Author Topic: Atrial Tachycardia (prolonged rapid heartbeat)  (Read 72631 times)

Offline ForeverGirl

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Atrial Tachycardia (prolonged rapid heartbeat)
« on: February 25, 2008, 09:10:06 AM »
My normal heart rate averages between 68 and 75 beats per minute when I am relaxed. Beginning last night my heart rate went up to 84 beats per minute. It escalated during the night and kept me breathless and awake. This morning I began to feel light headed and timed it at 112 beats per minute. It continued to rise until I felt faint and began breathing like I was running at 128 beats per minute while still reclining.

I took a Chamomile and Hops tincture without success. I am also taking the SuperMom multi vitamin, digestive enzymes, Omega fatty acids, and Silymarin.

I found the following information on the web and felt like my "atrial tachycardia" was due to a potassium deficiency [which was causing a digoxin toxicity]= note: not sure about this], which was stressing my heart.

I took 10- 15 mg. of liquid Potassium in tea when my heart rate was at 114 beats per minute.

10 minutes later my heart beat was down to 84 beats per minute.

20 minutes later my heart beat was 72 beats per minute.

I felt very tired and cold once my heart beat returned to normal, but a few stretches and deep breathing restored me to a relatively normal state.

There are other causes of rapid prolonged heart beat, most are listed in the information below.
To check your heart rate, feel for your pulse and count your heart beats for 15 seconds. Multiply the number of beats times 4 (one minute).

http://www.bmj.com/cgi/reprint/324/7337/594.pdf
Atrial tachycardia
Atrial tachycardia typically arises from an ectopic source in the
atrial muscle and produces an atrial rate of 150-250
beats/min—slower than that of atrial flutter. The P waves may be
abnormally shaped depending on the site of the ectopic
pacemaker.
The ventricular rate depends on the degree of
atrioventricular block, but when 1:1 conduction occurs a rapid
ventricular response may result. Increasing the degree of block
with carotid sinus massage or adenosine may aid the diagnosis. [this is massaging the large veins in your neck to regulate your heartbeat. This did not work for me.]
There are four commonly recognised types of atrial
tachycardia. Benign atrial tachycardia is a common arrhythmia
in elderly people. It is paroxysmal in nature, has an atrial rate of
80-140 beats/min and an abrupt onset and cessation, and is
brief in duration.
Types of atrial tachycardia
x Benign
x Incessant ectopic
x Multifocal
x Atrial tachycardia with block (digoxin toxicity)
Sinoatrial node
Right atrium
Left atriumAtrioventricular node
Atrial tachycardia is initiated by an ectopic atrial focus (the P wave
morphology therefore differs from that of sinus rhythm)
Atrial tachycardia with 2:1 block (note the inverted P waves)
596 BMJ VOLUME 324 9 MARCH 2002 bmj.com

Incessant ectopic atrial tachycardia is a rare chronic
arrhythmia in children and young adults. The rate depends on
the underlying sympathetic tone and is characteristically
100-160 beats/min
. It can be difficult to distinguish from a sinus
tachycardia. Diagnosis is important as it may lead to dilated
cardiomyopathy if left untreated.
Multifocal atrial tachycardia occurs when multiple sites in
the atria are discharging and is due to increased automaticity. It
is characterised by P waves of var ying morphologies and PR
inter vals of different lengths on the electrocardiographic trace.
The ventricular rate is irregular. It can be distinguished from
Multifocal atrial fibrillation
Clinical review
 on 25 February 2008 bmj.comDownloaded from atrial fibrillation by an isoelectric baseline between the P waves.
It is typically seen in association with chronic pulmonar y
disease. Other causes include hypoxia or digoxin toxicity.
Atrial tachycardia with atrioventricular block is typically
seen with digoxin toxicity. The ventricular rhythm is usually
regular but may be irregular if atrioventricular block is variable.
Although often referred to as “paroxysmal atrial tachycardia
with block” this arrhythmia is usually sustained.
The ABC of clinical electrocardiography is edited by Francis Morris,
consultant in emergency medicine at the Northern General Hospital,
Sheffield; June Edhouse, consultant in emergency medicine, Stepping
Hill Hospital, Stockport; William J Brady, associate professor,
programme director, and vice chair, department of emergency
medicine, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, USA; and John
Camm, professor of clinical cardiology, St George’s Hospital Medical
School, London. The series will be published as a book in the
summer.

Conditions associated with atrial tachycardia
x Cardiomyopathy
x Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
x Ischaemic heart disease
x Rheumatic heart disease
x Sick sinus syndrome
x Digoxin toxicity
Steve Goodacre is health ser vices research fellow in the accident and
emergency department at the Northern General Hospital, Sheffield;
Richard Irons is consultant in accident and emergency medicine at
the Princess of Wales Hospital, Bridgend.
BMJ 2002;324:594–7



 http://www.veterinaria.uchile.cl/publicacion/congresoxi/prafesional/am/17.doc.

Other causes [of Digoxin toxicity]  include hypoxia, electrolyte disturbances (especially low K+), hyperthyroidism, administration of anesthetic agents, digitalis intoxication, acidosis, "toxemia," endogenous sympathetic stimulation and sympathomimetic drugs including dobutamine, aminophylline and terbutaline.

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20061007163237AA03b5p

K+ is Potassium, yes it is an electrolyte. You can find it in bananas and oranges. Your body needs it for heart rythym and muscle action.


http://www.welltellme.com/discuss/index.php/topic,3903.msg107557.html#msg107557

MSG (monosodium glutamate, an excitotoxin) can also cause atrial tachycardia. See the above link.


Rebekah
« Last Edit: February 26, 2008, 08:47:01 AM by ForeverGirl »
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Offline ShabbyChic

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Re: Atrial Tachycardia (prolonged rapid heartbeat)
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2008, 10:23:38 AM »
Wow.  Is there any history of any heart issues in your family? 

Heart disease and heart problems are the leading cause of women's health issues, but as healthy as your diet is and as young as you are I find it hard to believe that your arteries are hardening.  Cardiomyopathy, atherosclerosis and other issues that cause your arteries to harden and your valves to not pump efficiently (causing arhythmias) are also less likely unless you're african american or male.

If you went to a cardiologist he'd most likely just hook you up to an EKG, ECG, and do x-rays to tell you, "Gosh, Mrs. Anast, you've got HOW MANY children, and you and your husband wear HOW MANY hats?  It's just stress; you need to take it easy and meditate," and send you home. 

I'm wondering if it may be related to a thyroid issue.  My MIL has hypothyroidism, but I'd think you could have hypertyroid issues.  Just because of the symptoms.  A friend of mine treated this with increasing her trace minerals.  Those are my only thoughts.   :D
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Offline floydian

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Re: Atrial Tachycardia (prolonged rapid heartbeat)
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2008, 10:26:14 AM »
My dad has this at times. 

Mrs. B on another thread mentioned that lack of magnesium can cause this.
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Offline Mrs. B

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Re: Atrial Tachycardia (prolonged rapid heartbeat)
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2008, 10:38:34 AM »
Dehydration and stress can also lead to a change in electrolytes at times...
On a very basic level...you want to make sure you are well hydrated so the electrolytes can get to where they need to be...
Stress can use up the electrolytes as your body is requiring more fuel...

This can be a benign thing and most likely due to electrolyte depletion/dehydration, but if it continues to happen, please see your MD just to make sure there isn't another process at work here...

Offline ForeverGirl

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Re: Atrial Tachycardia (prolonged rapid heartbeat)
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2008, 11:18:19 AM »
Wow.  Is there any history of any heart issues in your family? 

Yes, actually. However, I don't think this particular *heart thing* is a hardening of the arteries... just a mineral/electrolyte imbalance. This actually used to  happen to me quite a lot when I was a teenager. It also happened more severely to my little sister for years. She had several heart check-ups, tests, etc... and was told "it's not dangerous, part of your heart just gets going faster for no reason sometimes."

Quote
If you went to a cardiologist he'd most likely just hook you up to an EKG, ECG, and do x-rays to tell you, "Gosh, Mrs. Anast, you've got HOW MANY children, and you and your husband wear HOW MANY hats?  It's just stress; you need to take it easy and meditate," and send you home.

ROFLOL!... You know, I have been wearing a hat a lot lately. 

Quote
I'm wondering if it may be related to a thyroid issue.  My MIL has hypothyroidism, but I'd think you could have hypertyroid issues.  Just because of the symptoms.  A friend of mine treated this with increasing her trace minerals.  Those are my only thoughts.   :D

A trace mineral supplement is the form of Potassium I took this morning that slowed down my heart.

Quote
Dehydration and stress can also lead to a change in electrolytes at times...
On a very basic level...you want to make sure you are well hydrated so the electrolytes can get to where they need to be...
Stress can use up the electrolytes as your body is requiring more fuel...

Yes, this is what I thought. We have had a pretty stressful month. However, I am not dehydrated. I've been drinking lots of Red Raspberry tea lately!  It has been a bad winter and yesterday was the first day in a couple of months that I was able to go out for a walk. I walked rather fast for a mile, while talking full blast (Gabe came with me  ;D) and when I got home I felt a little light headed. (BTW, I'm 26 wks PG) I suppose if I already had a K+ deficiency, or an electrolyte imbalance, the walk could have been the straw that broke the camel's back. 

Thanks for the feedback.  :)

Rebekah

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Offline ShabbyChic

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Re: Atrial Tachycardia (prolonged rapid heartbeat)
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2008, 11:49:29 AM »
That'll be $26,000.   :D
That's Shabby SHEIK not Shabby CHICK.  Hee-hee.

Offline ladyhen

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Re: Atrial Tachycardia (prolonged rapid heartbeat)
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2008, 01:15:33 PM »
One of my daughters and I have had episodes of tachycardia which our Dr. has ascribed to my Addison's disease and her low adrenal/low thyroid. 

YUP!   Stress and electrolytes are the diagnosis.

I'll have to try a banana or orange next time.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2008, 10:59:58 AM by blessed213 »
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Offline Mrs. B

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Re: Atrial Tachycardia (prolonged rapid heartbeat)
« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2008, 02:56:05 PM »






Yes, this is what I thought. We have had a pretty stressful month. However, I am not dehydrated. I've been drinking lots of Red Raspberry tea lately!  It has been a bad winter and yesterday was the first day in a couple of months that I was able to go out for a walk. I walked rather fast for a mile, while talking full blast (Gabe came with me  ;D) and when I got home I felt a little light headed. (BTW, I'm 26 wks PG) I suppose if I already had a K+ deficiency, or an electrolyte imbalance, the walk could have been the straw that broke the camel's back. 

Thanks for the feedback.  :)

Rebekah


Hey,
I didn't realize you were pregnant (Congrats!), but I always found that with mine this was one of the times I would have issues with muscle cramping due to electrolyte shifts...
It sounds like you already have a plan and know what you need to do... good luck!

Offline Deb

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Re: Atrial Tachycardia (prolonged rapid heartbeat)
« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2008, 04:20:09 PM »
My mother used to have these type of heart "spells" as she called them and they would scare her and she would insist it was serious and have me take her to ER ( she was 60ish and getting dementia with her Alztimers) and EVERY TIME they found her potassium was real low. They sometimes gave her something but usually recommended she eat lots of bananas. And after reading on here the benefits of bananas, I think they are a wonder fruit!

Offline sbemt456

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Re: Atrial Tachycardia (prolonged rapid heartbeat)
« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2008, 05:56:42 PM »
Episodes of atrial tach are not to be ignored, in older folks it can be a huge risk. The top part of the heart is beating extremely fast while the lower ventricles are going at a normal pace and the blood in the body is sitting still, at this point tiny clots can develope and when the heart returns to normal for what ever reason the tiny clots get circulated and then there is a chance of a stroke. And yes it can be caused from low potassium as well as calcium, sodium and others. If it persist it needs to be evaluated by cardiologist, usually not a big issue for normal healthy young people, but with age and wear on the pump it can be a problem. Stay healthy

Offline faith

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Re: Atrial Tachycardia (prolonged rapid heartbeat)
« Reply #10 on: February 26, 2008, 03:39:31 AM »
oky doky,
 I am 51 years old. I have had this for the past 8 years now. The longest one lasted 9 hours but that was 5 years ago. Now they last an hour or so. When they are about to stop I sometimes or more often that not throw up. I am much more tired now. And it takes a day at least to feel better. I went to the doctor an he gave me "bata blockers?". We I tried to go during an episode but by the time the nurse took the information on how I was feeling it had stopped and they said they cant do anything now. 
I went to the heart doctor after my last child , I was 24. He checked and said he didn't know how I had children. When I said "well I'm not gona die am I? he didn't answer and looked down and morbid. He sent me to a teaching hospital for tests. When I went back to him he wouldn't see me his partner did. He said why are you here. I said I dun no you tell me. He said tests showed I have " wolf parkinson white syndrome" And sent me home. So I didnt know really what that is and if it has anything to do with the rapid  heart thing although it was years after that I got those.
Now I just try and make myself throw up so the heart will slow down.
When ever I write on the computer and ask questions I get no responce. I guess people are afraid. I do a lot of praying and thanking the Lord for everything during those episodes.
I do know my help comes from the Lord and I would like to help myself through supplement if I can.
I also live in an area that has a very poor recommendation of doctors and they are only "practicing" any way. I would rather practice on myself, with the help of the Lord. 
 So what are electrolites and how do I get them?
 How many bananas do I have to eat? I am already over weight.
Thank you for reading and any information would be greatly appreciated . Thank you so much. Faith

Rebekah,
 The Lord bless your new little one, congratulations! You and your husband and whole family are a great blessing to many people. Thank you!
« Last Edit: February 26, 2008, 08:42:57 AM by faith »

Offline DarlingSweetHeart

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Re: Atrial Tachycardia (prolonged rapid heartbeat)
« Reply #11 on: February 26, 2008, 04:33:10 AM »
My heart rate for years has been as low as 74 and as high as 100.  After my fourth (all have been c-sections and back to back), my heart rate was over 100...I think even 124 and this was while in the hospital after the delivery.  I turns out that I had lost a lot of blood and after the delivery and I was anemic (iron level 8)
My pulse was very high even for me during my hospital stay...I think it was even upto 160 at one point of my stay.  I was shocked.
I just checked my pulse with my blood pressure monitor and it read 100.  I haven't done much yet either.
Doctors don't seem too concerned.
I tried taking a potassium magnesium supplement and got diarrhea for one day.  Too much or just a fluke?  Two and a half days later I got a stomach bug with diarrhea for 5 days straight.  You all helped me get through that time about 3 weeks ago.  PHEEEW!!  Thanks!!

Offline faith

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Re: Atrial Tachycardia (prolonged rapid heartbeat)
« Reply #12 on: February 26, 2008, 06:15:32 AM »
I read about low iron causing rapid heart. You are the first the person I have heard experienced it.  I was wondering if that could be my problem. my iron count is between 8 and 11.
 I am going through the change and I have to ware depends because of the heavy flow. Yes I went to the doctor and she said my liner was thick and she wanted to take everything out. I said okay and bye bye.
I drink bulk herb mamma's tea and I made the tincture but I didn't mark it so I cant tell if it is the jungle juice or mine. he he
I am taking an iron pill now called Blood builder I believe I read about here. I have only just started a week ago. I was trying to find a way to check my iron with out going for a blood letting. They used to prick your finger, not anymore , they want it all.

Offline sbemt456

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Re: Atrial Tachycardia (prolonged rapid heartbeat)
« Reply #13 on: February 26, 2008, 06:33:01 AM »
After being diagnosed with WPW syndrome which is usually a hereditary malfunction in the electrical circuits in the heart that a lot of people can live with without problems, you really need to look hard for a good cardiologist that will listen to you. Like i stated in an earllier post when the top part(atriums) are beating faster than the lower(ventricles) part of the heart you run a risk of developing tiny clots that will be moved through the bloodstream when the heart returns to normal. they can cause strokes and heart attacks, not trying to scare you but I have been in the emergency medical field for 14 years and have seen the results. I have seen people who have fallen and could not figure out why to discover later that they had an episode with the heart and the lack of blood flow caused them to pass out causing the fall.When you fell nauseated or maybe like you need to use the restroom, it is just your body trying to help itself. sometimes straining to have a bm will correct heart rate. Not strain too much as this will slow heart rate too much, and can be a bad thing. But please find yourself a good doc you can talk to.

Offline faith

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Re: Atrial Tachycardia (prolonged rapid heartbeat)
« Reply #14 on: February 26, 2008, 07:07:42 AM »
There are no safe cardiologists in my area. I have asked and the one who insinuated I was going to die is one of the so called best in the area.  My daughters' girl friend is a nurse and her mother also and they both said my heart could explode when it races. Frightening.
How do you go about finding a doctor that is excellent. Because excellent is the only one I would want if I were to go to one.
When my daughter had her appendicitis I asked the nurses who would be the best they all said they are all good  But I persisted and said this is my baby..... one nurse  came over and whispered a doctors name. He wasn't there they could not find him and the nurse came over and said wait for him .. he was in surgery. Everything worked great. After we went back for a check up I discovered the Doctor was a Christian. God is so Good.
I am willing to go but I need to know the doctor is capable. I do not want to waste time or money.
Do I look and see how many patients die with a doctor?  The cardiologist my son in loves grandmother go to said she has a blockage but there is nothing he can do for her now. I told her  to take a chelation pill. She asked him about it and he said she has a good diet  (she eats pasta) and said  sure it couldn't hurt.  WHAT? I don't want that kind of doctor. I know there are good doctors out there but not here. We dint have health insurance so I cant afford hit and miss doctors.  Isn't there a healthy natural way to make sure I don't clot? And to stop the rapid heart? What will the doctors do for me, meds ,cut me open?  If meds aren't there natural things that could be used the same?
I am sorry for being such a downer on doctors but I can tell you at least 15 horror stories in our family alone, with doctors.  So I am very leery when it comes to them in general. But if there is a website or phone number I can find the truth about who is qualified I would try.
It would be awful without doctors, but there are a lot of dangerous ones out there and they are very protected. just my 1 cent

Offline likemanywaters

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Re: Atrial Tachycardia (prolonged rapid heartbeat)
« Reply #15 on: February 26, 2008, 08:07:14 AM »
Wow, you are inspiring ForeverGirl! To go online & immediately figure out what it was. I have been eating lots of bananas lately & I think it is the increase in blood volume at the beginning of pregnancy. I was craving lots of salty foods at first, and then bananas. That's good b/c of the sodium and potassium work together in balance. Did you happen to have liquid potassium on hand? I've never seen it.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2009, 04:18:07 PM by likemanywaters »
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Offline ForeverGirl

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Re: Atrial Tachycardia (prolonged rapid heartbeat)
« Reply #16 on: February 26, 2008, 08:15:19 AM »
Have you ever had your potassium levels checked? Have you noticed any sort of pattern; after eating a meal, stress, caffeine, etc? 

Gabe found this site: http://www.pregnancy-info.net/QA/answers-Rapid_Heart_Rate/

And we saw that a lot of pregnant women have this complaint. There are scores of women that looked for a medical diagnosis and got nothing. I didn't see a single one of them get a clear answer from a doctor. It appears that doctors don't know what causes the heart racing (during pregnancy in any case). 

An update on me:

After I took the 10 mg of Potassium yesterday I felt okay for several hours with my heart rate hovering in the upper 70's and low 80's (which is still high for me.) After I ate lunch, my heart rate jumped back up to 112. I took more Potassium. It went down again. I took a bath in the evening, and it went back up to 90's.  Gabe brought home some Potassium tablets that were 250 mg per tab. I took one, ate two bananas, and drank a lot of orange juice. My heart rate dropped to normal (72) and I fell asleep SO deeply, and slept the whole night through.

This morning, I felt fine until I got up and started to work. My heart rate jumped up to 90.  I relaxed and took more potassium, OJ, banana, liquid calcium and magnesium. It went down again.

It appears that with me the problem is an electrolyte imbalance. The thing I'm wondering now is what causes it and how much/long does it take to get the balance back?

Is there something else causing the imbalance?

Like you mentioned, Faith, it really wipes you out to have your heart racing for an extended period of time!

Still searching...

Rebekah

Hi LMW!
Just saw your post. Yes, I had the liquid minerals on hand... Congrats on your PG as well! Keep on with the bananas.  ;D
Honey Sunny in complete exasperation:
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Offline ForeverGirl

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Re: Atrial Tachycardia (prolonged rapid heartbeat)
« Reply #17 on: February 26, 2008, 08:45:30 AM »
Things that deplete Potassium levels:

Heat, sweating, too much salt, not enough organic salts, magnesium deficiency, dehydration, diuretics, antibiotics.

http://environaturopath.com/nutritionenviro.htm

"sodium bicarbonate depletes potassium"

http://www.jigsawhealth.com/articles/sinusitis-medicine.html

"antibiotics deplete potassium"


http://www.rejuvenation-science.com/medication-depletion.html

"Loop Diuretics deplete potassium" - actually, it appears that a lot of synthetic drugs deplete potassium levels.

http://www.huphup.com/wiki/index.php?full=osteoporosis  (not sure about this site)

Acid-Alkaline levels control potassium levels.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Still not sure where I fit into this picture. I'm not taking any drugs of any kind. Maybe I need to check my PH levels...

Recently I began drinking coffee every other day (helps the liver cleanse) and coffee is a diuretic.
I also take enzymes every day, but I could not find any information on the interaction between digestive enzymes and potassium. I suppose it is possible that digestive enzymes use potassium and could lead to a depletion... but I could not find this for a fact... anyone?

Rebekah



 
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Offline Maria/NHM

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Re: Atrial Tachycardia (prolonged rapid heartbeat)
« Reply #18 on: February 26, 2008, 09:03:07 AM »
I haven't researched this but thought I'd throw out my experience :)  My heart has times of racing when I'm pregnant. It has gotten worse with each pregnancy. I'm now 29 weeks with #4 and have found that as long as I take bone-ami and eat one or two banana's each day I'm fine. It really seemed to work for me. Every time I forgot to take bone-ami before bed I'd have trouble with my heart racing. I'm no longer experiencing any trouble and at this point as long as I take bone-ami I don't seem to need bananas everyday.`My last midwife told me that lack of calcium can contribute to causing your heart to race. That's just my experience!\
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Offline jhandrh

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Re: Atrial Tachycardia (prolonged rapid heartbeat)
« Reply #19 on: February 26, 2008, 09:07:32 AM »
Is there any possibility that you may have hyperthyroidism?  My neighbor had this and had similar symptoms to what you are describing--the rapid heart rate, dizziness, near fainting.  I don't remember what her exact arrhythmia was, though--if it was atrial or ventricular.  I haven't chimed in on this before because I am not well versed in different types of arrhythmias and what they may be caused by, and I don't want to give out faulty info.  But the thyroid issue might be something to check out.  For Faith--did your dr ever try any kind of home cardiac monitoring?  My husband's grandmother had some heart issues and was given a monitor to wear at home for a period of time that downloaded her heart rhythms to a computer so her dr could see what was going on for an extended period of time, instead of her feeling fine by the time she got to the office and the dr saying, "well, I can't see anything on the EKG now."
Hope this helps.

Offline ladyhen

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Re: Atrial Tachycardia (prolonged rapid heartbeat)
« Reply #20 on: February 26, 2008, 09:08:53 AM »
Rebekah-

What about adrenal glands?  Could it be that you are experiencing adrenal exhaustion?   Adrenals regulate sodium, potassium, other hormone balances.  
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Re: Atrial Tachycardia (prolonged rapid heartbeat)
« Reply #21 on: February 26, 2008, 09:18:04 AM »
Things that deplete Potassium levels:

Heat, sweating, too much salt, not enough organic salts, magnesium deficiency, dehydration, diuretics, antibiotics.

http://environaturopath.com/nutritionenviro.htm

"sodium bicarbonate depletes potassium"

http://www.jigsawhealth.com/articles/sinusitis-medicine.html

"antibiotics deplete potassium"


http://www.rejuvenation-science.com/medication-depletion.html

"Loop Diuretics deplete potassium" - actually, it appears that a lot of synthetic drugs deplete potassium levels.

http://www.huphup.com/wiki/index.php?full=osteoporosis  (not sure about this site)

Acid-Alkaline levels control potassium levels.


Quote
Because so many foods contain potassium, too little potassium (potassium deficiency) is rarely caused by inadequate diet. However, even a moderate reduction in the body's potassium levels can lead to salt sensitivity and high blood pressure. The recommended dietary intake of 4.7 gm or higher can slightly lower blood pressure.

A deficiency of potassium (hypokalemia) can occur in people with certain diseases or as a result of taking diuretics for the treatment of high blood pressure or heart failure. Additionally, many medications -- such as diuretics, laxatives, and steroids -- can cause a loss of potassium, which occasionally may be very severe. You should have your blood levels of potassium checked from time to time if you take any of these medicines. Diuretics are probably the most common cause of hypokalemia.

A variety of conditions can cause the loss of potassium from the body. The most common of these conditions are vomiting and diarrhea. Several rare kidney and adrenal gland disorders may also cause low potassium levels.

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002413.htm


Quote
Hypokalemia refers to the condition in which the concentration of potassium in the blood is low....

Hypokalemia can result from one or more of the following medical conditions:

    * Perhaps the most obvious cause is insufficient consumption of potassium (that is, a low-potassium diet). However, without excessive potassium loss from the body, this is a rare cause of hypokalemia.

    * A more common cause is excessive loss of potassium, often associated with heavy fluid losses that "flush" potassium out of the body. Typically, this is a consequence of vomiting, diarrhea, excessive perspiration, or losses associated with surgical procedures

    * Certain medications can accelerate the removal of potassium from the body; including thiazide diuretics, such as hydrochlorothiazide; loop diuretics, such as furosemide; as well as various laxatives. The antifungal amphotericin B has also been associated with hypokalemia.

    * A special case of potassium loss occurs with diabetic ketoacidosis. In addition to urinary losses from polyuria and volume contraction, there is also obligate loss of potassium from kidney tubules as a cationic partner to the negatively charged ketone, β-hydroxybutyrate.

    * Hypomagnesemia can cause hypokalemia. Magnesium is required for adequate processing of potassium. This may become evident when hypokalemia persists despite potassium supplementation. Other electrolyte abnormalities may also be present.

    * Disease states that lead to abnormally high aldosterone levels can cause hypertension and excessive urinary losses of potassium. These include renal artery stenosis and tumors (generally non-malignant) of the adrenal glands. Hypertension and hypokalemia can also be seen with a deficiency of the 11β-hydroxylase enzyme which allows cortisols to stimulate aldosterone receptors. This deficiency can either be congenital or caused by consumption of glycyrrhizin, which is contained in extract of licorice, sometimes found in Herbal supplements, candies and chewing tobacco.

    * Rare hereditary defects of renal salt transporters, such as Bartter syndrome or Gitelman syndrome can cause hypokalemia, in a manner similar to that of diuretics.

    * Rare hereditary defects of muscular ion channels and transporters that cause hypokalemic periodic paralysis can precipitate occasional attacks of severe hypokalemia and muscle weakness. These defects cause a heightened sensitivity to the normal changes in potassium produced by catechols and/or insulin and/or thyroid hormone, which lead to movement of potassium from the extracellular fluid into the muscle cells.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypokalemia
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Magnesium deficiency refers to an absolute lack of magnesium, the result of numerous conditions...

"Magnesium depletion" (ICD10 code E83.4) should be distinguished from hypomagnesemia, since the first refers to a disorder of magnesium metabolism, and is much more difficult to treat. However, in the past, the terms have sometimes been used interchangeably. Magnesium deficiency can be present without hypomagnesemia, and hypomagnesemia can be present without magnesium deficiency.

For a more detailed discussion on the subject of magnesium metabolism and causes of magnesium deficiency see hypomagnesemia...

The prefix hypo- means low (contrast with hyper-, meaning high). The middle magnes refers to magnesium. The end portion of the word, -emia, means 'in the blood' (note, however, that hypomagnesemia is usually indicative of a systemic magnesium deficit). Thus, Hypomagnesemia is an electrolyte disturbance in which there is an abnormally low level of magnesium in the blood. Usually a serum level less than 0.7 mmol/l is used as reference. It must be noted that hypomagnesemia is not equal to magnesium deficiency. Hypomagnesemia can be present without magnesium deficiency and vice versa...

Low levels of magnesium in your blood may mean either there is not enough magnesium in the diet, the intestines are not absorbing enough magnesium or the kidneys are excreting too much magnesium. Deficiencies may be due to the following conditions:

    * alcoholism. Hypomagnesemia occurs in 30% of alcohol abuse and 85% in delirium tremens, due to malnutrition and chronic diarrhoea. Alcohol stimulates renal excretion of magnesium, which is also increased because of alcoholic ketoacidosis, hypophosphatemia and hyperaldosteronism resulting from liver disease. Also hypomagnesemia is related to thiamine deficiency because magnesium is needed for transforming thiamine into thiamine pyrophosphate.
    * diuretic use (the most common cause of hypomagnesemia)
    * antibiotics (i.e. aminoglycosides, amphotericin, pentamidine, gentamicin, tobramycin, viomycin) block resorption in the loop of Henle. 30% of patients using these antibiotics have hypomagnesemia,
    * other drugs
          o digitalis, displaces magnesium into the cell
          o adrenergics, displace magnesium into the cell
          o cisplatin, stimulates renal excretion
          o ciclosporin, stimulates renal excretion
    * excess calcium
    * increased levels of stress
    * excess saturated fats
    * excess coffee or tea intake
    * excess phosphoric or carbonic acids (soda pop)
    * insufficient water consumption
    * excess salt
    * excess sugar intake
    * insufficient selenium
    * insufficient vitamin D or sunlight exposure
    * insufficient vitamin B6
    * gastrointestinal causes: the distal tractus digestivus secretes high levels of magnesium. Therefore, secretory diarrhoea can cause hypomagnesemia. Thus, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, Whipple's disease and coeliac sprue can all cause hypomagnesemia.
    * renal magnesium loss in Bartter's syndrome, postobstructive diuresis, diuretic phase of acute tubular necrosis (ATN) and kidney transplant
    * diabetes mellitus: 38% of diabetic outpatient clinic visits involve hypomagnesemia, probably through renal loss because of glycosuria or ketoaciduria.
    * acute myocardial infarction: within the first 48 hours after a heart-attack 80% of patients have hypomagnesemia. This could be the result of an intracellular shift because of an increase in catecholamines.
    * malabsorption
    * milk diet in infants
    * acute pancreatitis
    * hydrogen fluoride poisoning

Clinical Features

Deficiency of magnesium causes weakness, muscle cramps, cardiac arrhythmia, increased irritability of the nervous system with tremors, athetosis, jerking, nystagmus and an extensor plantar reflex. In addition, there may be confusion, disorientation, hallucinations, depression, epileptic fits, hypertension, tachycardia and tetany.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypomagnesemia

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Drugs that can cause potassium deficiency: Aspirin and drugs contain¼ing aspirin. Barbiturates such as Butisol, Phenobarbital, Seconal, Nembutal and Tuinal. Diuretics such as Diuril, Hydrodiuril, Lasix, Ser-ap-es. Caffeine and medicines containing caffeine. Chloramphenicol (Chlomycetin). Cholestyramine (Questran). Colchicine (Colbenemid). Meprednisone (Betapar). Prednisone (Meticorten, Prednisolone, Orasone).

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Offline naturalgirl

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Re: Atrial Tachycardia (prolonged rapid heartbeat)
« Reply #22 on: February 26, 2008, 09:43:05 AM »
   I'd be carefull of the long term coffee, especially enemas. I don't want to be spisific in the personal details, but coffee used too often related to cleansing can really wipe the sodium and potasium electrolites out. I have watched it happen   :(
    Would a woman with a baby need more potassium and sodium because of the baby/womb/liquids she is carrying? Could there be something about the baby pushing something or tightening something in the body because of its growth? Just some thoughts from a very not-know-it-all  ::)

Praying that you will all find some answers...
« Last Edit: February 26, 2008, 09:44:49 AM by naturalgirl »

Offline ForeverGirl

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Re: Atrial Tachycardia (prolonged rapid heartbeat)
« Reply #23 on: February 26, 2008, 10:16:02 AM »
Thanks for the input.

Yep, I saw the Magnesium connection. I do take Bon Ami about every other day, but maybe I should up it to every day.

I have no other symptoms that would point to thyroid, high or low.

Adrenal problems I also doubt as I have no signs of hormone imbalance otherwise.

I am very healthy these days. I have good skin, good color, feel good, plenty of stamina, weight gain w/ PG is normal. My ligaments give me problems as usual, but I can't see any connection with that. And, taking potassium seems to be working.

But why am I lacking? Just because I'm pregnant?

Rebekah
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Re: Atrial Tachycardia (prolonged rapid heartbeat)
« Reply #24 on: February 26, 2008, 10:34:03 AM »
I haven't researched this but thought I'd throw out my experience :)  My heart has times of racing when I'm pregnant. It has gotten worse with each pregnancy. I'm now 29 weeks with #4 and have found that as long as I take bone-ami and eat one or two banana's each day I'm fine. It really seemed to work for me. Every time I forgot to take bone-ami before bed I'd have trouble with my heart racing. I'm no longer experiencing any trouble and at this point as long as I take bone-ami I don't seem to need bananas everyday.`My last midwife told me that lack of calcium can contribute to causing your heart to race. That's just my experience!\

This is very interesting and helpful, especially in light of the hundreds of pregnant women who posted on this site: http://www.pregnancy-info.net/QA/answers-Rapid_Heart_Rate/

It appears to be a common complaint in pregnancy, with no "answer" out there.

Rebekah
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Offline healthybratt

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Re: Atrial Tachycardia (prolonged rapid heartbeat)
« Reply #25 on: February 26, 2008, 10:47:12 AM »
Thanks for the input.

Yep, I saw the Magnesium connection. I do take Bon Ami about every other day, but maybe I should up it to every day.

I have no other symptoms that would point to thyroid, high or low.

Adrenal problems I also doubt as I have no signs of hormone imbalance otherwise.

I am very healthy these days. I have good skin, good color, feel good, plenty of stamina, weight gain w/ PG is normal. My ligaments give me problems as usual, but I can't see any connection with that. And, taking potassium seems to be working.

But why am I lacking? Just because I'm pregnant?

Rebekah
You mentioned BonAmi, did you notice it said "too much calcium" can be a problem?
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Offline ForeverGirl

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Re: Atrial Tachycardia (prolonged rapid heartbeat)
« Reply #26 on: February 26, 2008, 11:56:04 AM »
Yep, but taking Calcium WITH Magnesium (and vit D and Boron) like it is in Bon Ami is supposed to cut out the "too much Calcium" problem, or so I've read... somewhere... I'll have to find that again. And, I'm not taking very much. ?

[found part of what I am looking for about the mag-cal synergy:]

http://www.mgwater.com/calmagab.shtml
Magnesium is needed for calcium absorption. Without enough magnesium, calcium can collect in the soft tissues and cause one type of arthritis. Not only does calcium collect in the soft tissues of arthritics, it is poorly, if at all, absorbed into their blood and bones....Sufficient amounts of magnesium determine this delicate and important balance....
While magnesium helps our body absorb and retain calcium, too much calcium prevents magnesium from being absorbed. So taking large amounts of calcium without adequate magnesium may either create malabsorption or a magnesium deficiency. Whichever occurs, only magnesium can break the cycle.


--------------------------------------

Personal update:

I've taken 3 tablets of Potassium today and each time it seems that my heart rate is remaining more stable with less up-and-down swings. Now it is 74 and has been for a couple hours. Seems good.

I really am suspicious that enzyme activity (like right after eating) draws on your mineral stores. So, taking lots of extra enzymes might (in time) deplete your mineral storage. This is just a hunch so far, but it makes sense to me. I do know that minerals activate enzymes:

"Minerals are the spark plugs of life because they are required to activate thousands of enzyme reactions within the body." - this is a pretty good site link, IMO.
http://altmedangel.com/mineral.htm

Am I making sense?

The answer, of course, would be to get your minerals and enzymes together in whole foods, rather than taking them in lopsided amounts through supplementation.

Rebekah
« Last Edit: February 26, 2008, 12:10:09 PM by ForeverGirl »
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Offline Whiterock

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Re: Atrial Tachycardia (prolonged rapid heartbeat)
« Reply #27 on: February 26, 2008, 03:15:30 PM »
Hiatal hernia can cause this.
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Offline likemanywaters

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Re: Atrial Tachycardia (prolonged rapid heartbeat)
« Reply #28 on: February 26, 2008, 04:46:07 PM »
I have also been wondering whether things like the Water Cure might bother with the potassium sodium balance. All that sea salt (sodium) and perhaps not enough potassium.

A warm cum of milk (calcium & vitamin D) always helps my kids sleep at bedtime. I also remember reading that potassium helps prevent leg cramps (charlie horses) during pregnancy, so some eat a bananna before bed. For me, they happened at night during my first pregnancy, but not my second. I think also we tend to get dehydrated at night. I keep water by the bed. Of course I have to get up to go pee more.  ::)  I eat so much cheese & drink milk that I haven't been taking Bone Ami, but I do have a Magnesium Citrate tab I should probably be taking. I ordered some Coconut Water too to keep up the electrolytes this summer, but it's not here yet. I might try this too:

Quote
Thank you everyone for your replies!  I have ordered some coconut water, and I did an internet search for 'electrolyte replacement drink recipes'!  I found another recipe, which we made, and it tastes very, very good.  I modified it just a bit from what was recommended.

In case anyone is interested it is:

1 qt. water
1/2 tsp. salt (I used Celtic Sea Salt)
2 tbsp. Honey
2 bananas

I blended this for about a minute and poured into a jar.  We tasted it right away, and even without it being chilled it was delicious!
From: http://www.welltellme.com/discuss/index.php/topic,11432.msg104782.html#msg104782
« Last Edit: February 26, 2008, 05:21:42 PM by likemanywaters »
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Offline Whiterock

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Re: Atrial Tachycardia (prolonged rapid heartbeat)
« Reply #29 on: February 26, 2008, 06:30:14 PM »
I have also been wondering whether things like the Water Cure might bother with the potassium sodium balance. All that sea salt (sodium) and perhaps not enough potassium.

A warm cum of milk (calcium & vitamin D) always helps my kids sleep at bedtime. I also remember reading that potassium helps prevent leg cramps (charlie horses) during pregnancy, so some eat a bananna before bed. For me, they happened at night during my first pregnancy, but not my second. I think also we tend to get dehydrated at night. I keep water by the bed. Of course I have to get up to go pee more.  ::)  I eat so much cheese & drink milk that I haven't been taking Bone Ami, but I do have a Magnesium Citrate tab I should probably be taking. I ordered some Coconut Water too to keep up the electrolytes this summer, but it's not here yet. I might try this too:

Quote
Thank you everyone for your replies!  I have ordered some coconut water, and I did an internet search for 'electrolyte replacement drink recipes'!  I found another recipe, which we made, and it tastes very, very good.  I modified it just a bit from what was recommended.

In case anyone is interested it is:

1 qt. water
1/2 tsp. salt (I used Celtic Sea Salt)
2 tbsp. Honey
2 bananas

I blended this for about a minute and poured into a jar.  We tasted it right away, and even without it being chilled it was delicious!
From: http://www.welltellme.com/discuss/index.php/topic,11432.msg104782.html#msg104782


There are more here. http://www.welltellme.com/discuss/index.php/topic,5741.0.html

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