Complete Heart Block

Hi everyone! Hope everyone is doing well.

So I have complete heart block for 32 years now. And a year ago I was diagnosed with Lyme and received treatment for it. Unfortunately there has been some lingering symptoms that I am now left with. Which are afibs. They happen maybe 2 or 3 times a month and last for 1 minute or less, maybe sometimes 2 minutes or less. Both my cardiologist say this will happen from time to time that I am more senstive to the sensation of my heart beating a bit fast. And the nurse told last month when I sent her the recording of my episode from the Boston Latitude that what I felt was my pacemaker kicking in and working.. 

This is all so weird and I hate when it does happen. I was also told by my cardiologist that it can be my vagus nerve and to do some slight yoga and eat a better diet. Blood work came our normal in July. I dont suffer from chest pain or fatigue. I guess I am sharing my experience and wondering if anyone has this similar experience. Um, in October it happened during the night when I woke up really thirsty because my room was too warm. And again last night, my room was warm and I was super thirsty. Not to mention my lower back was sweaty too... I have even thought maybe it hormonal since I am 37...

Any insight please 

Thank you All!


2 Comments

Atrial Fibrillation (AFib)

by Gemita - 2020-12-02 15:17:57

Hi Nina,

A few minutes of AFib, however symptomatic you may feel for those few minutes, should do no harm, providing episodes do not progress in frequency or duration and providing your heart rate is well controlled.  Immediately to help I would recommend hydration since you sound very dehydrated at times and dehydration is definitely a trigger for AFib and other rhythm disturbances.  

If you continue to wake up in a sweat I would go back to see your doctor again in case your Lyme disease hasn’t resolved or something else needs treating or investigating.  They can do some blood checks and also check your electrolytes.  Dehydration can cause electrolyte imbalances, so it is very important to keep drinking.  Also check for sleep apnea if symptoms mainly occur at night since sleep apnea is a strong trigger for AFib and waking in a sweat could indicate breathing distress at night.

I suffer from AFib, but mine has progressed and is more frequent and longer lasting than yours.  I am also much older too (72) and need to take a daily anticoagulant to protect me from the risk of having a stroke.  At your age, I expect your cardiologist has not recommended anticoagulation because your risks from AFib runs will be much lower than mine.  Sometimes I get short runs like yours and like you, I am very symptomatic and feel every little beat. 

Afib is an irregular heart rhythm and will cause some of us a lot of discomfort.   I am on a low dose beta blocker which I can take as "a pill in the pocket" to help calm things down when I get symptoms.  Unlike you, I can get chest pain and other symptoms because my episodes last longer.

Nina, there are treatments available but I would first try to find what works best for you naturally.  Go for a walk, enjoy some music, learn relaxation (mindfulness) techniques, breathing control, stroke your favourite pet, whatever works for you, until your brief, infrequent episodes are over.  I have had AFib for many years.  While it is an uncomfortable rhythm disturbance that can cause difficult symptoms, providing it doesn't progress and we can control a high heart if it occurs and providing we are protected from the risk of an AFib related stroke if we have sufficient risk factors, then AFib should pose no real immediate dangers.

Stress, anxiety, poor diet, alcohol, caffeine (which is in Coke/Pepsi & chocolate too - sorry!), strenuous exercise, lack of sleep, particularly due sleep apnea, gastric problems, dehydration, infection, any illness and many many other conditions can cause AFib.  Keep a diary to find your triggers and try to eliminate them whenever you can. 

Vagal nerve involvement?  Most definitely for me.  Swallowing can trigger AFib.  Slowing of my heart rate can trigger AFib as I slide into sleep.  A full stomach can trigger AFib.  At night, at rest, after meals, vagal activity is enhanced, and as the heart rate slows an arrhythmia like AFib may be triggered.

I hope your episodes of AFib can be better controlled. I often feel the pacemaker kicking in when AFib starts.  Maybe they can adjust your settings to make this less noticeable.  I wish you well

Thank you!

by Nina38 - 2020-12-02 18:24:48

I really appreciate you sharing your experiences with me. I often feeling alone in this journey and it doesnt feel very well. I do agree with you, I could have been dehydrated. As I mentioned my room temperature was a tad too warm for my comfort. 

I will request some more blood work. I hope everything is fine and lyme isnt reacting. For the most part I do feel fine just causes me some confusion when those short episodes happened at night. 

I wish we didnt have to go through these afibs. I have implemented meditation into my daily routine and deep breathing which has helped me alot. I may need to walk more often. Its really cold where I live now and I dont do well in the cold...I may need to try some indoor exercises at home that arent strenous for me. 

Thank you for your feedback and it was so helpful!

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