Health Update

The last time I posted, I was trying to go caffeine-free with pretty good success I must say. Well, I must admit that I’m back to drinking colas and coffee. Yes, I’m officially off the caffeine-free wagon, but before you say “get back on that wagon, Blake”, let me explain.

Last June I had an ablation and was told to stop taking my arrhythmic heart drug. Well, one of the side effects of that drug was it caused my thyroid to go hyper. I continued to take thyroid medicine. After about six months of being off my heart medicine, my thyroid decided to go back to normal, all along I was still taking my thyroid pills. This caused my thyroid to go too slow (hypo). As a result, I felt tired most of the winter and need caffeine to jump start my energy level.

I’m now starting to feel better and hope to resume my caffeine-free challenge in the coming weeks. I go for another blood test this week to confirm my thyroid is back to normal.

I’ve also noticed increased heart palpitation when exercising and working around the yard. It’s nothing too bad, but limits my stamina especially when biking. I’m thinking my ablation was not a complete success. I’m trying to get in to see my doctor to confirm this.



Feel Better!

by ela-girl - 2008-05-19 08:05:32

Oh, Blake!

It sucks to feel crappy. There just isn't any other way to put it! I pray that your thyroid is back to being itself and that you can stay off the heart meds and the thyroid meds. Keep us posted...

As for me, I now have been caffeine free for 6 months!!!! It's an amazing difference. And I have to say, I owe it all to this club and the post on caffeine awhile back. I can even say that I don't even miss it (the colas etc.) I actually LIKE drinking water more now, too! It's been a good life change not to mention getting rid of all the empty calories and such.

Always know we're here for you like you've been for us!


by ElectricFrank - 2008-05-20 01:05:23

If it is that much of a challenge to stay off caffeine I'm not that sure you need to. If staying off caffeine has a real noticeable effect on your palpitations it would be easy to stop using it. So often these recommendations are just standard ones that really have never been verified for an individual. Also, keep in mind that there is a difference in coffee and cokes. The coffee is just caffeine where cokes are caffeine and sugar. The combination has a lot more potential for problems.

I use 3 scoops of fresh ground coffee in a 10 cup machine about once a day. I warm it up in the microwave as I need it. I drive the doc up the wall when he asked me how much coffee I drink/day. I say "3 scoops" He wants a number of cups, but as I tell him that doesn't say anything without knowing how strong it is.

By the way when I went through the spell of having lots of PVC's for several months, I tried stopping coffee and it made no difference at all.




by tcrabtree85 - 2008-05-20 01:05:39

Blake for the update! I was wondering how you were doing with your caffeine and was going to send you a message the next time I got on here to see how you were. It's nice to know that you are ok. I am sure you thyroid will resolve before long.
Caffeine is very hard to give up. Soda was easy for me to give up nearly 8 years ago but the chocolate was not. I stopped eating chocolate three years ago and it took me a year to give that up alone fully.
A little over a week ago I found out that they have caffeine free chocolate. I have not gone looking for it yet but plan too.
I wish you luck and look forward to hearing how your adventure with caffeine goes.

Blessings and Prayers,

I too wonder about ablations!

by bambi - 2008-05-20 08:05:37

Hi Blake,
I agree with Cathryn about caffeine tolerance being a very individual thing. However, I really wonder how much good these ablations do. I've had three, and each time, more and more of my heart was destroyed, and I seemed to develop new and worrisome symptoms! That's why, even though my EP suggested ablating my AV node, I refuse to take that final step that would make me totally dependent on my pacemaker. As it is I'm paced 98% in the atrium. I get this sinking feeling that pretty soon these ablations are going to be found to do more harm than good! Anyway, just my thoughts! Take care,

everyone is different

by CathrynB - 2008-05-20 10:05:54

How many times have we read on this site that "everyone is different"? It's certainly the case with regard to caffeine as well. I'm hyper-sensitive to caffeine and never drank more than one or two strong cups per day, but my hands would jitter, my heart would "race" and I'd feel jumpy. When I got my PM I cut back to one cup a day max. After your previous posting on this topic, Blake, I gave up caffeine completely and it made a huge positive difference for me. I sleep much better at night, no more jittery sweaty hands, and no more palpitations. But my husband drinks 6 cups of strong coffee daily and has no problems with it at all. So I'm with Frank -- if the caffeine causes you problems, then you probably can succeed in getting off of it again, and otherwise it may not be necessary. By the way, in the U.S. you can buy caffeine-free Coke -- I don't know if it's available in Canada, and I'm sure it has no healthful effects, but if you really crave colas and don't want the caffeine, then give it a try.
Meanwhile, I hope your thyroid problems are resolved. Please keep us posted. Take care, CathrynB


by ElectricFrank - 2008-05-22 02:05:54

I agree. Like so many medical procedures they have become too cavalier about doing ablations. The idea of destroying problem heart tissue sounds good, but the process creates scare tissue which may in itself become irritable.
When I went through my round of heavy PVC's back in November, the first thing the cardiologist said is "Oh we can fix that with an oblation". I told him to not even think about it.
It's not that I am totally against them if they are really needed.


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