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Old 07-29-2005, 07:53 AM   #1
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left atrial enlargement

Hello

I'm new to this so please forgive me if I don't have the correct ettiquette. I have recently had an ecg due to my blood pressure being high. It came back as left atrial enlargement. Has any one else had this?

 
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Old 07-29-2005, 08:01 AM   #2
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Re: left atrial enlargement

Quote:
Originally Posted by bogs
Hello

I'm new to this so please forgive me if I don't have the correct ettiquette. I have recently had an ecg due to my blood pressure being high. It came back as left atrial enlargement. Has any one else had this?
Uncontrolled high blood pressure can cause enlargement of the heart. Once a portion of the heart gets enlarged, like the atrium, many things that never caused the heart to beat badly, before, now cause the heart to skip beats, race, pound hard, etc.

Do you have problems with your heartbeat?

Has your doctor put you on Coumadin(Warfarin)?

 
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Old 07-29-2005, 08:07 AM   #3
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Re: left atrial enlargement

Thanks. I haven't been to the doctor yet as I have only just had the ecg. I have never had problems with my heart beat. I've done a wee bit of research about this and all the information I could find about it seemed to mention congestive heart failure so I'm a bit freaked out about it.

Last edited by bogs; 07-29-2005 at 09:42 AM.

 
Old 07-29-2005, 08:19 AM   #4
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Re: left atrial enlargement

Quote:
Originally Posted by bogs
Thanks for replying beerzoids. I haven't been to the doctor yet as I have only just had the ecg. I have never had problems with my heart beat. I've done a wee bit of research about this and all the information I could find about it seemed to mention congestive heart failure so I'm a bit freaked out about it.
I've got congestive heart failure. Symptoms of CHF include shortness of breath, heart rhythm problems, sweating problems, fatigue, weakness, etc. The worse the CHF, the worse the symptoms.

If you don't have major symptoms of heart failure then your probably don't have a significantly enlarged atrium. Your atrium results might be a warning to you to eat better and to do regular exercise and to quit smoking if you smoke AND to lower your blood pressure.

 
Old 07-29-2005, 08:33 AM   #5
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Smile Re: left atrial enlargement

Quote:
Originally Posted by beerzoids
I've got congestive heart failure. Symptoms of CHF include shortness of breath, heart rhythm problems, sweating problems, fatigue, weakness, etc. The worse the CHF, the worse the symptoms.

If you don't have major symptoms of heart failure then your probably don't have a significantly enlarged atrium. Your atrium results might be a warning to you to eat better and to do regular exercise and to quit smoking if you smoke AND to lower your blood pressure.
Sorry to hear that. Thanks for the info. I'll try to exercise more. Just recently given up smoking and my diet is fairly good, considering I'm Scottish :-) Do you know if atrial enlargement is reversible?

Last edited by bogs; 07-29-2005 at 09:43 AM.

 
Old 07-29-2005, 09:05 AM   #6
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Re: left atrial enlargement

Quote:
Originally Posted by bogs
Sorry to hear that beerzoids. Thanks for the info. I'll try to exercise more. Just recently given up smoking and my diet is fairly good, considering I'm Scottish :-) Do you know if atrial enlargement is reversible?
I have read comments from those with advanced heart failure, who have been able to reverse their heart disease, including the reduction in the size of their heart.

From my own personal experience, in order to improve I had to lower my blood pressure and get my heart beating regularly, with an unstressed heartbeat. The heart is constantly pumping, so it has little chance to rest. But...... the heart is an amazingly strong organ. I have always felt that our hearts had much more pumping capacity than we really needed. Someone can lose 50% of their heart's pumping ability and still live a somewhat normal life.

The more stress we can take off of our hearts, the better chance that our hearts can get back to normal. The two most significant stresses to our hearts are high blood pressure and an erratic, or overly strong heartbeat.

Good luck at your doctor's office.

As an afterthought....... some of the heart meds that I was first taking did not agree with me at all, and had miserable side effects and interactions with other meds and with various foods. If they place you on heart meds and/or blood pressure meds, keep track of the side effects, or changes that make you feel worse. This way you can go back to the doctor and get on meds that are more appropriate for you.

 
Old 07-29-2005, 12:32 PM   #7
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Re: left atrial enlargement

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Originally Posted by bogs
Thanks. I haven't been to the doctor yet as I have only just had the ecg. I have never had problems with my heart beat.
Now that I have thought about this a little, your statement confuses me. An ECG measures your heart's electrical system. In order for an ECG to come to a suggestion of a possible left atrial enlargement, the ECG had to pick up some heart rhythm irregularities. Do you think that you could have heart rhythm irregularities that you can't feel?

I am not a health professional, only a heart patient myself, but if you have no symptoms of an enlarged heart, I question the accuracy of the ECG test that you had. I also don't think that an ECG can measure the size of someone's atrium. It probably picks up heart rhythm irregularities that are suggestive of an enlarged atrium.

Once a portion of the heart gets stretched out and enlarged, it throws off the timing of the heart and there are rhythm problems from then forward.

Last edited by Machaon; 07-30-2005 at 08:37 AM.

 
Old 07-31-2005, 10:34 AM   #8
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Re: left atrial enlargement

Quote:
Originally Posted by beerzoids
Now that I have thought about this a little, your statement confuses me. An ECG measures your heart's electrical system. In order for an ECG to come to a suggestion of a possible left atrial enlargement, the ECG had to pick up some heart rhythm irregularities. Do you think that you could have heart rhythm irregularities that you can't feel?

I am not a health professional, only a heart patient myself, but if you have no symptoms of an enlarged heart, I question the accuracy of the ECG test that you had. I also don't think that an ECG can measure the size of someone's atrium. It probably picks up heart rhythm irregularities that are suggestive of an enlarged atrium.

Once a portion of the heart gets stretched out and enlarged, it throws off the timing of the heart and there are rhythm problems from then forward.
It is possible that I have some irregularities. Another poster said that she had had the same thing and then had an echocariogram which showed nothing wrong.
I had some blood taken less than half an hour before the ecg which I found quite stressful, not vey good with needles and they have difficulty finding a vein. I'm probably clutching at straws so I'll just have to wait and see. Thanks for the info on the blood pressure meds. I haven't been keen to take any but I suppose it's the lesser of two evils. Thanks again. You've been very helpful.

 
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