2

votes

Hack my missing heartbeat

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 13, 2011 at 7:13 PM

About 10 years ago, I noticed my heart would skip a beat every once in a while. About 7 years, I was at the doctor's and he was listening to my heart and started freaking out--hooked me up to an EKG, which spit out the message "Irregular heartbeat, left anterior ventricular block". He sent me to a heart specialist, they hooked me up to a holter monitor which recorded my heart for 24 hrs. End result: I have a minor heart conduction issue. It skips a beat a couple times a minute, sometimes skips every other beat, sometimes normal for hours. I was pretty unhealthy back then, but it's still there now and I've been pretty darn healthy for the last year or so. Wonder if it will ever go away. Any experience with this, hackers?

Bbaa0dbe9ab4c4af4728d1102063bec3

(90)

on July 14, 2011
at 06:05 PM

I found that cutting back on, and eventually eliminating, the coffee lessened my palpitations. I found that more than one cup a day was too much for me and would cause an increase in palpitations. I dropped the coffee shortly after going Paleo and switched to black tea which doesn't seem to cause me the same issues.

5a901eefdef8aa8b9547e4ccb694e2ae

on July 14, 2011
at 03:49 PM

Sounds to me like you probably have what is known as an Av Block, specifically Mobitz type II. Which is an interference between your atria and your ventricles. This isnt usually referred to as a "bundle branch" block which can be either right or left. O personally have an incomplete right bundle branch block. If you have done a max stress test under EKG and given a clean bill of health I would not be concerned at all. If you ever becomd faint or dizzy or have any other new symptoms take note and talk to your cardiologist as it could be a worsening of your block. Otherwise, dont worry! :) If

61a27a8b7ec2264b1821923b271eaf54

(3175)

on July 14, 2011
at 05:44 AM

I've wondered that, too. I usually drink 2 cups of coffee in the am, but cut back to 1 a few weeks ago. That's it for caffeine.

61a27a8b7ec2264b1821923b271eaf54

(3175)

on July 14, 2011
at 05:43 AM

Thanks! I had all that done a few years ago. It's a type 2 branch bundle block, if that makes sense to you.

Ffc7e0ecad8e8831b528c5d4921377cc

(942)

on July 14, 2011
at 03:50 AM

For anyone checking their pulse, a completely steady heart beat means you are probably dying. You want variability. That isn't directed to this question, which is different.

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on July 14, 2011
at 01:08 AM

I have to agree with this comment. When I was hypothyroid I had similar symptoms.

61a27a8b7ec2264b1821923b271eaf54

(3175)

on July 13, 2011
at 10:47 PM

I rarely even think about it, except when I check my pulse during exercise and catch it doing it. I figure if I whine too much the doctors will want to give me a pacemaker or put me on some freaky drugs with mega side effects.

61a27a8b7ec2264b1821923b271eaf54

(3175)

on July 13, 2011
at 08:17 PM

Not really looking for advice on what I should do, just wondered if anyone else has or is familiar with it. The heart spec that did the 24hr test a few years ago said it was nothing to worry about as long as I wasn't getting dizzy/fainting from missing too many beats. I'm not, so I'm not sweating it. I have just been impressed by the quality of answers here on PH that I thought I'd throw this out there. Don't worry, I won't try blood-letting or anything if that's what somebody hacks with! I do notice, some eves, it misses a lot of beats, but when I do a good workout it's back to normal.

61a27a8b7ec2264b1821923b271eaf54

(3175)

on July 13, 2011
at 08:05 PM

I've always wondered about that. The same doc found I was hypothyroid the same year and started me on synthroid. I really think I was Leptin Resistant, as per the Quilt, now weaning off the synthroid. I've learned a lot about health, diet, and nutrition this past year and really don't think doctors have a clue.

61a27a8b7ec2264b1821923b271eaf54

(3175)

on July 13, 2011
at 08:01 PM

I was in the military for 21 years, retired in 04. I was pretty fit back then, but let myself go from 04-09, as many military retirees do. I first noticed the skip in 99. It was never caught by military docs, first to see it was a VA doc. It really hasn't changed it's pattern through really poor diet/no exercise and now strict paleo w/primal blueprint exercise for 1 year. I eat fairly low carb, probably between 25-150g a day. I doubt it's diet related. There's lots on the 'internets' about it, not life threatening and somewhat common in athletes (which I'm not).

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18472)

on July 13, 2011
at 07:48 PM

akman - what is your diet like? do you exercise? are you low-carb? how long have you been eating "Paleo"?

345c1755efe005edd162b770dc6fb821

(8767)

on July 13, 2011
at 07:31 PM

if you poor heart withstood all that, I hope that means its very strong! how scary! hopefully someone can guide you!!

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6 Answers

3
D3ff004d4a0c42b67cc2c49a5ee9c0f3

(5801)

on July 13, 2011
at 08:02 PM

As much as I love paleo hacks, when it comes to your heart you should see a specialist as opposed to getting anonymous non-specific to your situation advice on the internet. Some here have undoubtedly had heart or other conditions clear up after going paleo, but their situation may not be the same as yours.

I'd even be leery of the doctors on this site if they were to offer advice because they don't know your history.

If you had a clone in storage in your basement so that you could take his healthy heart if our advice didn't work out for you, then I'd be the first to recommend paleo hacks. But until you clone yourself, see a specialist - or two.

61a27a8b7ec2264b1821923b271eaf54

(3175)

on July 13, 2011
at 08:17 PM

Not really looking for advice on what I should do, just wondered if anyone else has or is familiar with it. The heart spec that did the 24hr test a few years ago said it was nothing to worry about as long as I wasn't getting dizzy/fainting from missing too many beats. I'm not, so I'm not sweating it. I have just been impressed by the quality of answers here on PH that I thought I'd throw this out there. Don't worry, I won't try blood-letting or anything if that's what somebody hacks with! I do notice, some eves, it misses a lot of beats, but when I do a good workout it's back to normal.

2
A0e3b5eeb45b7d6e5689847fbc79959a

on July 13, 2011
at 07:49 PM

thyroid and heart function are intertwined. it could be your thyroid.

61a27a8b7ec2264b1821923b271eaf54

(3175)

on July 13, 2011
at 08:05 PM

I've always wondered about that. The same doc found I was hypothyroid the same year and started me on synthroid. I really think I was Leptin Resistant, as per the Quilt, now weaning off the synthroid. I've learned a lot about health, diet, and nutrition this past year and really don't think doctors have a clue.

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on July 14, 2011
at 01:08 AM

I have to agree with this comment. When I was hypothyroid I had similar symptoms.

1
11dff0119e8ca2babb4acf40a5ef6ac4

(233)

on July 14, 2011
at 12:45 PM

My son has right bundle branch block subsequent to open heart surgery as a baby. Literally, some of the nerves to that section of the heart were cut during surgery. He's fine. The heart still beats. It's just that that section of the heart gets the signal to beat from another pathway slightly slower than it should.

You're describing 2 different things. You have a bundle branch block. And. You seem to be describing PVCs that come and go, get closer together, and further apart at times. The bundle branch block is always there. It doesn't change. It doesn't get worse. It may cause you to be more susceptible to PVCs, but it's not the direct cause of them. Things like stress, caffeine, stress, heavy exercise, and stress can cause PVCs to get worse. Cortisol loves a PVC, so stress is often the cause of worsening PVCs.

If you've already been checked out by a cardiologist, I wouldn't worry about it too much. From personal experience, I can say that if I go too low carb and stay there for a while, sleep starts to suffer, and I'll start throwing a crapload of PVCs. I assume it's a cortisol issue, and I just don't stay there long.

The standard disclaimers apply here. I'm not a doctor. I'm not giving medical advice. Blah, blah, blah. This is just my own understanding of both my son's heart problems and my own.

1
5a901eefdef8aa8b9547e4ccb694e2ae

on July 14, 2011
at 12:34 AM

I have previously worked in a cardiac office as an exercise physiologist and am currently working towards my doctorate and I feel I can confidently say that without the EKG tracing it would be impossible to know with any certainty what is going on.

If they are Premature Ventricular Contractions (PVCs) those are generally very benign in nature, but can be a sign of future problems if very frequent. They are several conductive pathways in the heart, and several different afflictions of each. Without more details it would be impossible to know. There are also different types of PVCs....you can see where I'm going with this.

A max stress test with EKG tracing could come in handy to see if you have any problems that arise with an elevated heartbeat. It should be pretty easy to find a place to have this done, and it's a very simple test. Just get hooked up to an EKG and run until you can't! If nothing else, getting on a treadmill and maxing yourself out while being monitored should at least put your mind at ease.

5a901eefdef8aa8b9547e4ccb694e2ae

on July 14, 2011
at 03:49 PM

Sounds to me like you probably have what is known as an Av Block, specifically Mobitz type II. Which is an interference between your atria and your ventricles. This isnt usually referred to as a "bundle branch" block which can be either right or left. O personally have an incomplete right bundle branch block. If you have done a max stress test under EKG and given a clean bill of health I would not be concerned at all. If you ever becomd faint or dizzy or have any other new symptoms take note and talk to your cardiologist as it could be a worsening of your block. Otherwise, dont worry! :) If

61a27a8b7ec2264b1821923b271eaf54

(3175)

on July 14, 2011
at 05:43 AM

Thanks! I had all that done a few years ago. It's a type 2 branch bundle block, if that makes sense to you.

1
Bbaa0dbe9ab4c4af4728d1102063bec3

on July 13, 2011
at 09:40 PM

I've had issues like this since I was 19 and I was in a heck of a lot better shape then than I am now at 33. Went to the emergency room when it first started, went through the normal procedure of EKG and blood tests, and was told it was premature ventricular contraction, or PVC.

I dealt with it for years until it seemed to go away at around the age of 25. I started having palpitations again about two years ago, went to my doctor, who did another EKG and sent me to a heart specialist. The heart specialists put me on an EKG machine for 24 hours and did two ultrasounds and told me the same thing the ER personnel did, PVC. Supposedly heart palpitations are fairly normal, occurring in something like 20% of men and 10% of women, most of whom have no idea it happens. PVC is supposed to be non life threatening unless it's coupled with another issue like high/low blood pressure.

Eating Paleo has seemed to help with my symptoms. I started eating Paleo at the end of February and have only noticed palpitations twice since then.

I've found that if I don't dwell on the palpitations they seem to go away, if I stress out over them my blood pressure goes up and the palpitations increase. One thing I was told by both the ER and the specialist is that they may go away they may not, it all seems to do with the individual.

61a27a8b7ec2264b1821923b271eaf54

(3175)

on July 13, 2011
at 10:47 PM

I rarely even think about it, except when I check my pulse during exercise and catch it doing it. I figure if I whine too much the doctors will want to give me a pacemaker or put me on some freaky drugs with mega side effects.

0
306aa57660d911781231f8090c2a5619

(3808)

on July 14, 2011
at 12:18 AM

How much caffeine (or related stimulants) do you use? That can contribute to cardiac conduction problems for some people.

61a27a8b7ec2264b1821923b271eaf54

(3175)

on July 14, 2011
at 05:44 AM

I've wondered that, too. I usually drink 2 cups of coffee in the am, but cut back to 1 a few weeks ago. That's it for caffeine.

Bbaa0dbe9ab4c4af4728d1102063bec3

(90)

on July 14, 2011
at 06:05 PM

I found that cutting back on, and eventually eliminating, the coffee lessened my palpitations. I found that more than one cup a day was too much for me and would cause an increase in palpitations. I dropped the coffee shortly after going Paleo and switched to black tea which doesn't seem to cause me the same issues.

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