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Old 09-03-2008, 07:14 AM   #1
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Heart Rate - How low is too low for teen?

My teen boys heart rate is low, it didn't used to be low but it has been dropping over the last number of months. When he sits it drops to around 47 - 48 bpm, then rises with exercise (only to 75% of peak). Also the last time in the clinic blood pressure was 110/48. How important is the Dialostic number? Is this low good?

Thanks, Mila

 
Old 09-03-2008, 09:29 AM   #2
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Re: Heart Rate - How low is too low for teen?

Does your son exhibit any additional symptoms besides the low heart rate and low diastolic blood pressure? At times, does he seem overly tired? Fatigued? Lethargic? Does he seem to over-sweat?

Is he overweight? Does diabetes run in your family?

Does he have any difficulty breathing? Does he ever complain about his heart skipping, beating hard, beating too fast?
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⇒ I avoid common ordinary but unhealthy household items
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Old 09-04-2008, 06:53 AM   #3
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Re: Heart Rate - How low is too low for teen?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Machaon View Post
Does your son exhibit any additional symptoms besides the low heart rate and low diastolic blood pressure? At times, does he seem overly tired? Fatigued? Lethargic? Does he seem to over-sweat?

Is he overweight? Does diabetes run in your family?

Does he have any difficulty breathing? Does he ever complain about his heart skipping, beating hard, beating too fast?


Reply: Yes he has additional symptoms that are concerns but to date have been passed off as likely developed Asthma, though symptoms do not respond to asthma meds and his lung volume testing is not consistent with asthma patients.

His symptoms include an increasing shortness of breath, he becomes winded easily. He complains that he has not been able to get that "deep" breath in a long time and it bothers him. He does become sweaty easy. He is somewhat overweight but that is because he has had low dose steroids.

Regarding being tired, we don't notice anythng during the day, but once he falls asleep it is like he is in a coma. There is nothing anyone can do to wake him until a good three or four hours have passed. I'm concerned that if his pulse falls as low as 47 - 48 bpm while sitting and awake, would it be dropping low during sleep?
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Old 09-04-2008, 03:22 PM   #4
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Re: Heart Rate - How low is too low for teen?

You said that your son's health problems started about two months ago. His symptoms are certainly worrisome.

One guess would be that he contracted some kind of AutoImmune disease two months ago. It could be the result of drug use, a bad cold or virus, an infection, a reaction to chemicals or pollution, a change in environment, a reaction to medication, etc.

Did anything change in your son's life two months ago? Any new furniture? New clothes? A change in diet? Does your son eat a lot of seafood?

What happens with an AutoImmune disease, like Asthma, Allergies, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, etc., is that the body reacts to what it considers to be "foreign" by producing excess body hormones, like those from the Adrenal Glands. These excess body hormones can cause breathing difficulties and heart rhythm problems, and all kinds of other nasty symptoms.

But....... I am not a health professional, nor have I had any health training or education, whatsoever, so take everything I post as just someone with his own health problems, who is just giving his own personal opinion.

Best regards to you and your son, and I wish your son a speedy solution, and recovery!
__________________
CHF, A-fib, HBP, Insulin Resist & Asthma much better

⇒ I avoid common ordinary but unhealthy household items
⇒ Balanced, healthy diet
⇒ Exercise
⇒ I alter my Circadian Rhythm
⇒ I LOVE COREG!

Last edited by Machaon; 09-04-2008 at 03:26 PM.

 
Old 09-05-2008, 05:40 AM   #5
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Re: Heart Rate - How low is too low for teen?

He does have an autoimmune disorder, or for lack of a better word it was called an immune dysregulation. His immune response has gone heywire and overacts to everything. It all started with a pneumonia infection, and I meant to say it started two years ago with this illness. For breathing difficulties he was put on 60mg Prednisone daily for almost 3 weeks and the steroids were not weaned. It is beleive he suffered an immune suppression and the infection disseminated. I didn't know that the immune responses could be effecting his heart.
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Old 09-05-2008, 08:02 AM   #6
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Re: Heart Rate - How low is too low for teen?

Taking prednisone for more than 7 days will cause adrenal suppression according to the Physicians Desk Reference for drugs, and failure to wean off a 60mg dose of the drug could have left him with poor adrenal function and low hormone levels. This could account for the fatigue and low blood pressure.

A test called the ACTH stimulation test is available through your doctor to check the adrenals (if you can persuade him), although they have a tendency to not bother about lowered hormone levels unless the levels are approaching total shutdown of the adrenal gland (Addisons Disease).

Last edited by liverock; 09-05-2008 at 08:07 AM.

 
Old 09-06-2008, 06:18 AM   #7
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Re: Heart Rate - How low is too low for teen?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mila8866 View Post
He does have an autoimmune disorder, or for lack of a better word it was called an immune dysregulation. His immune response has gone heywire and overacts to everything.
What types of things, have you found so far, that cause his Immune System over-reactions?

Quote:
I'm concerned that if his pulse falls as low as 47 - 48 bpm while sitting and awake, would it be dropping low during sleep?
I am not a health professional, but, when sleeping ALL systems slow down, including breathing, heart rate, metabolism, etc.

Are there times or days when he doesn't have difficult or labored breathing? Is he always difficult to wake up, regardless of where he sleeps or when he sleeps? At night, the body's circadian rhythm changes the amount and types of hormones, to facilitate sleep and rest. For instance, at night the Pineal Gland produces the hormone Melatonin.

It is important to give support and understanding to someone with Immune Dysregulation, especially someone as young as your son. There is nothing worse than to be feeling sick and not have the support of family members, or friends. Some of the things that trigger Autoimmune reactions are quite ordinary, and many people just don't believe that something ordinary can cause illness in others.

For instance, if your son says that he feels sicker, and suffers from difficult or labored breathing, after taking out the garbage, then keep him from taking out the garbage (unless you know he is just trying to get out of doing it). It could be the fumes from the garbage can, or a flowering plant outside, or a high pollen level, or a high pollution level, or a combination of things, that is setting off health problems. It could even be a reaction to the plastic garbage bag!

Quote:
It all started with a pneumonia infection, and I meant to say it started two years ago with this illness.
Often, when someone's immune system becomes oversensitive, it results in a life long battle. My immune system became dysfunctional because of a nasty case of the flu that put me in the hospital for quite a while. That was about forty years ago. During the past 40 years, other things, including another infection, have made my immune system even more sensitive. That's both good and bad. It's bad because I have to avoid many, MANY things. It's good because it makes it easier for me to determine what causes an over-reaction of my immune system, and what the over-reaction is doing to my body.

Quote:
I didn't know that the immune responses could be effecting his heart.
Understanding what happens during an immune system over-reaction is important to learning to live with the disease.

Like I had posted earlier, the Immune System over-reaction causes a production of excessive hormones. Over time, these excess hormones can cause damage to ALL of the body organs, glands and nervous system.

The overproduction of hormones like Adrenalin excite the heart, causing fast and/or hard and/or jumpy heartbeats, but the overproduction of other hormones can result in a slow, weak heartbeat. Or....... can cause higher blood pressure, breathing difficulties, over-sweating, over-heating, swelling, fatigue, mental confusion, joint pain, headaches, tiredness, etc.
__________________
CHF, A-fib, HBP, Insulin Resist & Asthma much better

⇒ I avoid common ordinary but unhealthy household items
⇒ Balanced, healthy diet
⇒ Exercise
⇒ I alter my Circadian Rhythm
⇒ I LOVE COREG!

Last edited by Machaon; 09-06-2008 at 09:05 AM.

 
Old 09-08-2008, 04:54 PM   #8
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Re: Heart Rate - How low is too low for teen?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Machaon View Post

Q -
What types of things, have you found so far, that cause his Immune System over-reactions?


reply: His illness is complicated and I usually lose people when I get into his autoimmune problems so I didn't expand on this orginally.

It started with a cough, and he was prescribed high dose steroids for what was thought to be croup. Then he worsened and pneumonia set in - thought to be possible mycoplasma but not confirmed, the pneumonia triggered breathing difficulty - so more high dose steroids. His airway colapsed when he would laid down to sleep and he was hospitalized for an asthma-like reaction that was not response to asthma meds. Someone thought he should also be placed on 500/50mcg Advair BID, and then more prednisone. With the in and out of the clinic and hospital it wasn't realized that he had 60mg of steroids for 2.5 weeks and then the inhaled during the middle and ongoing for the next three months. We ceased the prednisone cold turkey as we didn't know he should have been weaned. His behavior change was immediate, and escalated week by week until it took over his brain and we lost him (the boy we knew) suddenly he had stroke like symptoms, his mouth was crooked, his speech slurred, he regressed to a much younger child. He was only 10 and he was hallucinating 24 hours a day, audio and horrifying visual. He had headache, amnesia bouts, his smile was gone, his personality was gone. We rushed to the hospital, but we weren't told the truth about the significant findings. With beleiving he checked clear from Neuro, there was no explanation and he was misdiagnosed with having a rare adverse reaction to his advair - a steroid induced psychosis. But it didn't resolve as it was not a correct diagnoses. A slue of physical symtoms set in like joint and abdominal pain. Then weeks later he turned beat "red" flushed in the face and he has been this was 24/7 for a very long time. A fingernail across the skin would cause a welting flair.

For a long time my son reacted to everything, food, light, smell, sound, emotion, and for a moment it was beleived that he had a rare disease called Systemic Mastocytosis. However, his symptoms were too severe for this disease and everything pointed towards an infectious Disease cause stimulating the immune system - rev'ing it up to the extreme.

It took 20 months for him to obtain his first infectious disease review. A blond-haired, Mid-western, US born kid had a Tuberculosis PPD measuring 25mm. Rare autoimmune antibodies called Voltage Gated Potassium Channel Antibodies returned positive and indicated an Autoimmune Limbic Encephalitis.
This was a catch 22 though because he can receive no treatment to stop his immune system from causing harm because immune suppression would cause the TB to take over and he couldn't defend himself. The TB needed to be treated. He was dropped by the medical community who wanted to run away from this situation because of what happened to his care along the way. Googling "Mystery Illness Fells Young Man" is our story, or part of it anyway. We fought hard just to get someone to treat the TB, and now he is on Multi-drug TB medication for assumed, not isolated, Central Nervous System TB. Neurologically he has had great improvement, especially with TB meds. But he had no medical care, just pills. We plead for him to obtain help for the secondary problems that have developed as a result of his immune system overreacting for so long. Everything is discounted, his head could fall off his shoulders and we would be told "all is normal". He can't get tests and his heart rate is falling. It was normal before the illness and is slowly declining. Since May (at least first found) it was in the high 40's, and developed abnormal beat. He can't get a deep breath anymore. There are free floating lumps in his vessels on his calf. He had 54% Ejection Fraction and 22% something else that should be over 35%. We tried to get a Cardiologist review and only got him a treadmill stress test that started at 47bpm, stalled at 90 - 110bpm, and for a second reached 150. Immediately when stopped it plumetted. The physician refused to order labs and said his heart is that of a well trained Athlete and to come back in a year for a check up. The review was suppose to be indepth, as he is being treated for a disseminated TB infection.

Sorry for the long answer to your question, but this is why his immune system is overactive. But we are on our own, unable to obtain answers that normal people can.

________________________________________ __________

Q -

I am not a health professional, but, when sleeping ALL systems slow down, including breathing, heart rate, metabolism, etc.

Are there times or days when he doesn't have difficult or labored breathing? Is he always difficult to wake up, regardless of where he sleeps or when he sleeps? At night, the body's circadian rhythm changes the amount and types of hormones, to facilitate sleep and rest. For instance, at night the Pineal Gland produces the hormone Melatonin.

Reply: It is impossible to wake him for 3 - 4 hours after he falls asleep. It is concerning as nothing will wake him.

________________________________________ ______________________

Comment -
It is important to give support and understanding to someone with Immune Dysregulation, especially someone as young as your son. There is nothing worse than to be feeling sick and not have the support of family members, or friends. Some of the things that trigger Autoimmune reactions are quite ordinary, and many people just don't believe that something ordinary can cause illness in others.

reply: Agreed, there is also nothing worse than having no medical personnel want to help a child because he is a medical error and TB was missed for so long. I failed to mention above that it was two years into the illness when we learned that back when the illness took over his brain and we rushed him to the hospital, an EEG report was significantly abnormal indication a Lesion and excessive slowly, and an MRI shows a significant sinus infection or aneurysm in the Sphenoid and Ethmoid sinuses. We were told it was all normal and never knew about these findings.

Today we worry - could he have Cerebral Venous Thrombosis because an MRI recently indicates very enlarged Sinus Vessels - Traverse and the Confluence of the Sinuses, and there is Flow Void. We are also told these finding are also normal, and though our son is being treated for a deadly disease infectious of the CNS, we have never been able to obtain him a Neurologist to help him. Coupled with the decreasing heart rate, low dialostic number, valve regurgitation we don't know???

end.




________________________________________ ______________________



For instance, if your son says that he feels sicker, and suffers from difficult or labored breathing, after taking out the garbage, then keep him from taking out the garbage (unless you know he is just trying to get out of doing it). It could be the fumes from the garbage can, or a flowering plant outside, or a high pollen level, or a high pollution level, or a combination of things, that is setting off health problems. It could even be a reaction to the plastic garbage bag!

Often, when someone's immune system becomes oversensitive, it results in a life long battle. My immune system became dysfunctional because of a nasty case of the flu that put me in the hospital for quite a while. That was about forty years ago. During the past 40 years, other things, including another infection, have made my immune system even more sensitive. That's both good and bad. It's bad because I have to avoid many, MANY things. It's good because it makes it easier for me to determine what causes an over-reaction of my immune system, and what the over-reaction is doing to my body.

Understanding what happens during an immune system over-reaction is important to learning to live with the disease.

Like I had posted earlier, the Immune System over-reaction causes a production of excessive hormones. Over time, these excess hormones can cause damage to ALL of the body organs, glands and nervous system.

The overproduction of hormones like Adrenalin excite the heart, causing fast and/or hard and/or jumpy heartbeats, but the overproduction of other hormones can result in a slow, weak heartbeat. Or....... can cause higher blood pressure, breathing difficulties, over-sweating, over-heating, swelling, fatigue, mental confusion, joint pain, headaches, tiredness, etc.
__________________
Thanks,
Mila

 
Old 09-08-2008, 05:07 PM   #9
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Re: Heart Rate - How low is too low for teen?

I haven't read all of the posts, but it sounds to me that his autonomic nervous system could have had some damage, too. This controls blood pressure, heart rate, breathing, digestion, and a few other parts of the body that are "automatic".

 
Old 09-09-2008, 08:53 AM   #10
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Re: Heart Rate - How low is too low for teen?

a few months back I read a summary from the primary, and she too says it appears he is having "autonomic dysfunction". He had an Immunologist (the MS kind) who was very knowledgable, however there is nothing he feels comfortable in doing regarding treatment of the immune dysfunction because 1) the TB needs to be treated, and 2) that if the TB is treated many of these problems might settle. This is the assessment of others. He obtains TB meds, they have helped, but meds is the extent of the care. We can push for testing i.e. MRI & CT of head, Echo, which uncover findings but this does him no good when everyone avoids involvement in care.

There medical errors that occured stand out like a sore thumb. We can't conceal them or avoid them as it is imbedded within his story. We never even knew there was error, all we wanted is care for our son and for him to have an opportunity to recover. The situation screams litigation and everyone runs. We are left we a sick boy who no one will fix.
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Old 09-09-2008, 09:03 AM   #11
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Re: Heart Rate - How low is too low for teen?

I wish I had an answer for you. But unfortunately those with bad autonomic dysfunction(dysautonomia) tend to have problems with all sorts of medicines. They're either extremely allergic or very sensitive and the reactions fall into the "rare" category. It seems to be a theme with a lot of serious health issues.

Are you happy with his doctors? If not, keep looking for more. Try well known and cutting edge teaching hospitals, maybe even the Mayo clinics could help. Try to get all of his doctors to work together.

Last edited by aether4; 09-09-2008 at 09:03 AM.

 
Old 09-09-2008, 11:08 AM   #12
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Re: Heart Rate - How low is too low for teen?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mila8866 View Post
His illness is complicated and I usually lose people when I get into his autoimmune problems so I didn't expand on this orginally.
I get the same type of reactions when I post about Immune System Triggers, or I get responses that are not quite complimentary , so I usually side-step the issue.

Cole's struggles to get back to good health reminds me, somewhat, of my own struggles.

I've struggled with Congestive Heart Failure, Persistent Atrial Fibrillation, Insulin Resistance and Immune System Dysfunction (Autoimmune) for over 20 years. None of the specialists diagnosed my Insulin Resistance, or my Immune System Dysfunction, or my chronically high blood pressure. I had to self-diagnose and self-treat. As a result of my own efforts, with limited help from medical professionals, my health has greatly improved. Except for....... my immune system still over-reacts, so, if I want to maintain a good quality of life, I still have to avoid many things, MANY THINGS!

During the past twenty years, I had frequent sinus infections each year. I was afraid that a sinus infection would spread to my weakened heart. I finally figured out a way to cure my sinus infection problem and called it "Upside Down Sinus Flooding". Perhaps you've read about it? I posted about it here on Healthboards in 2003, which is the first, locked thread on the Allergies Board.

In my struggle against my body reacting to EVERYTHING, I purchased an Acupuncture Machine, and posted about my experiences with it, and with Acupuncture, on the Alternative Medicine Board, under the thread: Anyone ever try Chinese medicine (acupuncture/herbals)? I bought it years ago in an attempt to reverse whatever was wrong with my hormonal system, but with little success. I keep trying. I use electro acupuncture, which utilizes pads that stick to my skin, and then the machine stimulates the pads with low current levels. I don't use the needles YET, but plan to if I don't have success with the electro-pads. The link is as follows:

[url]http://www.healthboards.com/boards/showthread.php?t=13886&highlight=acupunc ture&page=5[/url]

In 2005, I was just discovering that I might have been Insulin Resistant, so I started a thread called: "Does an "Insulin Resistance" diet improve blood pressure?" where I also discuss my problems and progress discovering Immune System "Triggers" and my success in achieving very healthy blood pressure. It is at the following link:

[url]http://www.healthboards.com/boards/showthread.php?t=242229[/url]

I have had a chance to read about Cole's frustrating story. It is very complex. It would appear that he and I are battling against some of the same issues, albeit from different, but similar, causes. My number one defense against my AutoImmune problems is avoidance, then the building up of my immune system through diet and exercise. And lastly..... taking medicines that try to "quiet" my adrenal glands.

There is still a lot that I don't understand about my own AutoImmune problems. My most common, frustrated phrase, that I say almost daily to my very patient wife is: "I don't know the rules! How do you deal with a health problem when you don't know the rules!"

Take care, and I wish you and your family, and especially Cole the best results for the future.
__________________
CHF, A-fib, HBP, Insulin Resist & Asthma much better

⇒ I avoid common ordinary but unhealthy household items
⇒ Balanced, healthy diet
⇒ Exercise
⇒ I alter my Circadian Rhythm
⇒ I LOVE COREG!

Last edited by Machaon; 09-12-2008 at 01:30 PM.

 
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