Author Topic: Bradycardia? anyone?  (Read 683 times)

Bradycardia? anyone?
« on: February 21, 2020, 06:13:28 pm »
Just wondering if anyone else has experienced anything along the lines of Bradycardia? It's getting close to 5 years now since I had a 24hr ECG as I was complaining of irregular and "extra" heartbeats - particularly when I was relaxing on the sofa or drifting off to sleep ( This usually coincides  with a limb jerking / twitch. ) The doc tells me it is perfectly normal and nothing to worry about as it just occurs as my heart rate slows down and 'clashes' ( for wont of a better word ) with the bodies natural electrical pulse. On one hand I find the doctor to be quite reassuring as he explains it rather well, but on the other hand I do find it both disconcerting and *annoying ( especially when in bed as *Mrs Trumpet will keep her distance as I doze off as she anticipates a leg or arm flinching as I fall asleep ! )
In the years since the ECG, there has been no improvement ( I've even given up caffeine ! ) and I arguably occasionally experience  "extra" beats especially when tired and/or trying to stay awake watching late night TV.  I've raised the issue with the doctor on a couple of occasions, but he just sees me as a fit cyclist with a low heart rate.
( For the record I haven't raced or trained seriously for 20+ years and I don't over exert myself on the bike these days as I prefer to enjoy the scenery and not get myself too out of breath. )
Anyone else experienced similar symptoms?

Re: Bradycardia? anyone?
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2020, 07:06:44 pm »
I’m bradycardic at rest and notice this happening roughly daily. It’s nothing to worry about in itself, but some people are more bothered by it than others, particularly if it is more frequent.

The ectopic beats themselves don’t cause any harm unless very frequent. The overall bradycardia, if extreme, can sometimes lead to blood pressure drops and light headedness etc, but if none of that is happening then it is nothing to worry about.

The other side of it is that the options for improving the situation all involve some degree of risk, hassle or unwanted side-effects, and general medicalisation.

Having said all that, given that your symptoms are troubling you, and as it has been 5 years, it would be reasonable to have an ECG and a fresh 24 hour tape for your reassurance and just to check that your underlying rhythm has not changed. That’s what I’d be asking the GP for in your shoes if I was worried.




Re: Bradycardia? anyone?
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2020, 07:17:37 pm »
I’m bradycardic at rest and notice this happening roughly daily. It’s nothing to worry about in itself, but some people are more bothered by it than others, particularly if it is more frequent.

The ectopic beats themselves don’t cause any harm unless very frequent. The overall bradycardia, if extreme, can sometimes lead to blood pressure drops and light headedness etc, but if none of that is happening then it is nothing to worry about.

The other side of it is that the options for improving the situation all involve some degree of risk, hassle or unwanted side-effects, and general medicalisation.

Having said all that, given that your symptoms are troubling you, and as it has been 5 years, it would be reasonable to have an ECG and a fresh 24 hour tape for your reassurance and just to check that your underlying rhythm has not changed. That’s what I’d be asking the GP for in your shoes if I was worried.
Thanks for the reply Sergeant. I will definitely speak to my GP re: a fresh ECG. I find it a bit frustrating as it does occur on probably a day to day basis for me too, and isn't going away or becoming less frequent - some days more noticeable than others, sometimes the extra beat will wake me in the middle of the night causing me to bite my tongue !

Re: Bradycardia? anyone?
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2020, 07:26:06 pm »
Do you mean Arrhythmia as ectopic beats is more associated  with that than Bradycardia? Bradycardia just means a resting HR below 60 bpm and doesn’t mean heart rhythm problems at all.
If you don’t make time for exercise now, sooner or later you’ll need to make time for ill health.

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: Bradycardia? anyone?
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2020, 07:36:42 pm »
Bradycardia just means a slow heart rate.
It is significant if it is causing noticeable symptoms like light-headedness or fainting, if there are LONG gaps between beats, if there are FREQUENT 'escape' beats or if the rate is below 40 beats per minute.

I don't know your baseline rate or if you have symptoms when active.

A 24 hour ECG recording might be helpful.

Or not.

Re: Bradycardia? anyone?
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2020, 07:45:32 pm »
What is 'slow'?
In the past year two different medical people have commented on my resting heart rate (usually about 45).
The nurse doing my pre-op check before my hernia fix said it was outside her limits, but she would put down that it was OK 'because I was so fit' ( :smug:).
And the chap doing the recent health check at work also commented. My blood pressure is OK (133/72 at the work health check).
"No matter how slow you go, you're still lapping everybody on the couch."

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: Bradycardia? anyone?
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2020, 07:58:48 pm »
I set the alarms off when my monitored heart rate dropped whist I was an inpatient.
Told the nurse I was fit and normally ran slowly.
Suggested she reset alarm parameters.
When I was younger, fitter and more foolish, I set my HRM to alarm a <40, which it duly did as I had a post-commute snooze.

Two decades of inactivity might have got my resting pulse up to almost 60...

zigzag

  • unfuckwithable
Re: Bradycardia? anyone?
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2020, 08:06:21 pm »
my resting hr can get down to high thirties at night (usually around 45 during the day), it's pretty normal for someone physically v.active. after one ecg a sports cardiologist mentioned about the extra beats (misfirings?), but said it's nothing to be bothered about. if it becomes annoying he said i'd need to carry a portable ecg device for 24hrs and if there are more than a certain number (which is quite high, iirc) of extra beats, then i might need some pills.

a bigger problem is if the heart is stuck at 180bpm

Re: Bradycardia? anyone?
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2020, 08:29:07 pm »
Thanks for the reply Sergeant. I will definitely speak to my GP re: a fresh ECG.

Unless it was done differently when you last had this done, the ECG might be done at the GPs but the tape usually needs a referral to a clinic to have it put on. Usually you can just post the kit back when done.


ElyDave

  • Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society member 263583
Re: Bradycardia? anyone?
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2020, 09:16:39 pm »
Bradychadia, yes, as low as 35bpm. Arrhythmia, not really.

As zigzag says, low hr by itself is not a problem in habitual exercisers, I have regular ecgs for work and its never been a problem, but they have commented on oddities in wave form that I understand are characteristic of folks like us
“Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.” –Charles Dickens

Re: Bradycardia? anyone?
« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2020, 10:12:43 pm »
You also mentioned jerking going off to sleep. This is normal and common. I have it and every few nights just as I drift off an arm or leg just jumps.

As a medical student I looked it up but cannot remember the name now.

It is different though to your cardiac problem and unrelated.

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: Bradycardia? anyone?
« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2020, 11:24:12 pm »
Myoclonic jerks IIRC...

Might be a good name for a band of politicians...

Re: Bradycardia? anyone?
« Reply #12 on: February 22, 2020, 12:08:26 am »
"Falling off the pavement" my Mum called it.

Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: Bradycardia? anyone?
« Reply #13 on: February 22, 2020, 12:30:52 am »
If Bradycardia is below 60 then that's what I have. Had to tell a few nurses that the rate they have seen is normal for me! When a fit youngster I recorded 28 as a resting rate. Now it hovers around 50. Ectopic beats and pauses seem to be related to stress, alcohol, coffee and fitness, much the same as my lifelong paroxysmal tachycardia. Although there wasn't a lot of alcohol and coffee in my early years.
If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

Re: Bradycardia? anyone?
« Reply #14 on: February 22, 2020, 12:35:27 am »
Trumpet,

You are presumably anxious, or you wouldn’t have posted.  So before I relate a bit of my own situation, I’d suggest you go and see your GP and ask to see a cardiologist.  It may well be nothing – but it may not be nothing forever.

I’ve had a low heart-rate in the 50s ever since I bothered measuring it.  I’m now in my mid-70s and have aways kept fit by running and riding.  It’s probably fairer to say I’ve been keen to keep fit rather than obsessive and certainly only rarely extreme.  I’ve been lucky enough to be a “natural” athlete, if not a spectacular one, so keeping fit has always been a pleasure rather than a chore.  Living in the Pennines does half of it for you anyway.

I was first “checked out” (as opposed to the occasional insurance medicals) about 4 years ago, when I had a couple of light-headed experiences.  The doctor sent me to a specialist, who arranged a stress test and an MRI.  The stress test (treadmill-type thing) showed I had occasional ectopic beats but this was no cause for concern.  The MRI indicated that my heart was fine.  I was discharged.  Incidentally, I had no further symptoms after the first couple of light-headed episodes.  Feeling pretty pleased with myself at that stage.

Still feeling good three years later, when I have what turns out to be a minor stroke (TIA).  Again. I have NO OTHER SYMPTOMS.  But the subsequent series of tests (ECGs, R-tests and so on) show that my (enlarged) heart is in a very bad way indeed.  I have atrial fibrillation, though it’s not constant and my heart can both stop for a couple of seconds or beat at insanely fast speeds, none of which I detect physically.  I’m on tablets to try and stabilise this, with some success, I think, and I’m further encouraged by last week’s angiogram which indicated that I haven’t got coronary artery disease.  Add that to the fact that my life-style (active, vegetarian, occasional drinker, non-smoker) doesn’t need adjustment, then I should be quietly confident.  But…….

A recent (November) ultrasound of my heart, shows that the way it pumps (atrially) is really poor:  35% ejection fraction is regarded as “severe”.  Mine is 10% or less, the prognosis for which is, shall we say, short.  But I’m still riding my bike, albeit gently, still teaching and I’ve been supporting Newcastle for long enough for their results not even to cause me a flutter.  And I’m very confident in my doctor and the other practitioners I’ve been seeing.


I hope you don’t mind me going on at such length.  I’m not trying to scare you.  What others have said is almost certainly correct and it’s what I told myself.  But in my case, it turned out that there were developments which I was lucky enough to get a warning about, via the stroke.

I had no reason to suspect my heart all those years.  But you actually feel signs.

So go and see a doctor again, please!

Re: Bradycardia? anyone?
« Reply #15 on: February 22, 2020, 08:49:52 am »
Do you mean Arrhythmia as ectopic beats is more associated  with that than Bradycardia? Bradycardia just means a resting HR below 60 bpm and doesn’t mean heart rhythm problems at all.

Yes Phil, Arrhythmia as ectopic beats.

Re: Bradycardia? anyone?
« Reply #16 on: February 22, 2020, 07:19:42 pm »
This cardiologist has loads of videos on all apects of heart health, and many on ectopic beats, etc.
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLjSeITOesEjuWRYbhCiKXpQPG7vIM3OXZ

Re: Bradycardia? anyone?
« Reply #17 on: February 22, 2020, 09:00:24 pm »
Thanks for all the replies. Much appreciated. I'll post any further developments.

Re: Bradycardia? anyone?
« Reply #18 on: February 22, 2020, 09:55:09 pm »
Let's hope there won't be any "further developments"!

All the best.