it's in your abdomen that pushes up the diaphragm and triggers your heart, which is in my opinion exactly what happens to me. investigate your abdomen!
I would like to keep in touch with you if possible so we can share our progress and help each other with the diagnosis.
my skype: mycelticwings
regards from northern Italy
Its well known that hiatus hernia can press on the vagus nerve and cause this.mine started after not during lifting
Avatar universal
I am 4 weeks out of surgery for a hiatus hernia.
I will be posting the progress as time goes on.  
A nurse told me that the palms may go away as the healing continues.
Avatar universal
What are PACs?  I get arrhythmia when I get back into bed and lie down after getting up during the night for the toilet.  It seems as if the lying down again triggers them.  They are either gaps in my regular rhythm and /or double beats every changeable number of regular ones.  Any comments appreciated.
1464004 tn?1384135733
PAC is just like PVC except the premature beat starts in the atrium rather then the ventricle. Just as in PVC in a structurally sound and otherwise healthy heart they are benign.
212161 tn?1537894445
I have pacs to been recorded,

I can lay on left side and don't get flutters, mine really don't seem to be like everyone elsa

Mine come and go no matter what, stress,sick etc they don't follow that, when I am at my best they can show up, I can't find any trigger points

Mph, is yours like that?

Avatar universal

Your symptoms seem to be very similar to mine. I have no problems when doing exercise like running or bicycling but if lifting heavy items or pulling things when leaning formard if feel instant discomfort and arrytmia. If standing up I feel fine, but if sitting down for a while I experience very frequent extra beats (every second beat) and lying down is even worse (arrytmia starts instantly, but somewhat better if lying on my right side). I have been thinking abour the same diagnosis as you obviuosly had - some type of a hernia. I have done several cardiac check-ups with normal findings exept very frequent extra beats. I wonder how they progressed with your diagnostic work-up to find the diagnosis.

Per from Sweden
1423357 tn?1511085442
I think this is a fairly common phenomenon. I use to sometimes initiate an SVT event merely by twisting my torso such as done when getting out of an automobile.  I would also gets skips when bending over to reach for something.  This went away with my cardiac ablation.  Always curious, I wondered why this was happening, so I asked my cardiologist.

He told me that due to variations in anatomy from one person to the next that some are more prone to premature beats and runs of arrhythmia due to position. Your position in bed, bending forward at the waist, and stooping or squatting, often serve as triggers, but will vary from time to time, depending on many trivial factors. He didn't say what those factor were though.

One thing he did tell me though was that it wasn't about by compressing a nerve. While nerve tissue is  involved, \cardiac nerve tissue can't be compressed or pinched.  It only reacts to internal "touching."  Twice in my life, SVT was initiated by a cardiac catheter touching the internal wall of my heart.  The last time was during my electrophysiology procedure.

My cardiologist went on to say that a structural abnormality such as mitral valve prolapse or a thickened left ventricle or septum, myocardial hypertrophy could cause this.

Physicians will often choose to not medicate this due to the intermittent and non-threatening nature of the problem.  But if anxiety is high, one of the various beta blockers can be prescribed to lessen the problem.
Avatar universal
agree with you , dr would laugh, but i think you are onto something about the reduction in chest cavity, always have a full stomach  or have laid down with afib hits me
Avatar universal
I just had my first shock since getting an ICD in August of 2015, and also agree that the problem seems to be set into motion when I've just bent over or had a full stomach.  The dizziness came then almost blacked out b fore the ICD shocked my heart back into rhythm.  Am very interested in th connection between these two or three things to prevent future problems.  
Avatar universal
I hear you and i sympathize with you. You can let your doctor know your triggers but if your doctor doesn't have an interest the hell with him and find a doctor that takes your research seriously. You know your body best and the truth is many doctors think its in our heads. Find a dr that has a genuine role to your health. ABSOLUTELY different body positions effect your arrhythmia .
I have read some research papers reporting cases in which tumor growth in the upper part of the liver, and compressing the atrium of the heart, causing arrhythmia.
Avatar universal
It's worthwhile to try to understand the cause of ectopic beats, for it's worthwhile to try to understand any mystery.

However, no one truly understands (as yet) what causes these strange heartbeats.  It has been shown that changes in position have some influence. One study of young, male medical students demonstrated that in bed, shifting from lying on the right side to the left was associated with more ectopics--at least for a few minutes.

In healthy people with clinically normal hearts, there seems to be no health risk with ectopic beats.  None.

So the takeaway is this:  Even with irregular beats, is your life actually compromised?  Can you walk where you want to go without fainting, throwing up, or bursting into drenching, ice-cold sweat?  Can you chase your kids around?  Can you walk upstairs carrying your groceries?

If so, do your irregular beats really matter?
Avatar universal
I have exactly the same symptoms. I am somewhat reassured  to hear I am not the only one! I have good ECG and USG results and my cardiologist was sceptical to believe me ...
Avatar universal
It’s a vagus nerve issue you could have a hernia, GERD, or a misaligned vertebrae causing nervous system issues ie the vagus nerve. I have GERD and the vertebrae issue and I am so much better once seeing a chiropractor who’s specializes in the nervous system and a Gastro doctor. Please consider this it could could be life changing.
Avatar universal
Many cardiologists and doctors are self employed so they will not tell folks the complete truth out of obvious interests of commerce, especially if you can repeatedly go see them for medications and consultation without solving your problems. What you are ecperiencing is likely the Vagus Nerve, which is the long nerve that runs from the brain to heart and to the stomach. Any adjustments in posture triggers this injured Vagus nerve which causes irregular heartbeat since its linked. No doctors or cardiologist like to talk about the vagus nerve here as it exposes their dishonest practice.
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