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Heart problem - no caffeine, fair enuf... but no alcohol???

(23 Posts)
itchyandscratchy Fri 17-Jul-09 16:45:18

Benn ahving aplpitations, had an ecg and it showed some some of problem so I've been referred to a cardiologist. Blood pressure and pulse was normal.

Whilst I'm waiting for appt, gp told me no caffeine (incl chocolate shock) but also no alcohol. I thought alcohol was a depressant and that some in moderation was good for your heart? So why no alcohol? Did he mean getting drunk as this raises bp?

itchyandscratchy Fri 17-Jul-09 16:45:41

sorry about typos

itchyandscratchy Fri 17-Jul-09 18:18:57


fizzyanddizzy Fri 17-Jul-09 19:57:10

firm but fair I think. Don't know why but alcohol does affect your heart - many a hangover has for me equalled palpitations and a slow heart rate.

itchyandscratchy Sat 18-Jul-09 11:36:21

yes I agree about hangovers... I was just wondering about the occasional glass of wine that's all. I knwo it sounds oathetic but the odd glass of red might make it more bearable that I have to do without my beloved tea... not to mention chocolate!

NorbertDentressangle Sat 18-Jul-09 11:40:17

I once had a very bizarre one-off long episode of palpitations. When I saw the GP afterwards one of the things that he said is that some red wines can be a trigger in that they contain large amounts of tannins (IIRC).

imaynotbeperfectbutimokmummy Sat 18-Jul-09 12:21:56

i feel your pain, i had an episode of palpitations and was sworn off caffeine and alcohol - i was going on holiday too!! Miserable!

Mine turned out to be a reaction to antihistamine spray i was taking for my hayfever, so i was a bit angry about my alcohol free holiday, better safe than sorry though.

itchyandscratchy Sun 19-Jul-09 19:48:11

blimey. yes, agree it's better to be safe than sorry... but we're also due to go on hol in less than 2 weeks. No glasses of vino with the pizza on the piazza?? agggghhhhhhh sad

Coincidentally, was also going to ask on another thread about taking antihists before I went too as I react really badly to mozzie and other insect bites. wonder if this will be discouraged?

fizzyanddizzy Sun 19-Jul-09 20:53:42

yep. Cor, this is all v harsh but I imagine antihists will be a no-no too until you have seen the cardio. Have you an appt yet?

itchyandscratchy Sun 19-Jul-09 21:16:30

not yet. was referred last Monday so I'm hoping for soon. I think if I don't get one soon I will ring up and see if I can hurry it up. Might even go private if they can't see me before my hols.

Jeez this is a right mare. Went to one of closest friend's 40th bday party last night and I was stone cold sober all night. I didn't realise just how reliant my social life was on alcohol til this happened. It's a bit [shame] really. But am also craving a good cup of tea.

itchyandscratchy Sun 19-Jul-09 21:17:25

ha ha for [shame], read blush!

GiraffesCanRunA10k Sun 19-Jul-09 21:48:47

Oh dear, I feel your pain. I don't drink alcohol at all but I love tea and choc and to give them both up would be hell. I have been having heart ishoos - tachycardia. No ones mentioned no tea though - phew. Have you tried caffine free tea? Its no where near as good but better than none.

lisad123 Sun 19-Jul-09 21:56:35

yep no drink or tea for me for 2 years!! you get used to it blush

hope it works out ok

imaynotbeperfectbutimokmummy Mon 20-Jul-09 13:55:39

Do check up re the anti histamines, some of them can cause arrythmias and palpitations. Mine was more of an extra beat thrown in occasionally - very common apprently.

I find that boots own non drowsy anti histamine is fine for me, what caused my palpitations was the beconase spray.

WEre you told what abnormality showed on the ECG?

itchyandscratchy Tue 21-Jul-09 20:18:37

When he listened to my heart the gp said it was ectopic but didn't repeat this when he saw the ecg, although that's not to say it isn't/wasn't still ectopic. Does that refer to missed beats?

I saw the ecg and it showed breaks in the pattern followed by big zig zags, almost like it was missing then the heart tried to make up for it by doing an extra big beat, iyswim.

imaynotbeperfectbutimokmummy Tue 21-Jul-09 20:49:51

Yep - thats the one and thats is exactly what an ectopic beat would look like. I was throwing loads of them, over and over. Its a horrible feeling and i couldn't get my head around it being an EXTRA beat. It felt like i missed a beat. What happens is this (im rusty on this) - The heart beats and then goes into a refactory stage (relaxed) before it beats again - this shows on the ecg. What happens when you have an ectopic (extra) beat, is the heart hasn't relaxed back properly before the next beat, so it doesn't beat properly, takes longer before it does the next beat - which is why you get such a horrible thuddy feeling.

Not sure i explained this very well, as it was a while ago. This is extremely common, the doctor said that everyone has these from time to time, but mostly we don't notice the odd one or two. They are apparently more noticable at night, especially just before going to sleep. I was having a whole episode when i pitched up at the doctors so it showed up big time on the ecg.

I had to have a 24 hour trace, which basically involved walking around with a cassette recorder strapped to me with ecg leads running from it. The nurse who fitted it said to me, "this is a miracle cure for palpitations" I was hmm and she said, that no sooner to people get rigged up to one of those, their palpitations stop!! I was like, yeah yeah - pull the other one.

Well, she was right, sort of - my doctor rang me with the results, said that there were a couple of ectopics on the trace (i had to write down when i felt them too) but they were not concerned at all. As soon as i was told it was nothing to worry about, they stopped! It was only when i started taking the hayfever medication that they started up again and there was my culprit. Also, they are made worse by anxiety so the minute i stopped stressing about it, they went. I am triggered by night nurse too. I have had palpitations following drinking mega amounts of coffee and once when i was really badly hung over. Other than that, i don't notice anything.

Best part - back on the booze, coffee and chocolate!!

itchyandscratchy Wed 22-Jul-09 09:43:23

That's really interesting, imaynot.

What was your bp like at the time? Mine is fine, as is my pulse. I could understand if it was linked to anxiety/stress whatever as I was under quite a bit of pressure and feeling very run down, but he said it was inconsistent with what he'd expect to see. ??

The caffeine was definitely making it more pronounced but even though I've cut it all out I'm still getting them. It got the worst of all the weekend after my period when dh had bought me the biggest bar of fruit and nut to see me through the first few days [shame]!

I can't wait to go on holiday and completely forget about work etc. I just hope I can get monitored before we go away so we can get to the bottom of it.

Would it be worth going private if I don't get an appointment in the next 2 weeks?

itchyandscratchy Wed 22-Jul-09 09:45:08

I keep doing that! It's blush, not [shame]!!!

imaynotbeperfectbutimokmummy Wed 22-Jul-09 11:07:15

My blood pressure and pulse were fine itchy. Its not just rhythm abnormalities that can be picked up on ECG, it can say alot about the way the heart is beating etc and it takes a trained eye to interpret it. However, extra beats just jump off the page - it could be that when you had the ECG you didn't have that many ectopics.

FWIW, mine took ages to calm down after being on the beconase - i have the occasional blip every now and then, i quite like the feeling (which is easy to say because i know there is nothing wrong).

I was never reffered to a cardiologist, i think you should go back to your doctor and ask why you have been reffered - i wonder if my doc didnt reffer me because he was very experienced and had seen it so many times. Maybe a less experienced doctor would have reffered me on. This has happened to me recently over something else, a young doctor reffered me over something, i was hmm and went to see my own doctor who was equally hmmm and cancelled the refferal. Have you had a 24 trace ecg - i think you should request one before you go away. There shodulnt be too much of a wait for that, explain to the doctor that you want to be able to relax and enjoy your holiday - he may well be able to reassure you

sarah293 Wed 22-Jul-09 11:10:13

Message withdrawn

sarah293 Wed 22-Jul-09 11:11:12

Message withdrawn

imaynotbeperfectbutimokmummy Wed 22-Jul-09 15:20:24

another thing to use is Avon skin so soft body spray - the scottish army use this the mozzies hate it so much!

Riven - i have to say i would struggle to eat something that has the word foetid in it grin

itchyandscratchy Thu 23-Jul-09 09:56:01

Great tips re the mozzies. They eat me alive usually. I got bitten to shit on Sat night at a party outside as it was warm and a bit damp.

I have to ring the docs today to chase up the bloods they took as well to check for viruses and thyroid/kidney function etc. The gp that saw me was very young but he then took the ecg up to the senior doctor who's my usual gp and is brilliant and they agreed I should be referred. When I ring for the bloods I'll ask if they can chase up the trace.

Still got the palps - got them as soon as I woke up this morning. I could quite happily live with them if I knew they were harmless. Until I get a reason for it happening I think I'll just feel a bit uneasy. (Not to mention I am absolutely desperate for a cup of PG. I tried 2 teabags at a time with the decaff tea for a few days but it's now got to the point when the thought of it is making me retch!)

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