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Arrhythmias Guide

Christine Jeffries

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ask: irregular heart beat

By Anonymous
 
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This irregular heart beat is driving me crazy. I have had almost every test done.What is it? I get no answers.

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Cary Cook BSN RN

Hi Anonymous-

Hypertension is not normal, whether you are on the pill or not. That is just not an acceptable answer, or a safe one. I'm glad you are seeing a cardiologist. This is important. Sometimes even very health people have arrhythmias, such as atrial fibrillation. It doesn't necessarily have to do with physical conditioning.

It is fantastic that you have worked so hard to take control of your health. Hopefully the cardiologist can get to the bottom of the blood pressure and irregular beats. Please let us know if we can help further.

Good luck!

April 26, 2010 - 6:44am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

Hi there.... I want to ask a question about irregular heart beat. I am young and use to be a smoker for many years. I was in a very bad marriage and was very stressed out. I remember i felt my first irregular heart beat after smoking a cigaret and stressing out over bills. I started to feel the irregular beats that felt more like a "vibration" or hit in my chest when I was around 25-26 years old.

I have quit smoking shortly, and have been smoke free for around 2 years and i exercise regularly ( I run around 3-4 miles every day more or less, i listen to my body, if i am tired i take a day off between runs) I try to run 5-6 times a week. I still feel the irregular heart beat, sometimes it scares me, it's as if i get multiple quick beats, it skips a beat, then BOUM a strong beat comes on. I did a stress test and i had a deviced hooked up on me for 24 hours i think (last year) and they didnt detect anything abnormal (but the hospital i went to were very incompetent, i felt twice the pounding in my chest and they didnt pick up on it). Back then i was on the contraceptive pill, and when i did my stress test, the Dr said it gave a true/false response, meaning, yes you do have blood pressure, but you're on the pill so it's normal. I was beside myself knowing that it was "normal" for me to have high blood pressure. Both of my parents had strokes, my mom died at age 58 and my father, well, had 2 heart attacks and 3 bypasses (yes, lucky me and my excellent genes) but they were very sedentary and didnt eat right.

i have been doing a lot of efforts to be healthy, i juice veggies, especially celery and parsley, i drink pommagrenate juice every day, basically, anything that is known for beign heart healthy, i consume it in hopes of protecting myself.

I stopped taking the pill, as it was raising my blood pressure to numbers as high as 154/101, and what makes me sad is that, well out of my ignorance and taking my youth for granted, i didnt listen to the signs of HBP and didnt stop taking the pill before a couple of years. Since i've been running more regularly, and especially, the pommegrate juice drinking, my pressure went very low, to around 120-78 to as low as 113/69 sometimes, but the slightest excitement, would bring my pressure to 140/90...which is odd to me, as if the slightest effort makes my pressure skyrocket.

I dont know what i am asking for, help, or just reassurance, that i will be fine as i am taking the necessary steps to be healthy... i now live in a different area, with a great hospital, and am waiting to get an appointment with a cardiologist. I have noticed that i get my irregular beats more teh day after i run. I dont want to stop running, when i run, i feel so free and happy, but sometimes i just wish that those irregular beats can just go away as they are scaring me :( .

Anyways...well i thank anyone in advance that can answer me and let me know what would be best for me to do...

Thanks for listening, or should i more say, reading :)

Anna

April 23, 2010 - 1:30pm
Cary Cook BSN RN

Hi Anonymous-

It sounds like you are pretty frustrated, but your question is a little vague so I'm not sure exactly what you have going on.

There are many types of arrhythmias or irregular heartbeats, and just about as many causes. They can be hard to catch if they are irregularly irregular, which sounds like double talk but just means sometimes it is irregular and sometimes it is normal.

Many tests like EKGs and cardiac ultrasounds only capture a moment, so they are more like a snapshot than a story. If your heartbeat is erratic but not all the time, you need a longer term test like a Holter monitor http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003877.htm. This is a monitor that tracks your heart rate for a day or two, depending on how your doctor orders the test. It is like a longer term EKG. Sometimes a cardiac stress test will reveal an arrhythmia that only happens when your heart is pushed or stressed.

The American Heart Association has a good informational section on testing for arrhythmias: http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=3 and we have an arrhythmia page as well: http://www.empowher.com/condition/arrhythmia

I hope this helped a bit. If you can supply more details about your situation, perhaps we can be of further help. Please let us know if that is the case.

April 18, 2010 - 3:44pm
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