Mended Hearts Open Forum

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High Heart Rate

  • 1.  High Heart Rate

    Posted 10 days ago
    I'm 5 1/2 weeks post-OHS and just had my follow up appt with my surgeon.  Everything looked amazing, except my heart rate has been high since the surgery (it was in the normal range pre-surgery).  It is now 90 - 100 at rest, and can be 120 or more at the peak of my walks. He says sometimes it can take the body a little longer to adjust, and that if it's still over 90 about 3 - 4 mths post-surgery, we'll need to check it out further.  But of course now I'm consulting Dr Google and getting worried.  Anyone else have this problem?

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    Anne Birdsong
    Occupational Therapist
    Rural
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  • 2.  RE: High Heart Rate

    Posted 10 days ago
    Anne,
    I wouldnt panic at this early stage of your recovery. I know of a few friends without issues that have resting pulse around 90 or so. I think if it stays elivated in the 110 or higher  range it may be time to seek medical advice. I know atrial flutter can cause elivated heart rate,but it may not be in your case.

    Best wishes for speedy recovery

    Robert Sauder.

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    Robert Sauder
    Cumming GA
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  • 3.  RE: High Heart Rate

    Posted 10 days ago
    Thanks, Robert.  Time to take a chill pill, I guess, lol.

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    Anne Birdsong
    Occupational Therapist
    Rural
    ------------------------------



  • 4.  RE: High Heart Rate

    Posted 10 days ago
    My resting heart rate was also about 90 post OHS.  My pre-surgery HR has always been low, about 50.  My doctors were not worried about the increase but didn't offer any explanation.  I wish I remembered how long it took for my HR to get back to normal.  My best estimate is that it was about 6 months to get into the 60's.  It ultimately got back to where it was pre-surgery.  Good luck with your recovery!

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    Ed M
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  • 5.  RE: High Heart Rate

    Posted 9 days ago
    Thanks Ed.  I'll definitely give it some more time, but keep a close eye on it at the same time, and check with my cardiologist next month.  Glad yours got back down to normal!

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    Anne Birdsong
    Occupational Therapist
    Rural
    ------------------------------



  • 6.  RE: High Heart Rate

    Posted 10 days ago
    Hi Anne,

    I haven't experienced the high heart rate you're experiencing, but my cardiologist did switch my 25 mg 2x a day metoprolol tartrate blood plus 2.5 mg lisinopril pressure medication to once a day 25 mg extended release metoprolol succinate after I complained that my blood pressure was frequently around 90/low 60's and I was getting lightheaded.  At the time, my pulse rate was in the low to mid 50's.  Once I got adjusted to the new medication, I found that while my blood pressure, was still low at upper 90's/upper 60's, I was no longer getting lightheaded.  My pulse rate, however, was now consistently in the upper 60's to 70 range.

    This was somewhat shocking to me because both forms of metoprolol are supposed to lower your heart rate and because I currently am quite fit, not that far from the days when I was a long distance runner (I was running 50+ miles a week as late as when I was 60 years old-I'm now turning 70).  Before calling my cardiologist, I decided to experiment by going back to the metoprolol tartrate for a week, but only at the reduced 25 mg/day dose (I took 12.5 mg in the morning and 12.5 mg at night because the tartrate is not extended release).  I discovered that both my blood pressure and pulse rate remained the same as what they were under the succinate, and I went back to taking the succinate.  I concluded that the increase in my pulse rate likely was do to the reduction in my metoprolol dosage from 50 mg a day to 25 mg a day.

    This presents an interesting dilemma which I now have to discuss with my cardiologist, who once told me that the effect of beta blockers like metoprolol on blood pressure is almost secondary to the beneficial effects on the heart for people that have suffered heart attacks.  While I clearly am better off with less metoprolol for purposes of blood pressure control, might I be better off with a higher dose for pulse rate purposes?  Does it mean that perhaps a different beta blocker might provide me the lower level of blood pressure control that I need but yet more control over heart rate?  I don't know yet, but I'll let you know what I learn from my cardiologist because there may be some crossover learning that might benefit you and others.

    In the meantime, yes, take a chill pill.  If it seems as if I'm pretty calm about my heart rate situation, basically self experimenting and actually enjoying analyzing the results, it is because I am quite calm about it.  I suspect that many years of meditation practice has helped, as well as life lessons I've learned when facing death, and the perspective of the years generally, but whatever the reason, there it is.  And what one person can achieve on an emotional, spiritual level, any person/every person can achieve.  It is in our nature, part of the human condition to seek out and find a place of peace.  You have that place and it is within you.  Look and you will find it.  And, having found it, you can still work to figure out why the hell your pulse rate is in the 90's and how to make it get back down to where it used to be.

    Peace and Power (as we used to say in the late 60's),

    Ira


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    Ira Reid
    Hoboken NJ
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  • 7.  RE: High Heart Rate

    Posted 10 days ago
    Ira,
    Thank You,
    Yes we all got to find that place of peace in our lives. Many times in the now distant past I asked The Lord to draw me closer,little did I know what he had in store for me. Yes, I am closer to my wife,children and many others and appreciate the second chance God has blessed me with.. I just got to get over what happened and move on with the life granted. I need to wake up and count my blessings and not complain about "what is". I think that would go a long way to speed my recovery
    Robert Sauder .

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    Robert Sauder
    Cumming GA
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  • 8.  RE: High Heart Rate

    Posted 9 days ago
    Thanks, Ira.  I've been trying to get more "zen", as they say, about all of this.  I did find an app for my phone that I like called The Daily Calm.  It gives me daily 10 minute meditations that I listen to on the last stretch of my walk, and lots of helpful advice. I'm torn between being in a place where I know I need to de-stress and just relax and lean in to my new reality, and another place of wanting as much info as I can so I can stay informed and watchful for potential problems.  It's hard to find balance between the two.

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    Anne Birdsong
    Occupational Therapist
    Rural
    ------------------------------



  • 9.  RE: High Heart Rate

    Posted 10 days ago
    Of course I can't give medical advice -- I can only describe what I've been through and the advice I've gotten.

    I had a high HR and it turned out to be A-fib.  Right out of the hospital (following surgery), my heart rate went crazy.  I went back to the hospital where they treated me with Amiodarone.  It recovered to between 68 and 79 for about a month as I continued taking a "maintenance" dose of Amiodarone (200mg 2x/day).

    Then my blood pressure went crazy.  I was logging 180/100 regularly.  My cardiologist had me go back to the hospital where they found that I was again experiencing A-fib -- my HR was about 100.  To be honest, the hospital didn't accomplish much.  The A-fib settled down, but they didn't get my BP under control.

    A-fib is a serious problem and can cause stroke.  To mitigate that risk, they put me on a blood thinner (Warfarin).

    Ultimately, it was my primary care physician that carefully adjusted my BP medication (one careful step at a time) and got it under control.  I now regularly log 130/80.  My HR has been 54-60 for months now.  Also, they managed to get my insurance company to approve Eliquis as an alternative to Warfarin (much better drug).  I suspect I'll be on Eliquis as a preventative measure for the foreseeable future.

    Because my HR has been so stable, my cardiologist took me off of Amiodarone (terrible long term side effects).  He told me that if my HR goes over 90 to resume the maintenance dose of Amiodarone.  If it goes over 120, he wants me to go to the emergency room.

    Coming off of Amiodarone was life-changing.  I didn't know it, but I was experiencing a serious side effect.


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    Anthony Smith
    Lake Elsinore CA
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  • 10.  RE: High Heart Rate

    Posted 9 days ago
    Thanks, Anthony.  I am kind of worried it might be A-fib.  Pre-surgery my bp was getting crazy high, like 190 over 100 and in that range.  They increased my lisinopril, which helped the systolic to normalize, but the diastolic was still 80s and 90s.  However, after the surgery, I'm no longer on lisinopril or anything for hypertension.  My systolics are now in the 120s, but my diastolics are still in the 80s to 90s.  And now my heart rate is high, where it wasn't before.  Weird.  The surgeon didn't really know what to say about any of it other than if it's still high 3 - 4 mths out, we'll need to do something.  So again, I'm trying to keep chill, but if it's Afib I wonder if it should be addressed sooner rather than later.

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    Anne Birdsong
    Occupational Therapist
    Rural
    ------------------------------



  • 11.  RE: High Heart Rate

    Posted 9 days ago
    Hey Anne, I'm not a doctor, as you know, so take what I'm about to say with a grain of salt, but a blood pressure of 120's/80's-90's is no longer considered "normal" by health authorities and is now regarded as borderline hypertensive.  If my understanding is correct, you might be well served with a relatively low dose prescription for a beta blocker like metoprolol tartrate, which not only lowers blood pressure but also reduces heart rate and, to the extent it may be an issue, helps regulate arrhythmias. If I were you, I'd ask a cardiologist about this, either your current one or through a second opinion.

    As to achieving calm and acquiring knowledge about your health status and options, it is possible to do both at the same time.  Meditation is great, but the quieting of the mind that you achieve through meditation is a process that takes time and practice.  And anyone can feel calm in a mountain retreat away from the cares of everyday life, but the real purpose of meditation is to achieve a quiet mind while dealing with all the hustle and bustle of ordinary life and even extraordinary stress.  Ram Dass once said "You think you're enlightened?  Go spend a week with your family."  It can be done.

    Hang in there, Anne.

    Ira

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    Ira Reid
    Hoboken NJ
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  • 12.  RE: High Heart Rate

    Posted 9 days ago
    My understanding is that a rapid heart beat is not enough to qualify as A-Fib.  It must be rapid and irregular.  This is what I've read and heard.  Any cardiologist and probably any pcp can detect A-Fib by listening to your heart or viewing an ekg.  If you still think you may have A-Fib, I'd start with the cardiologist.

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    Ed M
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  • 13.  RE: High Heart Rate

    Posted 9 days ago
    I agree with Ed.  In my case, every time my heart rate increased, it was associated with A-Fib. For me, an elevated HR is a red flag and I take action right away.

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    Anthony Smith
    Lake Elsinore CA
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  • 14.  RE: High Heart Rate

    Posted 9 days ago
    I can't speak specifically about afib, but I can tell you that a doctor once told me that I had skipped or extra heart beats when he was examining me, in other words an arrhythmia, at a time when I was running 50-60 miles a week and had a resting pulse rate of 48.  So I'm pretty certain you can have an arrhythmia even with a slow heart rate.  I imagine any doctor should be able to pick up such an issue pretty easily.

    Best,

    Ira

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    Ira Reid
    Hoboken NJ
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  • 15.  RE: High Heart Rate

    Posted 8 days ago
    Thanks Ira, Anthony, and Ed!!  So nice to have a sounding board.

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    Anne Birdsong
    Occupational Therapist
    Rural
    ------------------------------