How to Slow Rapid Heartbeat?

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Homeskillet

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My heart rate has been running steady between 85-95 BPM while resting for a week now. I’m usually at around 60 for resting heart rate. Blood pressure fine, it’s only the heart itself giving me the trouble.

I spoke w. the Cardio nurses today and she is trying to set me up for a EKG—but in the meantime I am stuck w. this rapid heartbeat.

Not sure what is causing it, but inasmuch as I recently found out that my EF is slowly dropping I am wondering if it’s not subconscious anxiety. The cardio nurse that they’re going to do another echo in 6 months & if my EF keeps dropping the next step will be a pacemaker😡.

If anyone on here knows of anything that slows resting heart rate I would be much obliged for your info. Of course, my fear is that I have contracted some type of infection (endo.?) and the heart is trying to fight it off.

Oh, just so everyone knows, I have an On-X Mitral Valve—after my tissue valve completely failed within 1 year😳. Yep, that means I had 2 open-heart-surgeries within 1.5 yr. Thank you in advance!
 
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rich01

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What I try is slow deep breathing, meditation, easy exercise like going for a walk, cleaning up diet.

Something else I do, which usually works for me but might cause anxiety in others, is to use a finger monitor (pulse oximeter). I will sit comfortably and put the finger monitor on, and then focus on relaxing either through meditation or deep breathing. I use the monitor to see if I am successful. Over time, you get where you can do this without using the monitor.

Obviously this won't work in all cases. It does seem to work if stress or anxiety is causing the rapid heart rate.
 

Homeskillet

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What I try is slow deep breathing, meditation, easy exercise like going for a walk, cleaning up diet.

Something else I do, which usually works for me but might cause anxiety in others, is to use a finger monitor (pulse oximeter). I will sit comfortably and put the finger monitor on, and then focus on relaxing either through meditation or deep breathing. I use the monitor to see if I am successful. Over time, you get where you can do this without using the monitor.

Obviously this won't work in all cases. It does seem to work if stress or anxiety is causing the rapid heart rate.
Got it. Yes, deep breathing does seem to help some. Good idea regarding O2 monitor.

EKG showed stable heart rhythm w. some PVC’s. Ejection Fraction (EF) is actually at 30-35%. They’re considering raising my carvedilol—which will likely wipe me out energy-wise.

Cardio nurse mentioned that surgeon had to remove some chords surrounding mitral valve due to extreme scarring. She said that’s what is likely lowering my EF.

From the sound of everything considered & reading between the lines—it sounds like I will likely die an early death inasmuch as there really isn’t anything else they can do outside of an actual transplant. But even then, my understanding is that you MIGHT get 10 years w. a transplant.

Appreciate the feedback.
 

rich01

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I've been thinking about this and if it was me, unless there was an overwhelming reason to stay with this cardiologist, I would be looking for one somewhere that could help me.

With the problem you are having with ef and heart rate, the nurse should have had you in for an EKG that day or sent you to er. It only takes about 10 minutes to set up and perform the EKG.

Why did your valve fail?
 

Homeskillet

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I've been thinking about this and if it was me, unless there was an overwhelming reason to stay with this cardiologist, I would be looking for one somewhere that could help me.

With the problem you are having with ef and heart rate, the nurse should have had you in for an EKG that day or sent you to er. It only takes about 10 minutes to set up and perform the EKG.

Why did your valve fail?
I see the cardio in a month. If I detect that they’re dragging their feet I will definitely change cardio’s for a university hospital. OHSU is in Portland, OR (I live in So OR) & have world class surgeons there.

No one knows why my native valve failed. I went w. the tissue mitral replacement originally to avoid Coumadin, which was supposed to last approx. 10-15 yrs. Mine lasted 1 year and no one knows why it failed, but there was a massive amount of scaring & a sub valvular membrane that my surgeon said was a massive stroke waiting to happen (he said he barely touched it and it came loose). Every single surgeon & cardio I have spoken with has told me that this is extremely rare, but it was not calcium buildup or endo.

I have been telling my wife that I may need to switch cardios due to the severity of my case, but, if I do that my cardio will be 5 hours away. Here at home my cardio is 5 minutes away...hence my dilemma.

Appreciate the time taken for input on this forum.
 

pellicle

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are you on anything like Metoprolol?

Its been quite a while since your OHS, so I'd have thought that the deep breathing stuff (which worked for me in my recovery) would be past being a solution.

Have your brought this up with your cardio?
 

pellicle

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I probably should have started here ... but oh well

My heart rate has been running steady between 85-95 BPM while resting for a week now. I’m usually at around 60 for resting heart rate.
you mean "normally" in the recent time after surgery?


I spoke w. the Cardio nurses today and she is trying to set me up for a EKG
seems like a good path ... gather data n stuff

Not sure what is causing it, but inasmuch as I recently found out that my EF is slowly dropping I am wondering if it’s not subconscious anxiety.
are you prone to that? Did it start soon after hearing the news?

The cardio nurse that they’re going to do another echo in 6 months & if my EF keeps dropping the next step will be a pacemaker😡.
I don't know anything about this area, but that seems weird to me.
 

Homeskillet

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are you on anything like Metoprolol?

Its been quite a while since your OHS, so I'd have thought that the deep breathing stuff (which worked for me in my recovery) would be past being a solution.

Have your brought this up with your cardio?
Not on Metoprolol—taking Carvedilol & Lisinopril.

I am making a list of things to discuss w. cardio. I think I’ll put the deep breathing into the list.
 

Homeskillet

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I probably should have started here ... but oh well



you mean "normally" in the recent time after surgery?




seems like a good path ... gather data n stuff



are you prone to that? Did it start soon after hearing the news?



I don't know anything about this area, but that seems weird to me.
Yes, after my last surgery my resting heart rate has been pretty stable at 50-60. I did have my EKG & it showed stable rhythm except for some PVC’s, which they said was not anything to worry about, but that might be what I am feeling.

Yes, the elevated heart rate did begin after hearing that my EF is still dropping. It seems to have calmed a wee bit in last 2 days though. I am really beginning to suspect it was subconscious anxiety after hearing the news—since it got better after the EKG results (yes, after all of these on-going issues I can be prone to anxiety).

And I agree that the pacemaker seems odd, but I *THINK* they would be doing that to stop the heart from failing if I am understanding right (?). In the meantime I have ordered a TON of supplements from an online cardiologist that is supposed to help w. EF ratio. Probably just helping him get rich, but just trying anything I can find at the moment (& I test at home so I will keep a watch on INR).

Regardless, if EF keeps dropping, not good.
 

rich01

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I have been telling my wife that I may need to switch cardios due to the severity of my case, but, if I do that my cardio will be 5 hours away. Here at home my cardio is 5 minutes away...hence my dilemma.

Appreciate the time taken for input on this forum.
I have a local cardiologist, mainly for any emergency situation that may come up, but I still see the cardiologist (2 hours away) that put in my aortic valve.
 

dornole

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Are you having other symptoms at all? Shortness of breath etc? Is the rapid heart rate preventing you from doing anything you want to do? Is it uncomfortable?
 

gerrychuck

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Pacemakers do not stop your heart from failing, under normal circumstances. With right ventricular pacing, they actually lower ef by introducing a slight delay between the contractions of the two ventricles. When that occurs, it can be reversed, however, by going to biventricular pacing, also called cardio resynchronization. If you have a left bundle branch block already (very possible with a lot of scarring around the mitral valve) that same asynchrony can occur, because the left ventricle is already being triggered by the right ventricle, resulting in the same slight delay in contraction. Under those circumstances biventricular pacing could make a big difference in your ef, often 20%. That may be what the nurse is talking about. The other possibility is that when Ef drops below 30 they often want to put in a pacer with internal defibrillator, as I'm told the risk of sudden arrest really increases at that point.

My ef dropped from around 50 to around 40 when I got a right ventricular pacer around 2 years ago. I also have a mechanical mitral valve. Mitral replacements have a greater effect on heart function than do aortic replacements, as the chordae that tether the leaflets to the heart wall, along with the papillary muscles that control them, are excised during the surgery, which affects the function of the left ventricle. I was originally told, when my ef dropped, that they wouldn't do biventricular pacing unless my ef dropped below 30, and then they would also incorporate the ICD. I am now being followed by a heart function team, however, and they tell me that they are getting much more aggressive with their interventions, and if my ef doesn't respond to increased dosage of ace inhibitor and beta blocker plus a form of diuretic, that they will consider going to biventricular right away. Again, it is quite common to see a 20% or greater improvement in ef with that change, so I am fairly relaxed about the whole thing right now. Fairly😉
 

KSS

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My heart rate has been running steady between 85-95 BPM while resting for a week now. I’m usually at around 60 for resting heart rate. Blood pressure fine, it’s only the heart itself giving me the trouble.

I spoke w. the Cardio nurses today and she is trying to set me up for a EKG—but in the meantime I am stuck w. this rapid heartbeat.

Not sure what is causing it, but inasmuch as I recently found out that my EF is slowly dropping I am wondering if it’s not subconscious anxiety. The cardio nurse that they’re going to do another echo in 6 months & if my EF keeps dropping the next step will be a pacemaker😡.

If anyone on here knows of anything that slows resting heart rate I would be much obliged for your info. Of course, my fear is that I have contracted some type of infection (endo.?) and the heart is trying to fight it off.

Oh, just so everyone knows, I have an On-X Mitral Valve—after my tissue valve completely failed within 1 year😳. Yep, that means I had 2 open-heart-surgeries within 1.5 yr. Thank you in advance!
A beta-blocker will slow your heart rate. Maybe ask your dr about whether it benefit you.
 

pellicle

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.. With right ventricular pacing, they actually lower ef by introducing a slight delay between the contractions of the two ventricles. When that occurs, it can be reversed, however, by going to biventricular pacing, also called cardio resynchronization.... that same asynchrony can occur, because the left ventricle is already being triggered by the right ventricle, resulting in the same slight delay in contraction. Under those circumstances biventricular pacing could make a big difference in your ef, often 20%. That may be what the nurse is talking about. ...
I love it when I learn something new ... thanks for that :)
 

Homeskillet

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I have a local cardiologist, mainly for any emergency situation that may come up, but I still see the cardiologist (2 hours away) that put in my aortic valve.
I was thinking about doing that as well. Good idea.
 

Homeskillet

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Are you having other symptoms at all? Shortness of breath etc? Is the rapid heart rate preventing you from doing anything you want to do? Is it uncomfortable?
I can tell that the full strength of my heart is not there. Sometimes shortness of breath when exercise, but nothing major. The heartbeat has slowed some. But, yes, it was VERY disconcerting.
 

Homeskillet

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Pacemakers do not stop your heart from failing, under normal circumstances. With right ventricular pacing, they actually lower ef by introducing a slight delay between the contractions of the two ventricles. When that occurs, it can be reversed, however, by going to biventricular pacing, also called cardio resynchronization. If you have a left bundle branch block already (very possible with a lot of scarring around the mitral valve) that same asynchrony can occur, because the left ventricle is already being triggered by the right ventricle, resulting in the same slight delay in contraction. Under those circumstances biventricular pacing could make a big difference in your ef, often 20%. That may be what the nurse is talking about. The other possibility is that when Ef drops below 30 they often want to put in a pacer with internal defibrillator, as I'm told the risk of sudden arrest really increases at that point.

My ef dropped from around 50 to around 40 when I got a right ventricular pacer around 2 years ago. I also have a mechanical mitral valve. Mitral replacements have a greater effect on heart function than do aortic replacements, as the chordae that tether the leaflets to the heart wall, along with the papillary muscles that control them, are excised during the surgery, which affects the function of the left ventricle. I was originally told, when my ef dropped, that they wouldn't do biventricular pacing unless my ef dropped below 30, and then they would also incorporate the ICD. I am now being followed by a heart function team, however, and they tell me that they are getting much more aggressive with their interventions, and if my ef doesn't respond to increased dosage of ace inhibitor and beta blocker plus a form of diuretic, that they will consider going to biventricular right away. Again, it is quite common to see a 20% or greater improvement in ef with that change, so I am fairly relaxed about the whole thing right now. Fairly😉
Wow—much appreciated. Very informative. I will actually copy-paste this & ask my cardio about this when I see her later this month. Sounds very promising. Again, thank you for the info.
 

Homeskillet

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A beta-blocker will slow your heart rate. Maybe ask your dr about whether it benefit you.
Already on low dose carvedilol, but I anticipate them raising it this week (I have a call into cardio. now) 👍.
 
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