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Hard case to crack
Hi all, I am new and scared of what could possibly be going on with my heart. No definite diagnosis yet but wanted to get some encouragement and check symptoms. Long story for me but here goes....
I am 36 y.o. Female, 3 kids, 5’8 and 137lbs. I have always been active and walk for exercise. No health issues other than some psoriasis and pcos. it all started in June of this year 2019. I ended up in the ER with a hemorrhagic cyst on my ovary. They had to do emergency surgery and remove the ovary and tube, I lost 4 pints of blood, lots of passing out and took a long time for the ER to figure out what was happening to me. Had 2 unit transfusion. All went well and I recovered well was started on birth control pill (bcp) to help control cysts.
Fast forward to September I had an ‘episode’ while at the orthodontist office with my kiddos. I remember it so vividly because I had never felt that way before. I started to get dizzy felt like I was going to hit the floor. I hurried to the bathroom and felt instant diarrhea... I drank some water and tried to breathe through it. Was able to get us all home safe and just rest. After that I continued to feel dizziness then my husband suggested I start checking my blood pressure (bp) I noticed it was up but no one seems to worry when mine is 120/80 but I always have. (I had pre-eclampsia with my first pregnancy) I always run 95/55 or In That range. Went to ER in October because I couldn’t sleep and my heart rate was 140 and just felt my heart was gonna explode. They did all the usual ekg and blood work and everything seem to come back ok, they also did a ct scan of my brain cause I was having intense migraines and headaches. bp was 147/85 but did come down. I just new the bcp was causing my blood pressure to go up so my ob took me off them first of November. Then the real heart issues started. I feel my blood pressure is way better now that I’m off the bcp though.
I followed up with PCP in October and told her my heart was having palpatations and also pain in my chest and my shoulder blade behind my heart. (this is a daily pain now) She ordered a holter monitor and echocaridogram. I got referred to cardiologist which I saw last week. The holter monitor showed 7 cardiac events with a couple being possible afib. The echo was good. Cardiologist didn't feel confident I had afib so I wore another xio monitor for 3 days last week. Don't have the results back from that yet and have stress test scheduled for this Monday.
Cardiologist did say the blood loss I experienced in June definately put a strain on my heart and the bcp didn't help since it increased my blood pressure. It now runs about 117/75.
Some symptoms I am experiencing are on/off dizziness, on/off intestinal discomfort, major fatigue, pounding heart/palpitations/very aware of my heart beat. My resting heart rate stays in the upper 70's. I have the palpitations daily, but the "episodes" are worse... and come out of nowhere. I feel like I'm dying when they happen. All I can do is lay down and pray.I have extreme exhaustion afterwards. I have taken benedryl to help me sleep when an episode hits, sometimes it helps... not always. They gave me this in the ER to slow my heart rate I assumed. I don't know for sure this was the reason. Also have been experiencing extreme loss of appetite... which is scary. I have to force myself to eat most days and have lost about 7lbs in the last month.
Have had lots of bloodwork and everything seems normal, vit D and all that.
I did request they do a full thyroid panel since my sister, mother, father, all have hypothyroidism... also my aunt and all 3 first cousins. But everthing came back normal.. my TSH was .51 which I think is very borderline hyper, but they still consider it normal.
They also did a d-dimer blood test and it was positive so they sent me to the ER the next day to make sure I did not have a blood clot. Which thankfully I didn't. I still wonder why the d-dimer was high. if you don't know what that is.. I didn't either, you can google it but basically can indicate if you have a blood clot. I also had a positive d-dimer when I was in the ER in July (I had a cold but they were worried it could be a pulmoery embolism so I had to go to ER) they didn't really explain the blood test to me but again was clear of a blood clot in the lungs.
Refering to the ER visit in June I had an EKG they said everything looked good, but I decided to request all my medical records from every ER visit this year just to have them and let the Cardiologist look at them. I noticed on the EKG report it says "possible anterior myocardial infarction, probably old" so thats a little worrisome.. they never said a thing about that. Also says "possible right ventricular conduction delay". I will show this to the cardiologist just to see what he thinks.
So, after sharing all this.. I would love and appreciate any insight, advice, encouragement, anything! There seems to be so many factors and trying to eliminate and find what's truly causing my issues has me worn. I know I'm young but not too young for heart issues as I've read through so many of your posts and it can happen at any age. I also know hormones play a major role in heart health, so I was hoping going off the BCP would help get me back on track. .I am about 6 weeks off it.. I do feel the dizziness is better because before it was awful I couldn't drive or hardly go into a store I would get such vertigo. ( I even went to physical therapy because they thought I had positional vertigo, but I didn't)
I am a big mystery.. and I fear I always will be. It's discouraging when the dr. can't figure out the cause of your symptoms as I know alot of you understand. I'm thankful I found this website.
depotdoug, December 11, 2019 11:32pm EST
Joy217, dizziness would get my attention quickly. AFIB is or could be hard to tell with an EKG during that instance time period. Have you thought about buying a KARDIA MOBILE EKG plate?? I think they are $99.00 on Kardia website.. You could easily take your own EKG anywhere anytime yourself. It's easy and painless. Plus you can store your readings email them, print them take them to your Cardiologist office the same day. If you think I'm being persistent that's normal for me. I love my KARDIA MOBILE EKG PLATE plus I have an APPLE S4 watch with HR (BPM) and EKG read functionality. Same with Apple S4 or S5 watch they are mobile and you can save print reading charts. They are not hard to interpret either. Well the Kardia mobile plate asks you if you want a cardio clinician review or a cardiologist ekg review.
keep us updated Joy. You may be surprised that you need an Electrophysiology study of your heart. Only an EP Dr does that. I monitor my EKG often especially when I have post exercising symptoms like SOB or dizzy spells.
you may even have a Magnesium imbalance in your blood system. Just sone of my thoughts.
Thumper2, December 12, 2019 8:11am EST
Joy217, we' re glad you're here and glad you are working on tracking down the meaning(s) of your many symptoms. I have two suggestions -- consult with an electrophysiologist (EP). They are cardiologists who specialize in the electrical working of the heart. Also, it could be very good to find out if you have sleep apnea. Untreated sleep apnea can have a negative effect on AFib. Please keep us posted on how things are going! All the best--
Shanfraz, December 12, 2019 9:02am EST
Hi joy, One thing I’d say for sure is .51 is too low for tsh. I was a bit lower but had palpitations and felt very unstable down at these levels. I was on medication for awhile and changed my diet to help bring my numbers back up, now reading around 2.5.
Im also a firm believer in good magnesium. Check out Carolyn Dean.com. She is a md/nd. I’ve been doing so much better on her magnesium which is the number one mineral that that heart needs. Start slowly and follow the directions if you use her magnesium. They also have a wonderful customer service line. She also has weekly talks that can help inform you better about our hearts in her general. I’ve learned a lot from her site and her book, the magnesium miracle. Worth checking out.
one last thing, hopefully your a good water drinker, very important for us to stay highly hydrated for system functioning well. Prayers and this is a wonderful site and good helpful people. Carol
Joy217, December 12, 2019 3:27pm EST
Depotdoug- Thanks so much for your advice, I didn't know about the Kardiamobile, thats good to know since I really think my episodes come when they want to and seems when I am wearing the monitor they never do. Shortly after I took it off I had one.. figures.
Carol- I am very interested in your and Doug's response about magnesium. I have looked through all my blood work and don't see that they have even checked that. You'd think that would be something that would be protocol. I called my primary care today to see if they would do a check on that for me. Waiting to hear back. I am trying to drink more water for sure.. not great in that department... with no appetite its even harder to hydrate cause everything is just so unappetizing. I looked into the Carolyn Dean website and think I could benefit from the magnesium for sure. I've been trying to drink powerade but I know that's not enough.
Judy- Thank you for yor response as well. The cardiologist did say if its afib he would refer me on to the EP so at least he's on the ball with that. As for sleep apnea I don't think I have it, I don't snore or have sleep issues. But when I get the heart episodes I do have trouble getting settled.
Please keep replying if anyone else has any advice... I think we can gain so much from each other sometimes more than from what the dr's offer.
Is no appettite a symptom of heart issues?
Shanfraz, December 12, 2019 3:52pm EST
Joy, if your not eating, I believe along with not keeping yourself hydrated can tax your heart and other organs. I believe our bodies get strained to operate when we don’t fuel ourselves . I know personally that I can’t run on empty with regard to eating. My body and heart doesn’t like it.
Regarding testing for magnesium, I paid for the test myself thru direct labs which Carolyn dean suggested. She also suggested an magnesium RBC test vs just a serum test. She said that a serum test doesn’t accurately tell you how much magnesium. Most magnesium is in the red blood count and she said a better marker for magnesium levels. I just had the test and still find my magnesium low in comparison to the levels that Dr. dean likes. I was 4.6 and she like this number to be around 6.
As far as the water goes, it’s soooooooo important for everything to function Gatorade is liquid but not water. Once you start drinking your body will start wishing for more. Especially in the cold weather when we don’t think we need it. Try it I bet you’ll feel better yes more bathroom runs but I’d rather that the runs to the ER. 😉
depotdoug, December 12, 2019 4:16pm EST
KARDIA Mobile is an extremely portable and manageable way to ck your Heart Rhythm anytime of the day or night. Webiste is
Check the reviews and $ is 85.00 can be used with either iphone or android based mobile phones. In the ~ 7+ years i've had mine, now on my 3rd version upgrade EKG plate it has proven itself every time.
Yes,food or lack of food, dehyrdation from low or less water intake has caused my AFIB to rear its ugly Rhythm head. Oh when I'm exercising hard, drinking flavored water a lot, I do get indigestion or upper stomach gas(s) episodes which I think are AFIB disasters, they are not.
Keep us informed Joy.
MellanieSAF, December 13, 2019 9:09pm EST
Dizzyness first caused me to think of dehydration, especially with three kids and probably not having as much time to pay attention to taking care of yourself. Hydration is worth paying attention to.
Magnesium is another strong recommendation from this community. (It doesn't have to be Dr. Dean's magnesium - magnesium glycinate or magnesium taurate should be fine). Also, potassium goes hand-in-hand with magnesium.
Birth control pills have a checkered history with our hearts and with heightened stroke risk, so with afib, it's really good that you are off of them.
Joy217, December 15, 2019 9:05pm EST
Thank you all for your contiuned comments. I have definately bumped up the water intake in the last few days. I also have been adding the sea salt to my water to get some extra minerals.
I am very curious if its my magnesium with all of you recommending this. The dr.'s office said I could come in for a magnesium test tomm. I just wonder if it's worth it if its the serum test that really doesn't give an accurate level of magnesium in the body. I ordered some from Dr. Dean so I will start slow and hope and pray this is the answer to alot my issues.
I started researching why would I have just developed a magnesium defeciancy, what would have brought this on? With a simple google search and tons of information shows birth control pills are known to deplete minerals in the body, especially magnesium.
Why don't the doctors think to check this???? Seems like a first line of defense in many situations. I'm sure it's not a cure all but definately worth a look. Mine sure didn't I had to come here to even hear the word magnesium.
I have stress test tomm. and hope to know results from all these test by the end of the week...
Thanks again so much for your thoughts and advice.. keep it coming .. I need the encouragment.
MellanieSAF, December 15, 2019 9:13pm EST
Why don't doctors tell us about magnesium? Because there is no real evidence that magnesium supplementation helps, so they don't buy into this. However, if magnesium IVs in the ER can help convert you, there is a lot of logic behind believing that magnesium supplementation works.
Joy217, December 17, 2019 4:05pm EST
So how long once you start using magnesium should you notice some sort of difference in symptoms?