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Old 03-07-2007, 07:34 AM   #1
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Dizziness, Low Heart Rate, etc. UGH!!!

Hi all. Well, I "quit" smoking last November. The reason I put "quit" in quotes is because I cheat on the weekends sometimes when I'm around my smoking friends. I know, bad bad bad. Anyway - ever since I "quit" my heart rate has gone from super fast to super slow. It is usually between 50 and 60 when I'm just sitting here at my desk. I also feel like I can't hold my head up. This lightheaded feeling has actually been going on for years, but it went away for a while last year and then came back when I "quit" smoking. So yesterday I decided to buy a pack of cigs and smoke all day. Guess what? My heart rate stayed around 80...except when I was smoking and it was super high. I also didn't feel lightheaded. I actually felt so good yesterday! So today I'm not smoking and my heart rate is low again and I feel like crap. I can't concentrate and I'm really lightheaded again...I feel like I need something to support my head and I can't sit up. I don't know what to do. I can't function feeling like this. I don't want to smoke anymore, but I feel much better when I do. Did anyone else have these problems? And how long did you suffer with them? Any tricks to getting around this? I need help! Thanks!

Last edited by Leela_C; 03-07-2007 at 08:12 AM.

 
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Old 03-07-2007, 08:03 AM   #2
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Re: Dizziness, Low Heart Rate, etc. UGH!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leela_C View Post
Hi all. Well, I "quit" smoking last November. The reason I put "quit" in quotes is because I cheat on the weekends sometimes when I'm around my smoking friends. I know, bad bad bad. Anyway - ever since I "quit" my heart rate has gone from super fast to super slow. It is usually between 50 and 60 when I'm just sitting here at my desk. I also feel like I can't hold my head up. This lightheaded feeling has actually been going on for years, but it went away for a while last year and then came back when I "quit" smoking. So yesterday I decided to buy a pack of cigs and smoke all day. Guess what? My heart rate stayed around 80...except when I was smoking and it was super high. I also didn't feel lightheaded. I actually felt so good yesterday! So today I'm not smoking and my heart rate is low again and I feel like crap. I can't concentrate and I'm really lightheaded again...I feel like I need something to support my head and I can't sit up. I don't know what to do. I can't function feeling like this. I don't want to smoke anymore, but I feel much better when I do. Did anyone else have these problems? And how long did you suffer with them? Any tricks to getting arond this? I need help! Thanks!
Leela
It sounds as though your life is one long withdrawal symptom. Any unusual symptoms you have after quitting are temporary (up to a month or so) unless smoking is masking something more serious. I have been quit for over 10 weeks and I don't doubt if I lit up at this moment I would feel more relaxed etc. But, it's drug addiction, which is why we manage to justify it even though it is killing us. Being more relaxed and content will come to me naturally and without nicotine and your heart rate will never ever be that of a healthy person while you smoke.

 
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Old 03-07-2007, 08:22 AM   #3
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Re: Dizziness, Low Heart Rate, etc. UGH!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leela_C View Post
Hi all. Well, I "quit" smoking last November. The reason I put "quit" in quotes is because I cheat on the weekends sometimes when I'm around my smoking friends. I know, bad bad bad. Anyway - ever since I "quit" my heart rate has gone from super fast to super slow. It is usually between 50 and 60 when I'm just sitting here at my desk. I also feel like I can't hold my head up. This lightheaded feeling has actually been going on for years, but it went away for a while last year and then came back when I "quit" smoking. So yesterday I decided to buy a pack of cigs and smoke all day. Guess what? My heart rate stayed around 80...except when I was smoking and it was super high. I also didn't feel lightheaded. I actually felt so good yesterday! So today I'm not smoking and my heart rate is low again and I feel like crap. I can't concentrate and I'm really lightheaded again...I feel like I need something to support my head and I can't sit up. I don't know what to do. I can't function feeling like this. I don't want to smoke anymore, but I feel much better when I do. Did anyone else have these problems? And how long did you suffer with them? Any tricks to getting around this? I need help! Thanks!
Leela, you should discuss this with your dr. Smoking should not be your 'fix'. My heart rate when I was smoking was typically 115-120 at rest. See the info. below but you should stop smoking and call your doc. I don't know how long you smoked but if for quite some time, you might just feel 'weird' due to the decrease.

What is a normal heart rate in adult? Well, opinions differentiate from source to source. However as a rule of thumb your average resting heart rate should be 60 to 100 beats per minute. A heart rate of more than 100 beats per minute is called tachycardia. A heart rate of less than 55 beats per minute is called bradycardia. Sometimes however heart rate of less than 55 beats is normal. For example, healthy trained adults often have resting heart rates of less than 50 beats per minute.

 
Old 03-07-2007, 08:25 AM   #4
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Re: Dizziness, Low Heart Rate, etc. UGH!!!

Thanks for the posts. I have seen so many different doctors and they keep saying there is nothing wrong with me. I even had a heart monitor a month ago and it caught my low heart rate and he said I was fine. I know smoking shouldn't be my fix, but when doctors won't take time to listen to me and try to understand how I'm feeling, I have to try to fix myself. Like I said, I don't want to smoke anymore. But I don't want to feel like crap all the time either. I know what a normal heart rate is supposed to be. Can nicotine withdrawal cause it to drop so much so fast? I guess that was my main question.

 
Old 03-07-2007, 08:44 AM   #5
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Re: Dizziness, Low Heart Rate, etc. UGH!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leela_C View Post
Thanks for the posts. I have seen so many different doctors and they keep saying there is nothing wrong with me. I even had a heart monitor a month ago and it caught my low heart rate and he said I was fine. I know smoking shouldn't be my fix, but when doctors won't take time to listen to me and try to understand how I'm feeling, I have to try to fix myself. Like I said, I don't want to smoke anymore. But I don't want to feel like crap all the time either. I know what a normal heart rate is supposed to be. Can nicotine withdrawal cause it to drop so much so fast? I guess that was my main question.
As I mentioned my heart rate was between 115-120. I have high blood pressure so have a home machine and take it (which includes heart rate) a few times/week. Since quitting, my heart rate has been 80-85 at rest. So seem nicotine does have quite an effect on our heart rate.

I'm sorry you aren't feeling well. Maybe vitamins? eating better?

 
Old 03-07-2007, 08:50 AM   #6
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Re: Dizziness, Low Heart Rate, etc. UGH!!!

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Originally Posted by paulagizmo View Post
As I mentioned my heart rate was between 115-120. I have high blood pressure so have a home machine and take it (which includes heart rate) a few times/week. Since quitting, my heart rate has been 80-85 at rest. So seem nicotine does have quite an effect on our heart rate.

I'm sorry you aren't feeling well. Maybe vitamins? eating better?
My heart rate while smoking was that high too. But is MUCH lower when not smoking - 50-60. I still just don't understand it.

I take vitamins. I also take mineral supplements from a doctor I just recently started seeing as a last resort. She is an MD but focuses on the body as a whole, not just one certain specialty. Her supplements aren't helping me either. I guess I'm just a lost cause.

 
Old 03-07-2007, 10:59 AM   #7
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CTYankee HB User
Re: Dizziness, Low Heart Rate, etc. UGH!!!

My resting heart rate is about 48 bpm. My medication and daily exercise is the reason for this. A resting heart rate of 100 or more is not good. Think of your heart as an engine. Would you want to race your engine constantly? Some of the finest athletes in the world have a heart rate <40 bpm. Another reason to quit smoking.

Cheers

 
Old 03-07-2007, 11:11 AM   #8
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Re: Dizziness, Low Heart Rate, etc. UGH!!!

OK, I guess I didn't word my original post right. What I am trying to find out is if anyone else had a severe drop in heart rate when they quit? I am not an athlete, although I have started exercising 2-3 times a week. I am not on any medication that would make my heart rate lower. I really feel horrible. I felt so much better yesterday when I was smoking and my heart rate while sitting was 80 or so. Today it is back in the 50s and I can hardly hold my head up. Again, I have seen plenty of doctors and my cardiologist said my heart is fine. I don't FEEL fine. If this happened to someone else then maybe I can feel a little better about this and not go out and buy another pack of cigarettes just to feel better. I WANT to quit for good. But I don't want to feel like garbage. I'm just kind of stuck right now. Thanks again for the posts. Hopefully someone will be able to relate to me.

 
Old 03-07-2007, 11:47 AM   #9
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Re: Dizziness, Low Heart Rate, etc. UGH!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leela_C View Post
OK, I guess I didn't word my original post right. What I am trying to find out is if anyone else had a severe drop in heart rate when they quit? I am not an athlete, although I have started exercising 2-3 times a week. I am not on any medication that would make my heart rate lower. I really feel horrible. I felt so much better yesterday when I was smoking and my heart rate while sitting was 80 or so. Today it is back in the 50s and I can hardly hold my head up. Again, I have seen plenty of doctors and my cardiologist said my heart is fine. I don't FEEL fine. If this happened to someone else then maybe I can feel a little better about this and not go out and buy another pack of cigarettes just to feel better. I WANT to quit for good. But I don't want to feel like garbage. I'm just kind of stuck right now. Thanks again for the posts. Hopefully someone will be able to relate to me.
Leela
Sorry to repeat myself but if you are constantly stopping and starting smoking you will be going through constant withdrawal symptoms so it's no wonder you feel terrible. I think you need to either stop completely for at least a month to see how you feel or justify to yourself that you need to smoke to enhance your health. Does it really sound logical? Smoking causes heart disease. It does not cure it.

 
Old 03-07-2007, 11:54 AM   #10
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Re: Dizziness, Low Heart Rate, etc. UGH!!!

True Brit - so you're saying that this large drop in heart rate IS a withdrawal symptom? That is what I am trying to find out. And I'm really not stupid...you don't have to be mean. I'm having a bad enough day as it is. Again...I just want to see if this has happened to anyone else when they quit.

 
Old 03-07-2007, 01:15 PM   #11
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Re: Dizziness, Low Heart Rate, etc. UGH!!!

Leela,

It seems no one here has experienced your issue. I'm sure True Brit wasn't being mean but since we are all trying/being non-smokers, we just don't want you to do it because we all know the health risks.

Anyway, I did some research on bradycardia . Please read below. Either take this or do your own ****** search and take it to a doctor. Bradycardia seems to be your problem and after everything I've read your heart rate should not be this low, even due to withdrawal. Smoking has been 'hiding' whatever the issue is so please don't smoke anymore and get an appt. with a reputable doctor and INSIST they do an ECG! Please keep us posted.


Bradycardia is an abnormally slow or unsteady heart rhythm (usually less than 60 beats per minute) that causes symptoms such as dizziness, fainting, being extremely tired, and shortness of breath. Diagnostic tests such as an electrogram (ECG) assist the doctor in discovering the specific cause of the bradycardia. When an irregular heart rhythm cannot be seen at the time of the test, an implantable loop recorder, the Reveal ILR, might be used to clarify the diagnosis. A pacemaker relieves the symptoms of bradycardia by increasing the heart rate to an appropriate rate.

Q. What happens if I am diagnosed with an abnormally slow heart rhythm (bradycardia)?
A. If you are diagnosed with bradycardia, your doctor may prescribe a pacemaker to relieve the symptoms of bradycardia. Bradycardia means that your heart's natural rhythm has become abnormally slow (less than 60 beats per minute) or irregular. Because of this, your heart is not able to meet your body's demands, resulting in symptoms such as dizziness, extreme fatigue, shortness of breath, or fainting spells. It may be that the sinus node, your heart's natural pacemaker, sends out electrical impulses too slowly sick sinus syndrome). Or, the electrical impulses may be blocked along the pathway through the heart (heart block). The heartbeat then becomes very slow or unsteady. Either of these two forms of bradycardia can result from heart disease, damage from a heart attack, cardiac surgery, or degeneration from the aging process. The precise cause may be unknown. Whatever the cause of symptomatic bradycardia, a pacemaker can keep the heart beating at a rate that allows you to continue living a normal life.

 
Old 03-07-2007, 01:25 PM   #12
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Re: Dizziness, Low Heart Rate, etc. UGH!!!

Paulagizmo - thanks for your concern. I have looked all over the internet for what could be causing my problem. I have problems with anxiety, so searching online is actually very bad for me. I have been seeing a cardiologist for about two years now. I originally had to see him because I had a very fast heart rate. I have had test after test after test. After my heart rate started slowing I had yet ANOTHER monitor. He saw my slow heart rate but was not concerned and said "you are young and we are not even going to go down the pacemaker road". So I have been seen for this problem. He can't explain why it slowed down so suddenly after being fast for so long. I guess if he's not concerned then I shouldn't be either, but I am. I tried to better my health by not smoking, but it seems like I have had more problems not smoking than I had when I was smoking. I'll take the tachycardia over the bradycardia any day. I don't plan on smoking anymore. I guess I'll just have to live with this constant state of lightheadedness. My PCP just thinks I'm a total nut and won't give me any more referrals for specialists. Who knows???

 
Old 03-07-2007, 01:43 PM   #13
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Re: Dizziness, Low Heart Rate, etc. UGH!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leela_C View Post
Paulagizmo - thanks for your concern. I have looked all over the internet for what could be causing my problem. I have problems with anxiety, so searching online is actually very bad for me. I have been seeing a cardiologist for about two years now. I originally had to see him because I had a very fast heart rate. I have had test after test after test. After my heart rate started slowing I had yet ANOTHER monitor. He saw my slow heart rate but was not concerned and said "you are young and we are not even going to go down the pacemaker road". So I have been seen for this problem. He can't explain why it slowed down so suddenly after being fast for so long. I guess if he's not concerned then I shouldn't be either, but I am. I tried to better my health by not smoking, but it seems like I have had more problems not smoking than I had when I was smoking. I'll take the tachycardia over the bradycardia any day. I don't plan on smoking anymore. I guess I'll just have to live with this constant state of lightheadedness. My PCP just thinks I'm a total nut and won't give me any more referrals for specialists. Who knows???
I just thought of something else I read that may help. Try the patch! It is better than smoking and since it gives your body nicotine, it should boost up your heart rate. This is not the perfect case scenario but I would think it would help you feel better and sure the hell beats smoking.

 
Old 03-07-2007, 02:53 PM   #14
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Re: Dizziness, Low Heart Rate, etc. UGH!!!

I don't think anyone on here is going to give you the go ahead to start smoking again just because it makes you feel better.

I'm sorry you are not feeling well and I'm sorry your physician is not helping you... maybe you should consider a second opinion?

 
Old 03-07-2007, 03:15 PM   #15
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Re: Dizziness, Low Heart Rate, etc. UGH!!!

I am really sorry I started this post. Thank you everyone for taking the time to reply to me, but it is getting out of hand. All I wanted to find out was if anyone had such a significant drop in heart rate when they were going through nicotine withdrawal? I wanted to find out if anyone out there could relate to me. I wasn't looking for validation to start smoking again. I wasn't looking for people to research bradycardia online (trust me, I have done plenty of that and have already scared myself to death). You all have a wonderful support system on this board and I hope one day I can quit smoking for good and join the rest of you that have beat this nasty habit. I can't get any more opinions from doctors. They don't know what to do with me. I am on my third PCP and I refuse to try to find another. The medical doctors tell me it is mental, the p-docs tell me it is physical. I give up! Thanks again for your posts. Good luck to you all!

 
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