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Heart beat feeling like it is pounding very hard...feeling and hearing each beat

Discussion in 'Autonomic, Cardiovascular, and Respiratory' started by soxfan, Jun 22, 2011.

  1. 6ort

    6ort

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    Hi there. I've lurked through this thread now a few times throughout the years but thought I'd finally chime in with my story.

    I will only put the condensed version here, you can read the whole thing in my thread on Longecity:
    http://www.longecity.org/forum/topic/69669-constant-heart-palpitations-and-adrenaline-like-symptoms/

    But, I have been dealing with this since late 2012. My heart does this non-stop, all day long and every day. It always pounds with abnormal force. My pulse is normal, even low, it's just the force of the heart that is way over the line.

    I've narrowed it down to it being some kind of neurohormonal issue involving the central nervous system / autonomic nervous system.

    In the 3 years I've had this I've found all of THREE things that help:
    -Thyroid hormones (since I have hypothyroidism, this just helps me deal with it a bit easier, does nothing for the actual symptoms)
    -Valerian root (pretty darn effective considering it's "just a herb", effectiveness-wise it knocks benzo's and other alopathic sedatives out of the park. I tried most -zepam's and -zolam's and they did nothing for me.
    -Beta blockers (probably due to their negative inotropic effect, not necessarily acting at the root cause)

    For a long time I thought I had adrenaline excess (due to my sweating issues and runny nose) which clonidine helped fix but did nothing for the heart pounding, which seems to be something else.

    Food also makes a big difference. I can't touch wheat, it makes the palpitations so much worse and lasts for hours, a sandwhich ruins my entire day. I can eat as much fruit as I want though, so it's not really a blood sugar issue either. Go figure.

    The search continues...
     
    CFS_for_19_years and Jennifer J like this.
  2. BeGood

    BeGood

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    I had the same problem a couple of months ago. It was so bad that i thought something had happened to me. My heart would beat so hard that i felt terrible. I had been to emergency service where i got my blood tests done and ecg and chest x ray. Everything was fine but my heart rate was 80 bpm which was bit high. But the doctor told it was alright for some people had high heartbeat rate.

    I tried a lot to get rid of this but it didn't stop. Then I consulted a family doctor who told that it was just mere weakness and stress. I was vegetarian and didn't eat any meat and was with 2 kids. I also skipped lot of meals and didn't concentrate on my health. My doctor told me to eat healthy food and include meat and sleep well for minimum 8 hours at night. I also had to put on weight because i was underweight.

    Initially i just started eating good food including eggs chicken bread butter fish rice dal potatoes bananas etc. I would go for small walks. I also took some multivitamins tablets. And i took some sleeping pills to help me sleepthroughout night time. Then I couldn't do much exercise because I had become weak.But in a couple of weeks I had the stamina to do some yoga. And with good diet and by doing some yoga i recovered in about 2 months time. I stopped sleeping pills now and put on good weight.

    So my suggestions to all reading this is just get your blood tests,ecg and heart x ray done. If everything is normal then just concentrate on eating good food and try doing some yoga. Stay postive, try meditation and believe in spiritual things. Try yoga friends it will certainly help you. 12 asanas to do daily for fitness Just Google this n try. Hope this helps.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 23, 2016
  3. Sushi

    Sushi Senior Member Albuquerque

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    I'm very glad that these things helped you with this.

    Unfortunately, most of those here on this forum with this problem have deeper problems going on--often involving the dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system which is often part of ME/CFS. For those with this condition these simple recommendations are unlikely to help--the problem has much deeper roots in an organic illness. I write this from personal experience as I have done all these things without any benefit to my sometimes weird cardiac function.

    Best wishes.
     
    Valentijn, MeSci, ahimsa and 3 others like this.
  4. Denise

    Denise Senior Member

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    I agree with @Sushi - the autonomic nervous system in many patients with ME does not work correctly.
    FWIW resting heart rates among people with ME often are well over 100bpm and this is not a result of deconditioning or poor diet, etc.
     
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  5. soxfan

    soxfan Senior Member

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    Well I started this thread and I still have this same problem. I only feel like it is pounding at night when I get into bed. I don't notice it during the day at all...even if I am sitting. It is ONLY at night when I get into bed to sleep.

    I told my doctor (PCP) and surprise ....he told me it was anxiety and gave me a prescription for Lexapro which I have not taken.

    I can't remember how long this has been going on but it's been years and nothing helps. I even am now counting my heartbeats because my brain is making me...I am not worried that anything is wrong with my heart since I have had Ekg and Echocardiogram.

    It is just totally annoying and prevents me from drifting off to a peaceful sleep.
    My resting heartbeat is around 60 or less.
     
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  6. Old Bones

    Old Bones Senior Member

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    @soxfan I, too, have the pounding heart problem. I only feel it, or hear it, when lying down -- both during my afternoon nap, and at night. The pounding resolved after the first dose of a beta blocker, Bisoprolol, 1.25 mg taken before bedtime. Unfortunately, after six weeks on the medication, the pounding started to return. Now, a week later, it is just as bad as before. And, the heart-rate lowering effect of the beta blocker is also almost gone. But, the significant side effects are not. I feel awful on this drug.

    Regarding the pounding, have you seen the Dutch cardiologist, Doctor Visser's, videos that describe the heart problems commonly experienced by ME/CFS patients? He has seen more than 2,000 ME/CFS patients, and they comprise pretty much his whole practice these days, I believe. If not, the videos are definitely worth a look. Here's a link to the one I found most interesting in the series. The segment on heart pounding starts at about the 9 minute, 15 second mark.



    The video is in Dutch, with English sub-titles. The text for the segment related to your concern reads as follows:

    "What does exactly cause the pounding sensation of the heart? As I have said before, the amount of stress-related hormones in the blood – the catecholamines – is higher, and they don’t just accelerate the heartbeat, but also the contraction of the heart. The heart may beat much more powerfully with every beat, and patients may feel this. Moreover it appears quite frequently that with a more powerful beat, the heart slightly touches the chest, as it were. Besides an unpleasant feeling that may definitely cause the pounding sensation. So this is a harmless and normal symptom which is interconnected with the contraction power of the heart."

    Generally, Doctor Visser's comments regarding heart issues in ME/CFS patients are quite reassuring. He does mention, however, that if your symptoms are quite troublesome, you should seek medical attention, which you've already done. It seems his opinion might be different from the anxiety diagnosis your PCP has made.
     
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  7. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6?

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    I thought I'd be OK on 1.25 mg Bisoprolol (which the doc anticipated he'd be able to increase!). But I only took it for 6 days, as it seemed to be producing intolerable symptoms like twitching.

    I was also trying potassium gluconate (goodness knows why - my values have been high - now stopped), and still taking glutamine (taken since May 2012, currently stopped),
     
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  8. soxfan

    soxfan Senior Member

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    Thanks for the info...it is definitely an annoying symptom and one in which I have tried to relieve. I have a meditation tape I listen to when I get into bed..it is 30 min long and usually distracts the sensation completely ...that is until the tape is over and it is there in full force once again.

    Sometimes it doesn't really feel like a pounding but just an acute awareness of every beat. It usually only feels pounding when I am very tired and overstimulated from doing too much.

    I was on Florinef a long time ago but it wasn't for this problem. The doctor prescribed it because he said it helps CFS patients..I had bad side effects so didn't last too long on it.

    @Old Bones...the symptom is more annoying than anything. I am not worried about it because I know my heart is fine. It just interferes with my sleep...and afternoon rest.
    Thank you for the link...
     
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  9. Sushi

    Sushi Senior Member Albuquerque

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    I didn't tolerate Bisoprolol but did tolerate another beta blocker. Maybe you could ask to try another one?
     
    MeSci likes this.
  10. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6?

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    I am back on one that I tolerate better - Nebivolol - but it doesn't reduce my systolic pressure enough while reducing my pulse too much to take more. I suffered a severe incident on it in March, and am still not back to normal, but hopefully getting there...trying to remember to keep an eye on blood sodium all the time...

    I have tried two other blood pressure drugs - Perindopril and Felodipine - but had to stop them too. Suffered severe adverse effects from Perindopril.

    Or are the effects due to desmopressin, which I need to control loss of fluid? Can't do without it though.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2016
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  11. Groggy Doggy

    Groggy Doggy Senior Member

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    @soxfan

    Here are a few simple steps I use to determine the best way to get a good night sleep when experiencing the same annoying issues; you may have already tried them.

    In bed, if you prop yourself up, as to mimic being in a recliniing chair, do you notice a difference?
    Also, when laying flat, do you feel your heart beat more when lying on your left side (vs. right side)?
    Any difference when you lay flat on your back with your arms over your head?
    Also, do you notice any difference if you drink a full glass of water before going to bed? If not, how about a full glass of water with lemon juice and a pinch of salt?
    Any difference if you spend about 10 minutes doing simple stretches on the floor, before going to bed?
    Do you use a sleep apnea CPAP machine? Besides the obvious benefit, they are also distracting and noisy.
    Have you tried taking liquid Gaia Licorice Root (non alcohol)? It helps with OI.

    Please let me know the outcome.

    Thanks!

    GD
     
  12. soxfan

    soxfan Senior Member

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    @GD...I have tried some of those suggestions but not all. I do prop myself up as I sleep with two pillows...I feel it the same on either side. I usually sleep on my back.

    I don't use a CPAP as I have had sleep studies done with no apnea.

    I will try the water and stretching as those I have not done. Never tried the Licorice as I think that might interfere with my thyroid medication?

    I am many times too tired to eat...love your profile pic.

    Thanks!
     
  13. Groggy Doggy

    Groggy Doggy Senior Member

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    I hope you find a simple change that works for you :hug: My years of experience has led me to conclude that cardiologists (general or EP specialty) are not helpful since they don't understand ME. They don't understand how daily intermittant changes in our ME bodies impact our electrical system which intern impacts our energy level, heart rate, blood pressure, and feelings of a pounding heart (that keep us awake). If you are healthy person and the only thing that's wrong with you is your heart, then cardiologists are helpful.

    I think when we uncover the true root of ME, we will see how many of our PCPs and specialists have got it 'all wrong' and basically wasted years our life and disrupted our 'sense of peace' by... erroneously telling us it's 'all in our heads' and/or prescribing exercise and medicines that give us harmful side effects (making our conditions worse, and require yet another drug to combat the side effects).

    But we are here for each other, to share information and tips, and show support, which for many of us is the only support we have.

    BTW- Gaia Licorice Root was recommended by my endo who also prescribes my meds for hypothyroidism ( I didn't notice a change with thyroid)

    GD :dog:
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2016
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  14. soxfan

    soxfan Senior Member

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    @GD...yeah my body is totally dysfunctional. I feel like it is an alien and uncontrollable. No matter what I have taken in terms of medications...supplements nothing ever helps. In fact it usually makes me feel worse so I have stopped taking anything at all except my thyroid meds.

    I have a list a mile long of things I have bought and thrown out not to mention the fact of the amount of money spent. Whatever is wrong with me can't be helped by any of that. I can just tell my body and brain are not in synch and totally whacked out. I believe from the undiagnosed Lyme and Bart I had for years....but my illness was all in my head of course.

    I just hope that someday my body will right itself and I will feel normal again although I have been waiting 12 years but still haven't given up hope.

    I also have chronic nerve pain in my left calf and foot with continous muscle twitching only in the left calf. I have PEM from mental exertion...crashes where I feel like I will die from the exhaustion..poor sleep quality...I break out in rashes on my back that look like cat scratches...burning eye pain...

    So it's not just the heart beat awareness...I have lots of other stuff. I do feel it is just an acute awareness of my beating heart and nothing serious...
     
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  15. Groggy Doggy

    Groggy Doggy Senior Member

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    I understand :hug: After hearing your story, it makes perfect sense you are keenly aware of your heart beat; it's almost like your heart is speaking in a rhythm. Maybe your heart is saying 'hey, I am still here, I am with you, can you hear me'.

    GD :dog:
     
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  16. Chocolove

    Chocolove Tournament of the Phoenix - Rise Again

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    You might want to get your sodium and potassium levels checked. When I went into an adrenal crisis I got that sledgehammer heart beat in the ears and it is a warning something is wrong. I discovered in my case that when adrenal output goes down (sometimes due to true Vitamin A deficiency), you end up with an electrolyte imbalance. In my case as a result the kidneys stopped the normal process of excreting excess potassium. Instead, the appropriate adrenal message they stopped excreting potassium and started excreting sodium (salt) which is a rather quick trip to death if not rectified. I then discovered I had to monitor potassium in my food, avoiding high potassium foods or I would have that heart in the ear pounding, as well as heart malfunctions and pain like a knife in my back through my heart.
     
  17. Groggy Doggy

    Groggy Doggy Senior Member

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    It's catch 22. When I am feeling well enough to leave the house and get my potassium and sodium levels checked, they are normal. My labs are perfect! We need a way to have someone come to our homes and take blood and urine samples when we are at our sickest (when we can't think, talk, or move).

    It's great that your figured out what was going on and were able to correct the imbalance.
     
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  18. Groggy Doggy

    Groggy Doggy Senior Member

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    If a good diet, exercise, yoga, positive outlook, meditation and spiritual beliefs were 'the cure', then I never would have gotten sick in the first place. I appreciate your input and glad you were able to get better.

    Being ill with ME is difficult to describe. The illness takes a firm grip on my life and holds me hostage. It''s like nothing I have ever experienced before. I never knew that people could suffer in this way, some are up to the 40 year mark. In the past, when I saw people suffer in this way, it's because they were within a few weeks of dying. So if you know anyone that was just about to die of cancer, or even hospice, then that's the best analogy I have to explain it. So imagine being happy, healthy, exercising and enjoying life one day, and then within a month you are so ill you can no longer work. You spend you days lying flat, waiting to get a few minutes of energy so you can eat or brush your teeth. On a good week, you can take a shower without passing out. Then your illness progresses (within a few years) and now you need a wheel chair. Then in time you are too weak to use the wheel chair, and you become housebound. Then in time, the agony of leaving your dark, quite bedroom becomes too much to tolerate, so you become bedbound. At this point you are waiting to die, at times you want to die, but you don't die. You stay in this ongoing perpetual state of an agonizing existence.

    This is the progression of the illness, ME, that has no cure. This is where we are destined to go, unless we find a cure.

    GD :dog:
     
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  19. Chocolove

    Chocolove Tournament of the Phoenix - Rise Again

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    With the adrenal crisis low blood pressure was an issue particularly when standing up so perhaps that is what is causing the heart pounding in the ear, although the cause of the low blood pressure would then be the question.
    You could check this out by borrowing or buying a blood pressure monitor. I found one that looks like a wrist watch and it does a pretty accurate job. You can use this anywhere.
     
  20. soxfan

    soxfan Senior Member

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    @ GD....you are totally on the money. My heart feels like a rhythm and I am counting along to the beats. I can't stop my brain from doing it. I am very happy my heart is still beating but gosh....I don't need to hear and feel every beat...haha

    It happened suddenly so I am just hoping some night I will go to bed and my body will be calm and quiet...not swaying to the beats of my heart.
     
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