The 12th Invest in ME Research Conference June, 2017, Part 2
MEMum presents the second article in a series of three about the recent 12th Invest In ME International Conference (IIMEC12) in London.
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Bradycardia could it be part of CFS???

Discussion in 'Autonomic, Cardiovascular, and Respiratory' started by macca, Feb 8, 2013.

  1. macca


    Hi all,

    I am new to this forum, and I'm looking for anwsers for my 15 year old son. It all started about a year ago with bouts of fatigue poor concentration, headaches etc. He had 2 syncopes 1 in march and another in April. Bradycardia was found and because there is a history of sudden death in my family(4) he had a permanent heart monitor implanted in July.... The monitor has shown his pulse regularly falls to around 40 (he is not at all athletic).

    Because the ECG is normal, but slow, the cardiologist thinks there could be another cause for it. IF..... the rhythm changes, or he has another syncope he will think about implanting a pacemaker... he has had an endocrinology work up, and that was normal.

    Because of his numerous symptoms, my research regularly brings me back to CFS. He had Mono with hepatic involvement about 3 years ago, shingles 2 years ago, and every bug that goes around he gets it. Has anybody else experienced this kind of heart problem with CFS?????


  2. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

    Sth Australia
    Its not one which Ive really heard others talking about. I thou can get postural bradycardia when Im laying down sleeping eg in low 50s (maybe lower but Ive only had one 24 hr test done). My postural bradycardia is caused by a common ME/CFS one..and being dysautonomia. His heart issue could be a form of dysautonomia (issue with the bodies regulation/autonomic system, cysfunction of some important body functions including the heart) and many forms of this are common in ME/CFS.

    Some forms of dysautonomia may be genetically passed on too. Dysautonomia is something which most doctors (even heart specialists) tend to know little about (I have a common dysautonomia form affecting my heart and 3 heart specialists hadnt heard of it before). Issues with heart dysregulation in ME/CFS thou is common and can affect in various ways. There are at least two people who have ME/CFS at this website who's heart has stopped from dysautonomia and they've needed resusitation from a tilt table test (a test in which they put you on a table and raise it some). For us (ME/CFS)..its recommended that resus equipment is at hand when one of those tests is done for that reason.

    I suggest you start researching Dysautonomia (gives a good defination of what Dysautonomia actually is and try to work out if some kind of this disorder is affecting your son.. note..cause of him geting frequently sick etc.. yes he may have something like ME/CFS).

    I wouldnt be surprised if there is undiscovered forms out there of very little research has even gone into the common forms. I have another rarer type of dysautonomia in which quite a few people at this website have.. and there has only ever been since the 1970s.. approx 17 research studies have ever done on it).

    Is there certain triggers which sometimes make his pulse fall to 40? Note if he did have a form of dysautonomia causing the heart thing... it may be doing it in response to other things going on in his body.

    Mono does have a connection to ME/CFS with 10% of those who get mono, ending up with this. The worst the mono was, the more likely this disease is.
  3. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

    Logan, Queensland, Australia
    Bradycardia is my issue too, though in me its compensated for by high blood pressure. When I am more exhausted this fails and I start passing out from just standing up or walking up a couple of stairs. I do not know what my heart rate is while sleeping. Technically I have neurally mediated hypotension, which was identified with a tilt table test.

    Do not do a tilt test in a minor facility. It could be dangerous - a large hospital is the safer place to run such a test.

    Most with CFS (or ME) have orthostatic intolerance, and this tend to fall into two major categories: neurally mediated hypotension ( often with bradycardia), or postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome. One tends to have a lower heart rate, the other a higher heart rate. However each of these is a syndrome in its own right, with many subgroups. I don't think we really understand this yet.
  4. SOC

    SOC Senior Member

    Shingles at 13yo is extremely unusual -- indicative of immune dysfunction. That should have raised a red flag with his doctor, imo. I would want his doctors to follow up on immune dysfunction and possible chronic infections, especially EBV since he had mono.
  5. macca


    Hello again

    Thank you for your replys, and the research tips, deep down I think his problem is cardiac, his symptoms are very obvious when his pulse falls suddenly. Initially it was an average of twice a month, but as time has gone on it is becoming more and more frequent and is now interferring with his lifestyle.

    His eating and sleeping patterns have improved enormously (as adviced) and we are always trying to find a "trigger" that might provoke these episodes. We have an appointment next month with a peadiatric cardiologist, so I will dig deeper into ME/CFS and hopefully have a list of questions and comparisons of cardiac problems, dysautonomias POTS etc.....

  6. Sushi

    Sushi Moderation Resource Albuquerque

    Hi Alex,

    I certainly agree about choosing a large hospital with a lot of experience for a Tilt Table Test, as yes, they can be dangerous and you want good monitoring.

    Re: Brady, I know I have episodes of it while sleeping as shown during a sleep study. It hit 30 once during a rapid eye movement phase--the sleep tech said that one is more or less paralyzed at points during sleep and that is when the extremely low pulse came. It only lasted for a few seconds though.

    What is your resting pulse? Mine is about 57, so already low. I don't have POTS but neurally mediated hypotension.

    In the last year or so, my resting pulse dropped 10 points. Do you keep track of such changes? My doc thought that this could mean than I have more blood volume, but there could be other causes too.


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