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Old 03-08-2008, 11:17 AM   #1
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Enlarged Heart

Does anyone have it? What are the symptoms? If I lay on my left side and put my hand on my left side-I can actually feel my heart beat/bulge while beating against my hand! Is this normal? I am thin - 5'3" and 120 lbs. I think my anxiety level is getting the best of me! How do you deal with these fears? The symptoms? Help!!!!

 
Old 03-09-2008, 06:22 AM   #2
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Re: Enlarged Heart

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Originally Posted by hrschk View Post
Does anyone have it?
I've had an enlarged heart for over 20 years.

Quote:
What are the symptoms?
Major symptoms of an enlarged heart (also known as heart failure), include difficulty breathing, fatigue, heart not beating properly, over-sweating, chest pains, fainting, among others.

Quote:
If I lay on my left side and put my hand on my left side-I can actually feel my heart beat/bulge while beating against my hand! Is this normal?
Mine does the same thing. I've always thought of it as normal. I've never considered it caused by my enlarged heart. I've just found it an easy way to check to see how well my heart was beating.

Quote:
I am thin - 5'3" and 120 lbs. I think my anxiety level is getting the best of me! How do you deal with these fears? The symptoms? Help!!!!
Have you been diagnosed with an enlarged heart? Do you have any of the symptoms of an enlarged heart? What kind of medications do you take for it?

I've found that the more I understand about heart failure and the more positive steps I take to deal with my heart disease, the less anxiety and stress. For instance, I am on a very healthy, balanced diet. I exercise quite a bit during the day. I don't smoke or take drugs, or drink alcohol. I try to get the best results from my medications. We keep our home very clean and healthy.

Also.... Breathing deeply and slowly in, and then letting the air out slowly and fully, helps me to relax and also lessens my breathing problems.

Take care......
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Old 03-09-2008, 09:40 AM   #3
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Re: Enlarged Heart

Thanks for the response Beerzoids! Here's my whole story - don't remember the details, but at 17 (I'm now 42) had episode of rapid, irregular heartbeat and shortness of breath (with resulting panic which caused hyperventilation - vicious cycle)...was hospitalized and had continuous EKG monitoring for 2 or 3 days, an echo and blood tests. The results were PVS's. No treatment necesary. Once or twice since then, I had a 24 hour holter monitor. The second holter showed PVC's occuring bigeminally - I didn't actually see the report - that's what my GP told me. Once again....no need to worry or treat. That was 15+ years ago. I've just learned to "ignore" as best I can the funky beats and flip flops. 7 weeks ago had another 24 hour holter done - this time I actually read the report - which has scared the pants off of me!!! It showed 4 Ventricular Ectopy (I think these are PVC's?) and 2,436 Supraventricular Ectopy (I think these are PAC's?) with 44 sudden rate increases (from 61 to 101 as the fastest at 4:48 pm.) and 14 sudden rate decreases (from 68 to 43 at (9:40 p.m. - falling asleep). The Interpretation says: 1. Rhythm is Sinus (which is good?) with 1,206 pauses of less than 2.5 seconds and Sustained Sinus Tackycardia with a Max HR of 164 BPM. 2. Rare VPB's were observed. (the 4?) 3. Frequent SVPB's were noted. (the 2,436?) This freaked me out!!! That seems like ALOT of SVPB's and Pauses. I don't even know what to think about the pauses!!! GP sent me for a cardiology consult and the cardiologist examined me - listened to my heart, checked my neck, my hands and feet (I don't think I have any swelling) and said "based on my physical exam things look normal" HOWEVER, because I just found out (unexpectedly) that I am newly pregnant (I have 4 children - 24, 19, 16 and 10 and was shocked at this new pregnancy- particulary at my age! And now worry that this strain on my body could be bad for my heart!) - they couldn't do a chest x-ray and he wanted to see the size and position of my heart - he is doing an Echo this Wednesday to see exactly how my heart is functioning and size, etc. In conversations with a nurse friend, she had mentioned enlarged heart, etc and it just kind of freaked me out. I am out of shape - don't exercise (have really avoided it because the irregular beats scare me) and I get a sense of breathlessness once in awhile which resolves within a minute or two. Not sure if it is true or just because I'm "watching" for it? Anyway, I know my stress level is off the charts right now - which doesn't help....but I really am scared!

 
Old 03-09-2008, 12:40 PM   #4
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Re: Enlarged Heart

Dont let that last holter report scare you , I am sure 75 percent of the country would have similar extra beats and racing and slowing down periods much like you did. Some people don't feel them as much as others. I feel every damn beat. If you start jogging or walking real fast every day , even for 30 minutes your heart will get stronger and those damn extra beats can't do a thing to stop you. I wouldn't worry so much about those numbers. I too worry like crazy about my heart , so much so that i have gone through bouts of depression and drinking and drugging because of it. In the end I only made myself feel worse , its when I exercise and eat right and remember that heart doctors have already told me these extra beats are common in a lot of people that I feel better and am able to live my life without worrying about my heart all day long. Try it , you will see. Start exercising slowly and soon you will feel different.

 
Old 03-09-2008, 12:51 PM   #5
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Re: Enlarged Heart

I realize many people have "extra" or "irregular" beats with perfectly normal hearts. I keep reminding myself of that fact....it's just hard to get through to myself at times. The "extra" beats didn't bother so much on the holter report as the "pauses of less than 2.5 seconds". That really freaks me out the most. Why would the heart "pause"? I think the advice for exercise is a great one! I need to find an exercise program and stick to it! I'm not overweight or anything - I'm 42 yrs old, 5'3" and about 125 lbs. So, weight isn't really an issues as much as the sedentary life style I've fallen into just being not healthy! I do really appreciate all of the kind thoughts - and wish everyone well!

 
Old 03-10-2008, 06:57 AM   #6
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Re: Enlarged Heart

Quote:
Originally Posted by hrschk View Post
... 7 weeks ago had another 24 hour holter done - this time I actually read the report - which has scared the pants off of me!!! It showed 4 Ventricular Ectopy ... 2,436 Supraventricular Ectopy ... 44 sudden rate increases ... 14 sudden rate decreases ... 1,206 pauses ... Sustained Sinus Tackycardia with a Max HR of 164 BPM. ... Rare VPB's were observed. ... That seems like ALOT of SVPB's and Pauses. I don't even know what to think about the pauses!!!
Most of your life, you've had problems with irregular heart beats. As you've gotten older, and birthed children, your problems have increased. Childbirth, for some women, seems to cause long-lasting hormonal imbalances, which can cause the heart to beat more erratically, cause higher blood pressure, and can result in other health problems.

You should ask yourself, and your doctors: "What can be done to improve your heart function, and insure that your heart problems don't continue to get worse as you get older?"

What medications do you take now? If you aren't on medications to calm down the beating of your heart, you should be. If it were me, I would opt for a low dose of a generic medication for which you can get 30, to 60, pills a month for $4. I would try something like *CARVEDILOL (Coreg) 3.125mg, (not a good choice if pregnant) ONLY once a day, to see how well it helps at that low a dosage, and would not let the doctor increase the dosage, if it seemed to help at the lower dose. At $4 a month, it is both cheap and effective!

Quote:
I am out of shape - don't exercise (have really avoided it because the irregular beats scare me) and I get a sense of breathlessness once in awhile which resolves within a minute or two.
Two things that you can do that are very, VERY healthy for both you and your heart, are eating a balanced, low calorie diet; and physical exercise.

I've had heart failure for over twenty years. I have learned NOT to exercise if my heartbeat is unstable. If my heart is beating fairly good, I lift weights and exercise using the stepper. I also walk, to music, 30 minutes, twice a day, up and down my hallway. If you feel dizzy, or if your heartbeat seems too erratic, that is not a good time to exercise, or do anything physically demanding. When my heart is beating too weakly, or I am fatigued, I sit down, relax and do deep slow breathing, which really helps.

If you feel weak, or that your heart is too erratic, you are certainly wise to avoid exercise or anything too demanding. The more erratic the heartbeat, the more risky it is to push it.
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Old 03-11-2008, 10:24 AM   #7
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Re: Enlarged Heart

Most of my adult life I have had some form of irregularity - mostly I have dealt with it with the mantra that "it is not dangerous" and have attempted to ignore it for the most part. The new holter showed different things than the last one did. I'm feeling the irregularities much of the time - granted, my stress level is off the charts with my personal relationship, my newly discovered pregnancy and my job! My cardio office just called to confirm my echocardiogram for tomorrow - which, of course, made my heart speed up and jump all over! Beerzoids, do you also practice any type of relaxation techniques? You mentioned you do deep breathing and relax. I think that might help my anxiety level over these symptoms? The exercise advice is great, also! I plan on asking my cardio about a reasonable exercise regimen to begin - I think doing something he reccomends will alleviate the stress I feel when my heart rate starts to increase while working out - my first inclination is to stop before my heart rate gets too high because I'm afraid of a fast rate AND irregular beats occuring together. Do you do any low impact stuff? I'm hoping for some breaks in the weather so I can do some walking soon! I don't take any meds. Prior to this, the results were always the same - you have some irregular beats - totally normal - nothing to worry - not needs to be done. ....now, he sends me to the cardio and I've spent the last 2 months stressing over whether there is something wrong and/or something to worry about. In addition, I don't want this new pregnancy to strain my body if there is something going on to be concerned about! In any event - thanks for your input! It is truly appreciated! God bless!

 
Old 03-11-2008, 05:37 PM   #8
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Re: Enlarged Heart

Quote:
Originally Posted by hrschk View Post
Most of my adult life I have had some form of irregularity - mostly I have dealt with it with the mantra that "it is not dangerous" and have attempted to ignore it for the most part.
I am a heart patient just like you, and I wonder, when the doctors say that a constantly mis-beating heart is benign, or not dangerous, do they really know what they are talking about? If they are wrong, then you are stuck years later, like I was, with a heart condition a lot more serious, and more difficult to treat.

What is your opinion? Is the constant mis-firing of your heart good for your heart, bad for your heart, or is it normal for your heart to constantly beat incorrectly?

Quote:
The new holter showed different things than the last one did. I'm feeling the irregularities much of the time - granted, my stress level is off the charts with my personal relationship, my newly discovered pregnancy and my job!
There are many things, foods, drinks, calories, allergens, medications, vitamins, minerals, hormonal changes, AND stress and anxiety that can effect heart rhythm, blood pressure and other health problems. You are always going to face stress. To me, the safest paths for you to travel, would be one of good, low calorie diet, exercise ...

... and finding heart medication(s) that will lessen the misfiring of your heart, WITHOUT bringing you miserable side effects. That's not easy to do.

Quote:
My cardio office just called to confirm my echocardiogram for tomorrow - which, of course, made my heart speed up and jump all over!
Suggestion. Ask for a hard copy of the output results of the echo, including the doctors notes. That way you can research the results, or post the results here, so some of HealthBoard's knowledgeable patients can give their two cents worth.

Quote:
Beerzoids, do you also practice any type of relaxation techniques? You mentioned you do deep breathing and relax. I think that might help my anxiety level over these symptoms?
50 mgs of B-Complex and 500 mgs of Vitamin C acts as a natural relaxer for me.

Also..... To relax at any time (but not while driving ), I close my eyes, and then mentally start with my legs. I make sure that my legs are as loose as possible without any tension. After I feel that I have relaxed my legs as much as possible, I then target my stomach. If I am stressfully holding in my stomach, I let my stomach out and concentrate on relaxing my stomach area. Then I concentrate on my hands and arms, making sure that my hands are not clenched, and letting my arms hang down on my lap, without any muscle tension. Then I make sure that my teeth are not clenched, and I relax my jaw. Finally, I target the most challenging area, my brain. I try to sit there with my totally limp body, and I try to blank my mind and not think about anything, while keeping the rest of my body as limp and relaxed as possible. Blanking one's mind is not easy, because the first thing that will enter your mind is that you are trying not to think about anything. But, you find yourself thinking about not thinking. Once you successful blank your mind and can keep it that way for a few minutes, you should feel totally relaxed, and feel a wave of relaxation flowing down your body (at least until one of your children comes busting into the room!).

At night, I am usually asleep within five minutes. I close my eyes and start thinking about a fun, non-stressful project, and within five minutes, I'm asleep.

Quote:
The exercise advice is great, also! I plan on asking my cardio about a reasonable exercise regimen to begin - I think doing something he reccomends will alleviate the stress I feel when my heart rate starts to increase while working out - my first inclination is to stop before my heart rate gets too high because I'm afraid of a fast rate AND irregular beats occuring together.
I can only comment on what I do. If I am lifting weights, or doing the stepper, if I get short of breath, or if my heart starts jumping around, depending upon the severity, I stop, sit down, relax and do slow deep breathing until my heart settles down and my breathing gets better.

Quote:
Do you do any low impact stuff? I'm hoping for some breaks in the weather so I can do some walking soon!
Just the 30 minute walks, twice a day, with music, up and back my hallway.

Quote:
I don't take any meds.
What do you think about the need for medications?

In my opinion, once the heart becomes overly sensitive, even the best lifestyle, diet and exercise won't be enough to calm the heart without some medication. But...... I have no medical training or background, and am only talking through experience as a patient.

If it were me, I would want a minimum dose of a cheap, generic drug, only once a day, that both lowers blood pressure and calms the heart, and I would take it at least two hours away from any other medications, pills, vitamins or minerals, to limit side effects. I would try the low dosage for around three weeks, and if it didn't help at all, I would want to try another medication. Earlier I had suggested something like the beta blocker, Carvedilol (Coreg), which I consider a wonder drug, but it is not recommended if pregnant.

I wouldn't want to try an expensive, new drug, at above the minimum strength. Reason? You've gone without heart medication your entire life, so, if you are going to take a medication, why try a new, expensive, relatively unproven new drug. Why not start at a low dose, well known and widely used, inexpensive generic medication, and then increase it to either a higher dose, or to twice a day, if you find that the medication not only works, but doesn't give you too many nasty side effects.

This post is a lot longer than I intended. Sorry about that!

Good luck tomorrow!

ps: Get copies of the Echo test results.
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Last edited by Machaon; 03-12-2008 at 04:53 AM.

 
Old 03-12-2008, 07:39 AM   #9
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Re: Enlarged Heart

Beerzoids, I question as you do when they say it is "benign", "not dangerous", etc.....I have no medical background but what I DO know is I DO NOT like the way it feels. I don't like to feel like I've got to be so aware of what my heart is doing. It's a double edged sword - on one hand, I'm scared to death to find out if something is wrong - on the other hand, I'm scared to death to not know if there is something wrong and not be taking care of it! Does that make sense? The echocardiogram scheduled for 2 hours away has my heart just racing and my palms sweating! I'm gonig to go in there and try to relax and tell myself the test is necessary for the doctor to determine if there is a problem and how to address it. I'm going to ask for a report from the tech today.

I certainly would love to have some medication that would slow down the racing and jumping! I'm going to have to talk to the cardiologist about that. They did try me on some beta blocker back in my teens - but, I had more symptoms with the one they tried - so they had me discontinue it. Is the medicine you mentioned a beta blocker? I'm sure my current pregnancy is contributing somewhat to the increase in racing and jumping, too! You know, to date, I haven't even had the opportunity to really even grasp the whole pregnancy thing?

I do intend to find a good - low impact exercise program and stick to it. I used to ride horses quite a bit - that and cleaning the barn was good exercise and I really enjoyed it. They say, the outside of a horse is good for what ails the inside of a person.....and I think it's true. It relaxed me, made me happy and I actually felt more energetic. Shoveling pounds and pounds of horse manure is a little bit of a workout - so, I guess I had my own little workout regimen several times a week without even knowing it! :-) Do you use like free weights for your weight training? I have some low weights (1, 3, 5 and 10 lbs) at home and would prefer doing it here to the local gym. I'm thinking some low weight training - some walking - and I would love to do some Yoga or Pilates - they say that is great for strength and relaxation. I think teaching myself to relax is key, also!

Do you take vitamins? I've been taking just over the counter Centrum chewables. My blood work done 2 or 3 weeks ago all came back good - within normal ranges. My cholesterol was tiny bit high (207 when they want to see it under 200) with my "good" cholesterol being high - which I assume is good?

Well, off to get showered and ready for the drive to the cardiologist. Beerzoids, I really appreciate your input - it's comforting to just have a cyber-pal to talk to.....and to draw on their experiences.

 
Old 03-12-2008, 07:48 AM   #10
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Re: Enlarged Heart

"I am a heart patient just like you, and I wonder, when the doctors say that a constantly mis-beating heart is benign, or not dangerous, do they really know what they are talking about? If they are wrong, then you are stuck years later, like I was, with a heart condition a lot more serious, and more difficult to treat.

What is your opinion? Is the constant mis-firing of your heart good for your heart, bad for your heart, or is it normal for your heart to constantly beat incorrectly?"

I have totally been in your shoes!! I lived my entire life with constant PVCs. They never scared me, or bothered me, because I'd always had them.. When doctors would hear them they'd tell me not to worry about them, they are benign. I believed them because like I said, they didn't bother me. It wasn't until we moved and I switched doctors that they started to take my PVCs more seriously. They had me do a 24 hour holter monitor and found that over 12% of my heartbeats were PVCs. They also did an echo and found that my right ventricle was enlarged. (Along with a slew of other things we had no idea were wrong!) They said that is largely due to the amount of PVCs I have. They did say that on it's own it really wasn't a huge deal, but since I have other heart issues as well they wanted to stop the PVCs. (They are trying to keep my heart as healthy as possible for as long as possible since I will be facing valve replacement hopefully in the far off future.) I can't help but wonder if one of the other doctors had taken it more seriously what the outcome would have been.. But on the other hand, it was caught before anything got too serious, so I can't complain too much. ;-)

 
Old 03-12-2008, 02:44 PM   #11
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Re: Enlarged Heart

Hi itsjustme,

sorry to step on this thread...but I also am facing heart valve replacement. Have I talked with you before? Which valve will you be replacing? I might have asked you already, forgive me if I have....but there are so few replacement stories on the board, that I tend to jump on any I find.

Mileena

 
Old 03-12-2008, 02:53 PM   #12
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Re: Enlarged Heart

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Originally Posted by itsmebeck View Post
I have totally been in your shoes!! I lived my entire life with constant PVCs. They never scared me, or bothered me, because I'd always had them.. When doctors would hear them they'd tell me not to worry about them, they are benign. I believed them because like I said, they didn't bother me. It wasn't until we moved and I switched doctors that they started to take my PVCs more seriously. They had me do a 24 hour holter monitor and found that over 12% of my heartbeats were PVCs. They also did an echo and found that my right ventricle was enlarged. (Along with a slew of other things we had no idea were wrong!) They said that is largely due to the amount of PVCs I have.
Amazing story and one that ANYONE, whose heart doesn't beat correctly, should heed!

I've read stories, over and over again, from other patients who have constant heart rhythm problems, and whose doctors tell them not to worry, the erratic heartbeats are benign.

In your case, over time, the "benign" misfiring of your heart probably lead to the enlargement to your heart. If I had to guess, your heart problems all started with a minor value defect, which in turn caused the erratic "benign" heartbeats, which resulted in the weakening and the enlargement of your right ventricle. The actual damage to one's heart doesn't come from just the stress on the heart from irregular heartbeats, it also comes from the damaging, excessive hormones that are over-produced by the body's Neurohormonal System, in it's attempt to compensate for a heart that is not pumping proficiently.

Quote:
They did say that on it's own it really wasn't a huge deal, but since I have other heart issues as well they wanted to stop the PVCs. (They are trying to keep my heart as healthy as possible for as long as possible since I will be facing valve replacement hopefully in the far off future.)
Your earlier doctors said that your heart problems were benign. Now that you have some measurable damage to your heart, your current doctors say that your right ventricle enlargement is not a big deal?

If I were you, I'd consider the enlargement of your right ventricle of utmost importance, and help your heart get better through diet, exercise and taking the most beneficial medications. Your efforts now will reward you later, as you get older, IMHO.

I've been battling heart failure (enlarged heart) for over twenty years, and I am doing very well by eating a healthy, low calorie diet; daily exercise; and taking effective heart medications, among other things.

I waited until in my 60's before I really decided to take my heart disease seriously, and I am now more restricted and limited than I would have been, if I had acted earlier. That said, I am overjoyed with my current progress and the improvement to my health and quality of life over the past few years. I really feel healthier and in better shape than many men in my age group, who don't have heart disease.

If you don't mind me asking, what prescriptions are you taking to deal with the PVCs and to treat you enlarged right ventricle, and how well are they working for you? Any nasty side effects? Do you still get many PVCs?

Do you know how much your blood pressure varies during the day?

On a side note, do you still get migraine headaches? If so, it could be related to your valve and heart problems.

ps: Thanks for your family's military service to our country!
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Last edited by Machaon; 03-13-2008 at 04:30 AM.

 
Old 03-12-2008, 04:17 PM   #13
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Re: Enlarged Heart

Quote:
Originally Posted by hrschk View Post
... It's a double edged sword - on one hand, I'm scared to death to find out if something is wrong - on the other hand, I'm scared to death to not know if there is something wrong and not be taking care of it! Does that make sense?
It makes a lot of sense. It would also scare you to death if you found out that something is wrong, but could not fully understand what it meant.

You need to empower yourself. You need to be the master of your own heart problems. How do you do this? Well...... first you need to understand that, whatever is wrong with your heart, you CAN help to heal it through a healthy diet, exercise and the proper medications. You also need to limit your stress as much as you can. But, as you know, limiting stress might be very difficult due to your pregnancy.

You need to become very pro-active regarding your heart medications. Doctors tend to throw a bunch of different medications at their patients, all at the same time. In most cases, heart problems require multiple medications, but the choice of medications, and when and how you take the medications during the day is very important.

Quote:
The echocardiogram scheduled for 2 hours away has my heart just racing and my palms sweating! I'm gonig to go in there and try to relax and tell myself the test is necessary for the doctor to determine if there is a problem and how to address it. I'm going to ask for a report from the tech today.
Hopefully, the echo will show a normal sized heart and healthy valves. I am anxious to hear the results!

Quote:
I certainly would love to have some medication that would slow down the racing and jumping! I'm going to have to talk to the cardiologist about that. They did try me on some beta blocker back in my teens - but, I had more symptoms with the one they tried - so they had me discontinue it. Is the medicine you mentioned a beta blocker?
Yes Carvedilol (Coreg) is a beta blocker.

Quote:
I'm sure my current pregnancy is contributing somewhat to the increase in racing and jumping, too! You know, to date, I haven't even had the opportunity to really even grasp the whole pregnancy thing?
How many months pregnant? How excited are you and Hubby about the pregnancy?

Quote:
... Shoveling pounds and pounds of horse manure is a little bit of a workout - so, I guess I had my own little workout regimen several times a week without even knowing it! :-)
You've almost convinced me to add the shoveling of horse manure to my daily exercise regimen.

Quote:
Do you use like free weights for your weight training? I have some low weights (1, 3, 5 and 10 lbs) at home and would prefer doing it here to the local gym.
I have two, 10 pound hand weights. I do 30 curls and 30 lifts, up to 10 times per day, and do 20 steppers over 10 times per day, plus the two 30 minutes walks.

Quote:
I'm thinking some low weight training - some walking - and I would love to do some Yoga or Pilates - they say that is great for strength and relaxation. I think teaching myself to relax is key, also!
Good idea. There is an old say about accepting the things you cannot change, and changing the things that you can change.

Quote:
Do you take vitamins? I've been taking just over the counter Centrum chewables.
I take 50mg Vitamin B complex, 250mg Vitamin C, and a one a day multiple vitamin/mineral, and try to get at least 15 minutes of sunshine for Vitamin D.

Quote:
My blood work done 2 or 3 weeks ago all came back good - within normal ranges. My cholesterol was tiny bit high (207 when they want to see it under 200) with my "good" cholesterol being high - which I assume is good?
Great to hear about your good blood work.

What were your Triglycerides?

Quote:
Well, off to get showered and ready for the drive to the cardiologist. Beerzoids, I really appreciate your input - it's comforting to just have a cyber-pal to talk to.....and to draw on their experiences.
Good luck at the cardiologist! Hoping for great results from the echo, and an effective, tolerable medication plan.
__________________
CHF, A-Fib, HBP, Diabetes, Asthma doing great

⇒ Avoid allergic & non-allergic irritants/triggers
⇒ Low calorie ovo-vegetarian diet
⇒ Power walk, weight lifts, pushups
⇒ Coreg 25mg bid

Last edited by Machaon; 03-15-2008 at 04:45 AM.

 
Old 03-13-2008, 07:11 AM   #14
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Location: San Antonio, Texas
Posts: 68
itsmebeck HB User
Re: Enlarged Heart

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mileena42 View Post
Hi itsjustme,

sorry to step on this thread...but I also am facing heart valve replacement. Have I talked with you before? Which valve will you be replacing? I might have asked you already, forgive me if I have....but there are so few replacement stories on the board, that I tend to jump on any I find.

Mileena
I'm not sure if we've "talked" before.. I'm not so great with names! It's my aortic valve that would be replaced. I have a bicuspid aortic valve along with an aortic aneurysm and some stenting. It's not too bad right now, we're in the "watch and wait" phase.. The plan is to just stay as healthy as possible for as long as possible.. She said she'd like to see me go another 30 years before they try and replace it since I'm only 27 right now. She said if they had to do it in the near future I would definitely be facing a second one in my lifetime and we do NOT want that!! So that was a big factor in deciding to do the ablation to stop the PVCs, since the PVCs were hurting my heart.

 
Old 03-13-2008, 07:29 AM   #15
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: San Antonio, Texas
Posts: 68
itsmebeck HB User
Re: Enlarged Heart

First of all, thank you for the thanks! I don't feel our family is "special" for being a military family, and honestly, I love the life and wouldn't have it any other way! So for people to thank me for living a life that I love is strange, but feels good none the less!

The other issues I have with my heart are bicuspid aortic valve, along with some stinting and an aortic aneurysm. I also have a PFO (hole) as well as the enlarging like I mentioned before. So those are (for the most part) all things I was born with and definitely not caused by the PVCs. Although like I said, they do feel the amount of PVCs I was having was making things worse, esp the aneurysm and obviously the enlarging. The enlarging is mild, that's why they say it's not a huge deal. They feel they've caught all these issue before any of them got to a bad point, which is great! Better to know about them now so I can do everything possible to prevent them from getting worse than to find out about them later when it's a life or death situation!

I am definitely doing everything I can to stay healthy. I'm not overweight, nor have I ever been. I eat pretty well (although I've definitely tried harder since being diagnosed) and stay pretty active. And I'm young, only 27 so I definitely have time on my side!

As for medication. I was on 25mg of Atenolol daily. My doctor told me since I'm no longer having the PVCs that I no longer need to take it, so I'm currently not on any medication. I am starting to have issues with SVT, which I had before starting the Atenolol. I'm also starting to get the daily headaches back, which is one of the reasons I was put on the Atenolol. So I definitely plan to ask my cardiologist about that when I see her next month.


Quote:
Originally Posted by beerzoids View Post
Amazing story and one that ANYONE, whose heart doesn't beat correctly, should heed!

I've read stories, over and over again, from other patients who have constant heart rhythm problems, and whose doctors tell them not to worry, the erratic heartbeats are benign.

In your case, over time, the "benign" misfiring of your heart probably lead to the enlargement to your heart. If I had to guess, your heart problems all started with a minor value defect, which in turn caused the erratic "benign" heartbeats, which resulted in the weakening and the enlargement of your right ventricle. The actual damage to one's heart doesn't come from just the stress on the heart from irregular heartbeats, it also comes from the damaging, excessive hormones that are over-produced by the body's Neurohormonal System, in it's attempt to compensate for a heart that is not pumping proficiently.



Your earlier doctors said that your heart problems were benign. Now that you have some measurable damage to your heart, your current doctors say that your right ventricle enlargement is not a big deal?

If I were you, I'd consider the enlargement of your right ventricle of utmost importance, and help your heart get better through diet, exercise and taking the most beneficial medications. Your efforts now will reward you later, as you get older, IMHO.

I've been battling heart failure (enlarged heart) for over twenty years, and I am doing very well by eating a healthy, low calorie diet; daily exercise; and taking effective heart medications, among other things.

I waited until in my 60's before I really decided to take my heart disease seriously, and I am now more restricted and limited than I would have been, if I had acted earlier. That said, I am overjoyed with my current progress and the improvement to my health and quality of life over the past few years. I really feel healthier and in better shape than many men in my age group, who don't have heart disease.

If you don't mind me asking, what prescriptions are you taking to deal with the PVCs and to treat you enlarged right ventricle, and how well are they working for you? Any nasty side effects? Do you still get many PVCs?

Do you know how much your blood pressure varies during the day?

On a side note, do you still get migraine headaches? If so, it could be related to your valve and heart problems.

ps: Thanks for your family's military service to our country!

 
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