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Waiting to see a cardiologist, is my heart ok?

(16 Posts)
myfavoritedayismonday Sun 28-Oct-12 21:05:17

I still have three more weeks to wait, I have no idea what might be wrong, but sometimes my heart rate goes down to 50, and I often have palpitations, and when I exercise my heart really thumps - my GP said it was ok to exercise as normal while I wait, but I am a bit worried about how my heart feels when I exercise. I'm seeking reassurance from strangers, and I can see that is a bit ridiculous, but could you please tell me that it is probably nothing much?

barbie1 Mon 29-Oct-12 10:56:52

Try not to worry too much, I have also experienced heart problems. I have had wear a heart monitor, have scans and all sorts of other stuff. Turns out I have a very small hole in my top chamber which sometimes results in the blood going the wrong way for a brief moment which causes the palpitations.

The heart surgeon I saw was so completely reassuring. He told me that out of every 100 people born at least 90% of them will have some kind of heart problem, most go undetected and cause no problems at all.

thornrose Mon 29-Oct-12 10:58:31

That must be scary. Are these new symptoms?

I understand your need to seek reassurance. I hope everything turns out ok. Oh, and don't be tempted to google (That's if you haven't already!)

myfavoritedayismonday Mon 29-Oct-12 18:57:52

Thanks for your comments. They are new symptoms, probably in the last 6 months to a year- I can't really remember when I started feeling my heart beating, I've forgotten what normal is now - is it normal to feel your heart beating when you jog? My husband says he can't feel his.

Barbie it is comforting to know that it is more than likely a small problem.

barbie1 Mon 29-Oct-12 20:37:42

Yes, totally normal.
I even getting palpitations sat watching the tv!
Was advised to exercise in order to strengthen my heart, in fact just finished a hour personal training session, which works me just enough.

I do feel my heart most of the time, I think I am just more conscious of it so I'm more aware

myfavoritedayismonday Wed 31-Oct-12 21:11:11

Thanks for your reply Barbie I know palpiations can be normal,but I guess there are also times when they are a symptom of something. I'm also getting the odd dizzy spell - usually lasts about a second. I had a few today.

barbie1 Thu 01-Nov-12 06:16:56

I have countless dizzy spells throughout the day. I just have to learn to manage them until I undergo the operation to block the hole.
I really do hope you have something minor going on in there.
Best of luck op

myfavoritedayismonday Thu 01-Nov-12 17:23:28

Hi Barbie, you seem very laid back about your forthcoming surgery, I am nervous at the thought that I might have to have something like that. Perhaps sometimes not knowing is worse than knowing. I'm worries as I feel not quite 100% with it and I wonder if lack of oxygen to the brain is doing permanent damage to my brain cells. My memory is quite bad.

barbie1 Thu 01-Nov-12 17:31:37

Laid back? No, more like burying my head in the sand grin
Like I said the cardiologist was so reassuring, there is no rush to have the operation unless I want to get pregnant again, the condition always seems so much worse in pregnancy. Due to having two dc's and no plans to have any more I am just getting on with it until I have to be checked again.

Some days I wobble and start to worry but I have so many going on at the moment that its soon put to the back of my mind smile

myfavoritedayismonday Fri 02-Nov-12 18:06:08

Are you on a waiting list for your op, or are you not planning to have it just yet?

barbie1 Fri 02-Nov-12 20:25:48

Due to bEing an expat our insurance will pay for it and there aren't any waiting list. I was meant to have it once I stopped bf my first baby, but she refused a bottle until 15 months and the month later I was pregnant again blush so I have had two emcs within two years. I have t wait another few months to check everything is ok and then I will be monitored again and then finally I guess we will arrange a date (wobbles)
We are relocating across the world again in may, I think I will go back to the UK for the summer and have it done then

ponybaloney Sun 04-Nov-12 00:01:17

Hi monday, I have had similar symptoms in the past and it is a lot better now. I had slow heart rate, fast heart rate that went up when I exercised and continued to rise even when I stopped exercising and palpitations. I was trying to do couch to 5k and couldn't do it because I was so badly affected.

Got checked out and the just gave me some beta blockers and said carry on. I thought they thought I was mental and it was nothing to do with anxiety but I eventually agreed to take a very low dose of antidepressants. Since then have had no trouble exercising at all. Ran a 6 miles in under an hour last week!

However, I do believe that it was made worse by slight aneamia (low ferritin) and an underactive thyroid.

Best thing is get checked out and see what they say.

Brandnewbrighttomorrow Sun 04-Nov-12 00:17:27

I have regular palpitations called ectopic or innocent arrhythmia. Most likely to happen when I get into bed having stayed up too late like I am doing now blush

Simply being aware of it will make it seem worse iykwim? Do you have any other symptoms while it happens?

TodaysAGoodDay Sun 04-Nov-12 00:23:19

Brandnew is right, try not to think about it (and yes, I know that's hard), as the more aware you are of it, the more you worry, the more adrenalin is released into your bloodstream, the more your heart is affected and so on. If your GP was overly concerned about you, you would have been seen for a scan straight away. I have ectopic arrhythmia and it's bloody annoying, but it does get worse when I think about it as I am a natural worrier. Relax, you'll be fine.

sashh Sun 04-Nov-12 05:00:17

myfavoritedayismonday

Some people can feel their heart when exercising, others can't.

How old are you and how fit? As you get older your resting heart rate slows down. It also slows if you are super fit, many marathon runners have resting heart rates of 40-50.

Palpitations can be a lot of things, mostly nothing to worry about, it's just you being aware of your heart beating. If you have other symptoms combined with the palpitations then that can indicate something more serious.

When you attend cardiology I can guarantee they will do an ECG.

An ECG can only show what is happening at the time so if you are not having palpitations at the time it is recorded it will probably be normal.

The other tests you might need (and might be done the same day or you might need an appointment).

Echo - an ultrasound to look at the structure of the heart and how it is beating. Don't think the tech is crap if they have you moving around or press the transducer a bit heard. Ultrasound doesn't pass through air (lungs) or bone so there is only a small gap to view through.

Stress test / exercise tolerance test
This is basically you wired up to an ECG machine and walking. The speed and the angle of the treadmill are increased every few minuites. You will never beat the machine, it is designed to exercise you to just below your maximum. Your ECG is monitored throughout and your BP will be taken every few mins.

As you have symptoms on exercise I would guess you will probably be sent for this. If your palpitations are caused by an arythmia then this will show up. Other changes can be seen such as ischemia (causes angina) or blocks in the conducting system.

24 hour tape / holter monitor / ambulatory monitor

This is a simplified ECG (2 or 3 leads rather than 12), it is connected to your chest and then you are sent home with it recording, you return the following day for it to be removed. The older ones are actual audio tapes so the recorder is like an old fashioned walkman. More modern ones are smaller. However they give exactly the same information so if you see an audio tape, don't worry.

Cardio memo / event recorder

As you have symptoms yo might be given one of these. There are two types, one is implantable snd used to automatically record over a number of months or even a year. You will not have this one at this stage.

The other is a small device a little bigger than a credit card. Whe you have any symptoms you put the recorder to your chest and press a record button.

The results can either be downloaded at the hospital, or some you can send the recording over the phone. The number of recordings made depends on the particular model or recorder.

Being sent for any or all of these tests does not mean you have a problem, it means they are looking at everything and if they are all normal then your palpitations may be just one of those things.

Everyone gets palpitations occasionally, obvioulsy the majority of people do not have a heart condition.

myfavoritedayismonday Sun 04-Nov-12 10:17:59

Hi thanks for the messages. The thing I really worry about is not so much my heart, but the fact that my memory and concentration seem to be so poor. I am 40, I am fairly fit, but not mega, I can run 6k easily and do a bit of yoga, and cycling. I feel light headed a lot of the time in winter. I worry that I am getting early dementia. I have been worried about this for about 3 years. I did go to the doctor 2 years ago about the lightheadedness, nothing was found, I had the usual blood tests, that was all. I wonder if there is some underlying problem, maybe with my endocrine system which is causing the palpitations and low heart rate? I wonder if the NHS will find it or if I should go private?

Barbie, your travelling lifestyle sounds exciting, but I guess you are a bit in limbo in terms of dealing with your health.

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