Sleep Apnea - high vagal tone

Hey guys,

I don't know if you recall but about a month ago I was told I needed a pacemaker by my cardiologist and then saw a specialist (EP) who said I didn't need one. My heart would stop beating for 3 seconds at times but only during the night..he said this was due to high vagal tone. I was also diagnosed with moderate sleep apnea and he believed that this may be contributing to that pausing and high vagal tone along with excessive physical activity.

I just wanted to let you all know (AND BY NO MEANS AM I A DOCTOR, NOR DOES THIS CLASSIFY AS SCIENTIFIC PROOF!!)...But after a month with my cpap machine for my apnea and still working out etc... my heart no longer pauses for 3 seconds at night (recently did another holter) and I feel great.

Again, this is not scientific proof but just some food for thought for those that may be in the same position I was and may have a doctor that rushes into diagnosing the need for a pacemaker.

I wanted to let everyone know since you all helped me soo much when I signed on to this site.


sleep apnea

by CathrynB - 2007-05-11 11:05:18

Hi Shock, Good to hear from you again, and so pleased to hear they've sorted out your problem! My EP says there's a strong link between sleep apnea and nocturnal pauses in the heartbeat, and at my first appointment he asked if my husband or I thought I have sleep apnea. I don't, but he said if I did, they'd go down a whole different treatment path not involving a PM. Because the holter monitor showed all my heart pauses were during daytime hours, he knew that was not my problem. That's great that you pursued more opinions and found the true cause of your problem. We all need to be strong advocates for our own healthcare, and sometimes the medical profession makes that difficult as they discount us or intimidate us. Thanks so much for giving us an update on your situation. Take care, Cathryn

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