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Old 03-15-2010, 05:09 PM   #1
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Enlarged heart meds

My husband has been diagnosed with an enlarged heart, he was very athletic, never had any problems til a few years ago. He is on Coreg and Lisinopril and he complains about palpitations and dizziness and anxiety. He recently did a stress test, had an echo and ekg, all fine, his heart is still a tad larger than normal. He went to see a new family dr and got the dosage changed but cardio dr got mad and made him go back on the non generic higher dose med. Cardio denies that these pills make anyone dizzy, lightheaded and that they stop the palpitations, even though he never had palps til he started taking the medicine! Looking for a new cardio, but in the meantime, any insight into the symptoms and these two meds?

 
Old 03-15-2010, 09:28 PM   #2
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Re: Enlarged heart meds

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Originally Posted by Patthedog View Post
My husband has been diagnosed with an enlarged heart, he was very athletic, never had any problems til a few years ago.
Athletes often do have enlarged hearts since the heart muscle grows due to exercise.

Was his enlarged heart causing some sort of problems or symptoms (other than merely being enlarged), or was it due to a pathological condition like high blood pressure or heart valve problems?

 
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Old 03-17-2010, 02:48 AM   #3
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Re: Enlarged heart meds

Quote:
Originally Posted by Patthedog View Post
... He is on Coreg and Lisinopril and he complains about palpitations and dizziness and anxiety. ... Cardio denies that these pills make anyone dizzy, lightheaded and that they stop the palpitations, even though he never had palps til he started taking the medicine!
Lisinopril causes the body to retain potassium. If one eats a diet too high in potassium, while taking a medication like Lisinopril, it can interfere with the Lisinopril and cause all kinds of heart problems, including palpitations, sob, dizzy, etc.
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Old 03-17-2010, 07:48 AM   #4
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Re: Enlarged heart meds

I've been on both those meds for an enlarged heart brought on by pregnancy. I experienced exactly what he is feeling....palpitations, dizziness, faint, and chest pain. It will take a couple months to get used to the medication. Coreg saved my life, it'a a miracle drug, I would advise your husband to stay on it and let his body adjust to the meds. In my case, I went from a 20% ejection fraction to 60% in six months. My heart was also VERY enlarged and went back to it's original prior to pregnancy. You don't wan't to mess around with an enlarged heart...it's pretty serious.

I'm still on Coreg as a precautionary measure even though I'm healed and to tell you what I feel safer on it! I want to be around for my kids.

 
Old 03-17-2010, 05:21 PM   #5
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Re: Enlarged heart meds

Thanks for your replies all. He has been on these meds for 2+ years and doesn't consistently have these side effects, but in the last 6 months or so, enough to bother him, scare him. I thought maybe his BP was getting too low? He just developed the heart condition out of the blue, no high BP, no drugs, he was in the military for 20+ years and has always been extremely healthy. That is interesting about the potassium. Finally got an auth to see a different cardio doctor, so hopefully can get this sorted out. Does an enlarged heart mean medication for life?

 
Old 03-17-2010, 06:22 PM   #6
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Re: Enlarged heart meds

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Originally Posted by Patthedog View Post
He just developed the heart condition out of the blue, no high BP, no drugs, he was in the military for 20+ years and has always been extremely healthy.
Was the enlarged heart (as opposed to the drugs or other treatment) causing any symptoms or problems when it was discovered? If not, and he was very athletic at the time, then it may have just been enlarged due exercise (a benign condition called "athlete's heart"). Only in uncommon cases where the heart grows abnormally ("hypertrophic cardiomyopathy") and becomes prone to sudden fibrillation (sometimes leading to sudden death, sometimes during intense exercise) as a result would athlete's heart be considered a problem needing treatment.

Of course, distinguishing between benign athlete's heart and something dangerous may be difficult (it is possible for an athlete to have conditions which cause a dangerous enlarged heart condition).

If your husband is very athletic, he may want to consider seeking a primary doctor and cardiologist who are familiar with athletes and sports medicine to help distinguish whether the enlarged heart is a benign athlete's heart or something dangerous.

Last edited by tjlhb; 03-17-2010 at 06:24 PM.

 
Old 03-17-2010, 06:55 PM   #7
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Re: Enlarged heart meds

It was causing him symptoms, he was on a ship for a very long time and went without seeing a doctor because he couldn't be spared, what led up to him being checked out was he felt short of breath when he had to PT. He has now gained about 25 lbs and will not exercise because he is afraid he'll pass out. Craziest bunch of stuff. I always told him jogging was bad for his health!

 
Old 03-17-2010, 08:38 PM   #8
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Re: Enlarged heart meds

Jogging is commonly associated with knee and foot injuries, not heart problems (indeed, jogging and other exercise tends to be associated with a lower risk of heart problems). Though apparently it did not help your husband in avoiding whatever caused an enlarged heart that is causing problems.

But the lack of exercise and 25 pounds of fat gain (assumed because weight gain in the absence of exercise tends to be fat rather than muscle) are likely to make things worse, since lack of exercise and high body fat increase the risk of high blood pressure, high LDL and VLDL cholesterol, low HDL cholesterol, diabetes, etc. which all increase the risk of heart problems.

Last edited by tjlhb; 03-17-2010 at 08:40 PM.

 
Old 03-18-2010, 02:26 AM   #9
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Re: Enlarged heart meds

Quote:
Originally Posted by Patthedog View Post
... He is on Coreg and Lisinopril and he complains about palpitations and dizziness and anxiety. ... Cardio denies that these pills make anyone dizzy, lightheaded and that they stop the palpitations, even though he never had palps til he started taking the medicine!
Dizziness and lightheadedness are common side effects of these medications, and breathing problems and palpitations are somewhat common with Coreg. It is a shame that doctors/cardiologists don't know more about the medications that they prescribe.

Quote:
what led up to him being checked out was he felt short of breath when he had to PT
A very common side effect of Coreg is "shortness of breath", especially if one is prone to Asthma. I have had to reduce my Coreg down to 6.25 once per day because of breathing problems with any dose greater than 6.25mg, once per day.

I was on an Ace Inhibitor, like Lisinopril, for my High Blood Pressure and Enlarged Heart (Heart Failure). I found out that a very healthy diet, high in potassium, was much more beneficial towards lowering my blood pressure down to healthy levels and to my survival from Heart Failure than the Ace Inhibitor. I would prefer to take the Ace Inhibitor and the healthy diet, but because of the large amount of potassium in my diet, the Ace Inhibitor causes breathing problems and problems with my heart's rhythm and beat. So...... I stopped taking the Ace Inhibitor years ago. My Cardiologist doesn't know this. I got tired of him saying that the meds couldn't possibly cause the side effects that for which I was experiencing. I was told that it could be anxiety or stress?! If so, then why did all of the nasty symptoms go away when I eliminated the Ace Inhibitor?

I've survived 23 years of Heart Failure, Persistent Atrial Fibrillation, Asthma, Insulin Resistance, in part, by using my Cardiologist's input as a source of information and not as gospel. Mostly, I ignore whatever "they" tell me about the side effects of the medications that they prescribe. One would think that they would know more about the meds that they prescribe all day long!?

Quote:
Does an enlarged heart mean medication for life?
I think that your husband needs a proper diagnosis and to see a competent Cardiologist. An echocardiograph is not the best diagnostic tool for diagnosing "Enlarged Heart" or "Heart Failure". With an Echo, the technician has to interpret the images. The measurements of the heart, and within the heart, are all up to his interpretation. The best source for proper diagnosis is a Heart Catheterization where the Cardiologist threads a camera through an artery into the heart, and can get much more accurate measurements.

In some cases, what an Echocardiograph Technician judges to be an enlarged heart is actually a normal sized heart in some individuals.

Whether your husband needs medication for life depends upon the overall health and proper diagnosis of your husband's "enlarged" heart.

Best of luck to you and your husband. The sacrifices that both of you have made in regards to his service to our country to keep us free and safe, are much appreciated. Thanks!
__________________
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; 03-18-2010 at 05:10 AM.

 
Old 03-22-2010, 06:32 PM   #10
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Re: Enlarged heart meds

Thanks for replying Machaon~

He did have the cath done 2 summers ago. Can't wait til he goes to the new cardio on the 1st, hopefully we'll get some answers.

 
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