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skybluepink1954 10-07-2012 01:43 PM

Skipping beats
I am scared to death! I was diagnosed with anxiety attacks 16 years ago, I have had them pretty much under control but don't do many things anymore that I know triggers them.
I just turned 58 years old and pretty much considered myself healthy, I do not go to doctors unless I have to - mainly because I have no medical insurance. I had a back injury in 1988 but even that is much better than it has been, any aches and pains, I blame on the back injury.. as any doctor I have seen does that also. I would always here "it is from your back"
I have also had stomach problems.. mostly due to the pain medications and muscle relaxers I was on when I injured my back, I have IBS and have had hiatal hernia. My stomach has gurgled for some time and I blamed that on my diet.. I eat all the wrong things! And I knew that flour products are terrible on my stomach.
About a month ago, my stomach was really aching and I took my pulse, I detected a skipped heart beat, which immediately sent me into a panic attack and I was sure I would die. I got to the doctor as soon as I could. He did hear a skip and did an ekg which was fine (it didn't pick up any skips) He did blood work and that all came back fine too. He said I could see a cardiologist if I wanted to, but he just didn't seem to concerned about it. Another reason why I don't go to doctors, I want answers and I don't seem to get them.
Since the day I detected the first missed beat, I have not eaten any flour products or sugar products, which has been a drastic change from my normal diet. I have lost 10 lbs but losing weight was not my main goal (even tho I do need to lose a few more lbs)
The problem starts in my stomach, on the left side just at the bottom of the rib cage, it is a little tender in that area also. Feels like a air bubble.. and then the skipping starts! Then of course the anxiety.
I am not sure what to do at this point but it is scaring me to death. I can't afford to go to a cardiologist (I called and got their price) and I have not found any clinics in my area that work on a sliding scale.
I have started taking magnesium and it does not seem to be helping much. Does it take longer for it to work? I have been on it for 2 weeks now.
Everything I have found seems that skipped heartbeats are not really dangerous but that is after a bunch of test have been run, which I have not had done. I as so scared!! Help!!

sjb 10-09-2012 01:14 PM

Re: Skipping beats
Greetings Skybluepink1954! welcome to the Healthboards! :)I would avoid junk food. I would eat fruits and vegetables cabbage may be healing to a painful stomach and potatoes might be useful. whole wheat flour bread and brown rice would of course be healthier than the white flour. Of course the mentioned hernia may be causing a lot of this in my opinion. Eating too much food at any one meal might aggravate that and heavy lifting might also aggravate it. I would try eating meals 5 hours apart and make the last meal light and a few hours before bedtime.

Sometimes electrolytes that are off can cause irregular heartbeats to occur. Magnesium is an electrolyte so I would be very careful about it. If the electrolytes were not checked I might have the health professionals check these. Of course everyone is in charge of their own health care and is responsible for their own health care decisions in life. If the stomach burns in the future I might try a drink of water to help wash that out down there and dilute stomach acid a bit. I would not drink during meals but up to a half hour before meals and some little time after meals. I would avoid meat cheese, relish, mustard, hot spices, vinegar, coffee, tea, alcohol and smoking.

I would walk outside every day in sunshine and fresh air and rest 8 hours at night.

Peace, :) sjb

skybluepink1954 10-09-2012 03:32 PM

Re: Skipping beats
Thank you for responding, This has been so scary for me and makes the anxiety attacks so much worse to deal with.
I have cut out all flour and sugar products and eating fruits and veggies.. which I have never been a big fan of. And almost no caffeine now and drinking water.. which not a fan of water much either lol I was practically living off flour products for some time, mainly crackers. So I have completely changed my diet in the last month. Which that alone has been a major adjustment.
I went to a kinesiologist that I use to go to years ago, He said my pancreas isn't producing any enzymes due to the awful diet I have kept for years and pretty much instructed me to do the same things I have already changed. I have been taking Magnesium for about 2 weeks now so I thought that it would straightend out by now.. so it is terrifying to me that it hasn't. It only seems to happen after I have a meal and my meals are small.
Beings that I work from home, I do not get out much, plus with the anxiety I don't get out much, but thank you for the suggestion of getting outside and everything.
I have not found any information about pancreas could cause skipped heartbeats but do know it only happens after I eat and my diet has been lousy up until a month ago.

sjb 10-09-2012 07:19 PM

Re: Skipping beats
Greetings! :) You are very welcome! Water can be distilled to taste better it takes the town chemicals out of it. Pineapple cabbage and papaya may have desireable enzymes to help digestion. I would not use fruits and vegetables in the same meal, these need to be in either a fruit meal or a vegetable meal. In the same meal they can cause indigestion. Sometimes if skipped beats are a real problem people get pacemakers in, however this procedure also has its risks and I think really unless the problem is severe it may not be needed. Of course the pancreas is an important organ in the body for digestion and the enzymes are needed to break down food so all organs and body cells may be nourished well. Every organ of the body should be properly taken care of. Peace :) sjb

skybluepink1954 10-12-2012 07:33 AM

Re: Skipping beats
Thank you for the replies. I have been on the enzymes for a few days and it was a little better, till yesterday and I felt a couple skipped beats. It triggers the anxiety attacks something terrrible. I do not feel these skips in my chest, I feel them in my stomach, like indigestion more than anything, but taking my pulse, I feel the skips. I have read so much that skips are usually nothing to be concerned about, and it isn't like I am having constant skips, just a couple a day, but those couple that I feel throw me into major anxiety attacks and then I can't sleep. I am a wreck! The doctor said I could see a cardiologist if I like, but I can not afford that! He wasn't all that concerned actually.. which made me feel like he just didn't care. The kinesologist said my heart is good, the skips are from the pancreas not functioning right and that is due to the awful diet I have been eating. So it appears I am the only one freaking out over this and it just scares me because I have never had anything wrong with me and a skipped heart beat once in a while is panic for me. Am I just paranoid?

sjb 10-12-2012 09:40 AM

Re: Skipping beats
Greetings, :) because sugar can cause anxiety I would definately stay away from it and as far as enzymes go I would not use the tablets, or capsules unless they are vegetarian because the animals contain germs which cause cancer. I would use foods mostly. Green foods also may contain some enzymes. Have a nice day! :wave: Peace, sjb

skybluepink1954 10-27-2012 07:39 PM

Re: Skipping beats
I have been off all flour products and all sugar products. Very little caffeine, no fried foods or spicy foods since the middle of Sept. I am taking Magnesium and an enzyme with meals. also taking GABA for anxiety (that is working pretty) and 5HTP to help me rest. Some days I can say things are better, other days still not so good. The skipped heartbeats still go on. I can not pin point any particular food but it is always after I eat.. (1 to 2 hours) It starts with just feeling like an air pocket it my upper stomach then goes up till there is a skipped beat.. sometimes several before it balances out some.
I still have not gone to a cardiologist. I don't have the money for that and dont' have insurance. It is still scarying me somewhat and is down right miserable. I have had a hiatal hernia in the past, and an ulcer. I have GERD and IBS (I am a basket case!) Ever tho these things are scary and miserable. I can't help but think it has to do with my digestive system. I drink water alot now.
The whole diet is completely new for me because before this I ate mostly flour and sugar products, very seldom ate fruit and very few vegetables. I drank coffee and ice tea. So my whole entire diet is completely different.
I can say... besides the stomach ache and skips. that I do feel better as a general all over feeling.
I do experience this more during the week when I am working, which I work from home and spend long hours at the computer and on the phone. I have had a back injury so as the week goes by, I am in more pain and more skips and upset stomach as well. I have to work and working from home is best for me, but long hours is rough. I am able to get up and walk around the house some during the day, but that is limited to staying close to monitor my computer screen watching for calls. I do fix my moms lunch every day and take it to her house at noon (she is next door) but besides that, I am pretty limited on exercise.
Will continue on the diet and hope this clears up before long, I thought changing a diet like this would take a couple weeks to adjust too.. wrong! I am still trying to adjust lol

sjb 10-28-2012 07:47 AM

Re: Skipping beats
Greetings, :) I am sorry the skipped beats continue. Sometimes doctors have special plans to help really poor ones, sometimes the state pays a good deal of it. Sometimes towns have special doctors for people who are volunteers to help with those who can't pay. I would inquire around to find out if there are any like this. Also sometimes friends and family or perhaps a good neighbor may help provide money for a need such as this.
Sometimes one can get a bit of extra money selling something they have on a yard sale. These suggestions may help obtain money for the cardiologist if desired. Perhaps the skips were happening before any supplements but I still would be careful about those if the doctor can't be seen for a blood test to check electrolytes. :) Peace, sjb

skybluepink1954 10-28-2012 08:53 AM

Re: Skipping beats
Thank you for your reply. I have tried to find places that work on sliding scale to pay and have ran into brick walls. I am given numbers that no longer work. Very discouraging to say the least. I have seen a doctor, he heard one skip and did an ekg that didn't pick up any skips, The doctor said the ekg was good. He ran blood test and said the test were all good also.. I asked what was next and I got this deer in the headlights look and he said I could see a cardiologist if I want to.. but he offered no other opinions. Even tho I left with no answers, I feel like if he thought it was something to worry about, he would have told me to get to a cardiologist asap or put me in the hospital, regardless of insurance.. I am not real sure about that tho. He did not say to come back after any given time either. Pretty cut and dry.. ekg good, blood test good, and the little physical he did in the office was good. All he said was to cut down on caffeine.
This is very bothersome to me, but it isn't constant. Sometimes I go for days without any skips, some days I feel several.. like maybe up to 10 a day. It is always when my stomach is bothering me tho. And the skips dont happen every time my stomach bothers me either.. just some times. I feel like if I could burp alot it would go away, and sometimes it does.. but alot of times I don't burp and it just gets more bothersome.
There has been times I will drink Alka Seltzer.. and I hate that stuff lol It alone makes me sick.. but drinking that makes the stomach stop hurting and skipping stops too. I just hate that stuff lol
Thanks for the help. I will look a little further to see if there is aid in my area but so far I haven't found it. I know that once a year a mobile unit comes thru and does heart checks for a reasonable price so will be watching for that again, but it was just a few months ago that it was here. So that will probably be a while now. Even if I can find when they will be in a different area maybe. Will do some research. Thanks again

sjb 10-28-2012 04:57 PM

Re: Skipping beats
Greetings I would drink water instead unless I had just finished a meal. Water dilutes stomach acid and makes it easier and is a healthier way to eliminate heartburn. It can be taken in between meals up to 20 minutes before a meal and some little time after the meal. At least 6.25 cups water for every 100 pounds body weight needs to be taken daily at minimum for most people and usually the real requirement is more so water should be freely taken.

Some things that might cause the heartburn include things with vinegar in them such as ketchup, salad dressing, mayonnaise, mustard, food additives, fruits, vegetables, and baked or cooked grain foods could be used as tolerated. Nut foods should be used to a small extent with thorough chewing after the stomach is mostly recovered as they are harder to digest. I would try to eat the meals 5 hours apart on a schedule and make the last meal very light. I would not snack to allow the stomach rest between meals. I would write a daily diary of foods used and whether or not there were symptoms and if so which ones. :) Peace, sjb

skybluepink1954 10-28-2012 06:02 PM

Re: Skipping beats
I am drinking water, which is something I very seldom did before. (I am on well water and it has been tested good, no floride, no chlorine) I am drinking minimum of 80 ozs a day. I weigh 150 which is down 10 lbs since this has started. I have not eaten any condiments, ketchup, dressing, mustard, mayo etc. Very little cabbage or broccoli as it causes gas.. I have had some, but not much. Have had a few nuts and dried fruits. Mainly eating fruits and veggies, a little bit of meat, not much of that, but some. (I am not a big meat eater anyway) I am not eating past 6:30 which makes me go to bed feeling like I am starving because I am use to eating late. I would think I would be use to not eating late.. but so far, still feeling starved by 9pm. Now I am eating to often probably. I do have a snack (fruit) between meals, so I am eating more like every 2 to 3 hours really. I will try to cut that back to 4 to 5 hours.. I just feel starved all the time. I try to eat mostly high alkaline foods also. Exercise is a big problem for me.. with the back injury I had years ago, most exercises will leave me in bed for days afterwards. Back then, the doctor said to only do some walking but don't try much more because of the injury. (herniated disk, degenerative disk disease, arthritis thru the spine) I do know I need to move more but working all day does make that difficult most the time. Stretching exercises at my desk is about all I get thru the day and a little walking around the house. I do have a cup of coffee once or twice a week - which I use to drink 2 or 3 cups every morning. And I use to drink ice tea all day - now very seldom.
Today my stomach started bothering me about an hour after lunch. (salad) I didn't really do what is called the hiatial hernia massage, but pushed in hard right under my ribs in the center and it stopped.
Thanks for your help and suggestions.. I have spent years eating what and when I wanted and fruits and veggies were very seldom touched. Guess it takes longer than 2 weeks to repair the damage I have done. I am impatient, I want immediate results which is something I am not seeing, it is better, but not gone.
Thanks again

sjb 10-28-2012 07:24 PM

Re: Skipping beats
Greetings I would not give up ever. I have read that deficiencys can take time to replace. I would drop all beverages with caffeine including coffee and tea. I don't think I would want to push too hard in the center there. I would also want to explain that to the doctor in case they wish to check for a bruit or an aneurysm in case it got weakened from pushing too hard. Vinegar in the dressing might be an issue. I would also be sure that when raw vegetables are eaten that they are chewed thoroughly to nearly cream consistency. :) Peace, sjb

skybluepink1954 10-29-2012 05:26 AM

Re: Skipping beats
aneurysm??? now I am really scared. I didnt push hard enough on anything to even make myself sore, Im not that strong. Now I am in one panic attack after the other. I have seen first hand what ER's do.. if you are not having a heart attack they send you home. So no sense going there. The skips aren't getting any worse.. mostly right after I eat a couple.. if I wasn't paying attention, I would say it is just a bubble in the stomach that will go away with a burp.. which it does go away if there is a burp.

sjb 10-29-2012 07:19 AM

Re: Skipping beats
Greetings, :) Well if it was not that hard maybe there is nothing to worry about. The emergency room is probably not the place to check for that anyway. :) Peace, sjb

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