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AF Association
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Are any tips available for dealing with "palpitations" when they occur?

Have had "palpitations" all my life. Only troublesome now in my late sixties. Dr. is monitoring, but we have agreed to defer medication for the present.

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Hi if your doctor is monitoring you does he say what is causing your palpitations or have you had any tests to find out if anything wrong. I think I would want to know why before I could happily ignore symptoms. My doctor did say if your heart races you can drink iced water which may bring it down a bit, or eat ice cream.

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Hi and welcome. It may be O K for you to ignore the situation but have you had a diagnosis of AF or is it just your heart racing from time to time. The point is that AF is a major factor in stroke so at your age and with AF you must be on warfarin or similar ( NOT aspirin) to prevent such stroke. You really need to be properly diagnosed so that you can be protected even if the symptoms do not cause you major inconvenience.. Sitting drooling in a chair or worse most definitely would.

Bob

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Many thanks for your comments. No, admit haven't been actually diagnosed with A.F. Maybe Dr. taking into account other medication already prescribed long-term i.e. anti-inflammatory + nerve relaxant. Will try iced drink/cream next time!

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Hi hobbledehoye

You say you've had palpitations all your life (as have I), but only now are troublesome. Just wondered what has changed. Are they just worse, how do they feel to you?

Koll

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Hi Koll (how good-looking you are!). Think maybe I'm just older & therefore gradually wearing out..? Get a bit worn down by other conditions anyway. A bad winter of chest infections on damaged lungs included v unpleasant periods of irregular heartbeat, instead of just the usual odd experience, but has abated now I'm better.

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I shall go and tell my bull how handsome he is. He'll be chuffed :-) .

I have found my arrhythmia gets worse with other problems, stomach upset for example, and had a virus I brought back from a holiday and that made me down ticker-wise for 2 months or so.

Regards

Koll

PS. If you do go down the medication route, all I can say is don't put up with second best.

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I used to breathe out of palpitations. Take a good breath in, then another and a third and then a long exhalation. Try this two or three times.

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When I bend down and hold my knees, when I lay on my right side or take many deep breaths I used to get some relief. Now I had my ablation it is gone except of recent I find myself a little breathless which I am watching before complaining. I am off all drugs!

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Having been a Senior Cardiac Nurse for many years I was `aux fait` with a manoeuvre which was frequently employed as a `first line` form of treatment which was very effective in many cases & prevented total collapse until investigations could be made to find the cause of the palpitations `Valsalva manoeuvre` can be performed by a forceful attempt at exhalation against a closed airway . This is usually done by closing one's mouth, pinching one's nose shut while pressing out as if blowing up a balloon.

I found this manoeuvre highly successful especially in the condition known as PAT (Paroxysmal Atrial Tachycardia) .

It should be noted that this manoeuvre does not -`cure` the underlying condition which was responsible for the tachycardia & is regarded as only as a temporary relief until such time as investigative procedures are set up to investigate the cause of the runs of rapid heart beats.

Direct pressure & massage of the jugular vein in the neck often produces a positive result.

Oltimer.

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Thankyou oltimer wish I had known this sooner, no advice given by anybody except for ambulance drivers (we couldn't be without them). They gave me the lower half of a syringe (wide at one end and very narrow at the other) This worked for me at home with other methods, such as deep breathing slowly in the chest then stomach, ice pack on the back of my neck, and blowing into this tube, peppermint tea and back again to the beginning, episodes are not always stopped by using some of the methods above, but gradually lessen and then I can rest again. I do believe that massaging on one side of the neck is not always the best, I cant remember which side now, but I don't use this method for the simple reason can't seem to find my pulse, and is frustrating.

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Am I correct in thinking that this is similar to what you do in a plane to try and clear the pressure from your ears? Just want to get it right as I need some relief, specially in the early hours of the morning when trying to get back to sleep! Thanks

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I've tried the procedure Oltimer suggests back when I was getting 'palpitations' rather than full-blown AF and it really does work. Still does when the heart rumbles a bit.

Lis

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Thank you so much for your replies, everybody - how kind. I will try the breathing, as well as the iced drinkl/ice cream.

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Hello hobbledehoye ,

Sounds to me as though you need to be monitored with a `Halter` for 24 hrs. or so & then the continuous monitoring of your heart rhythm should reveal the type of rapid rhythm that you keep suffering & so then a plan for the treatment of the arrhythmia. may be formulated . There are as many treatments for the various types of `palpitations` as there are different types of palpitations & their causes.

I personally have supplied & fitted many patients with a `Halter` monitor in South Africa when I worked at Milpark & Morningside Clinics. The treatment of your particular arrhythmia may respond to medical or ablation therapy .

Good luck ! (Your still young ) .

Oltimer

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I have Afib and was getting 'hard' palpitations that caused pounding in my ears. After I started taking 400mg of magnesium daily (200mg morning and night) and drinking low sodium V8 to get about 700mg daily of potassium daily, my ear pounding palpitations vanished. I sometimes get mild ones but nothing like the ones that used to keep me awake at night.

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