British Heart Foundation
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Newbie

Hi

I am 54 and recovering from a minor heart attack . 1 stent inserted , all major arteries are fine . My only symptom was indigestion . I physically feel fine , but emotionally all over the place .

My concern is that I continue to have mild indigestion (a side effect of three of my new tablets ) . It is not sore , just a pressure in my chest and lots of burping (charming !) Rationally I know it is nothing major , but it freaks me out . Any advice ? I haven't started cardiac rehab yet .

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Morning and welcome, if it's a side effect of your meds speak to your GP, there are alternatives for most of the medications. You say your symptoms pre heart attack was indigestion, this is what some feel when they are having heart problems, myself included. I would go and see your GP, maybe call your cardiac nurse if you have a contact, or the BHF

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Thank you, I appreciate your reply

The cardiac nurse told me to try and persevere with the tablets to see if it settles . It has only been a week

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As for the emotions, most if not all on here know and understand what you are going through. It's a roller coaster but it gets better, you should try and talk about it, when you start rehab you should be offered the services of counselling as well. I'm 8 months in from a quad bypass and still have some bad days

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Same 8 months, reflux as bad as ever?.....

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I only just descuverd the councilling couple of weeks ago. Help hugely already.

Thanks to all these guys on here :)))))

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I agree it is helpful to talk. I think I will take up the counselling offer. My family will be relieved lol.

Glad to hear you are on the mend and that it gets better . I cannot imagine how traumatic a by pass must have been !

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Welcome Phyllis. I was in the same situation last November. Felt fit and healthy but very occasionally had what I thought was indigestion, then bang, heart attack and 2 stents. What I didn't have was excessive burping. There just wasn't any excess air. I'm not sure if that is normal to be honest.

You have only just had your stent and it will take time to start getting back to some sort of normal. I know you want to get back to what you were doing/how you were beforehand, it isn't going to happen for a while yet, and it won't help your recovery to rush it. You need to take it easy until you are in rehab. It is there that you'll learn what you can and can't do physically, under the watchful eye of the nurses. That bit is important as you need it to build your confidence back up.

Counselling was never mentioned or offered to me in rehab so you may have to ask the nurses for that if you need to. Mentally things do get easier but it takes time to come to terms with it. Just going and exercising at rehab with others will help.

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Thanks Marc. Are you well now ?

It is such a shock to the system isn't it . The family all look terrified around me . I hopefully will be invited to rehab soon

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Hi Phyliss. Yes, it's a massive shock. It does get easier though as time passes but a week is nothing in the scheme of things... there are too many unknowns for you and your family at this stage.

We all have good and bad days but the good will start outnumbering the bad. There may be times when something happens and knocks you back, and after having several physically bad weeks on the trot (some but not all heart related) I've had a tough time of it lately. Physically I'm now back on track.

You will be invited to rehab soon enough but as mentioned, realistically it takes months rather than weeks to start feeling your old self again so it's good to be prepared for that. My advice for anyone would be to take it easy until you get to rehab, and by the time you've finished the course you'll be in a much better place and can start planning the rest of your life.

Take care.

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On the family bit, as the others have said on here, you have to build up slowly. Ask your Gp if you are indeed down for rehab. It is not always a done thing, some patients have had to ask.

As for your family, yes like all of ours. They struggle to come to turms with it. They can sometimes without realising, be a little overbearing with the fuss etc.

You can still do things for yourself, but of course gently & slowly. You have to allow your heart to get strong carefully & gradually. Just listen to your body, you know it better than anyone else.

But just let them know you can do the little things yourself.

A good idea, is for them to go to next Gp appointment with you, so the Gp can encourage your family to understand why you want a little independence & how they must give you that space.

Going to one or more of your rehabs with you, could also help.

However, you also have to be patient with them.

They don't know what your capabilities are.

What you are thinking,

Or indeed, why you could have seemed really possitive yesterday. So why are you getting upset at the silliest things today.

And why are you taking it out on them.

Yep this is just as tough for loved ones & close friends, as it is for us.

I expect sometimes they ferl they are wslking on eggshells, as they are scared of upsetting us incase we have another incident.

They would feel it was their fault.

But you'll work sll this out for yourself, soon enough.

Just make sure you give the councilling a go.

I am next week, yep even after 8 months.

Happy days, chin up & keep smiling, Jo :))))))

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Thanks Jo x

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Thank you . You too .

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I know exactly where you are coming from, because that is exactly the same as my issues.

On the possitive, heart attack Sep 2014, not had another. However bypass, Nov 2016.

Yes it is so confusing not knowing the difference.

Are you on anything for the reflux? :)

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No . Not on anything . I am going to discuss that with my GP

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I have reflux constantly and I always take peptac ... But it's best to go and see your GP if your concerned...♥️

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Thanks . I will do x

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Hi all. I was warned that some over the counter stomach meds inhibited the uptake of some of the heart drugs I was taking. Best to do it through the GP I think.

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Ok. Thank you

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It must be a big shock. Be kind to yourself! It will take time to come to terms with, but I found the cardio rehab really helpful. There is a good life to be had again, after a HA!

As to your upset stomach. Do speak to your GP. I had the same, and they tried different pills till something worked.

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It's only things like omeprazole and anything that ends in " zole " like lansaprozole that stops heart meds working properly

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Hi, I have been taking lansaprozole since Feb 2016 seems to be going ok, but now have problems with angina again and pains between my shoulders.I am thinking of going back to the GP, I do have an appointment at cardiology but not tell September.

Is there a way we can tell if it is angina pain or indigestion?

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You don't say if your on any heart meds except for gtn ... I would check in with GP if your experiencing more pain

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Yes I am on lots of medication, bisoprolol, clopidogrol ,atorvastatin, ramipril.

I did see the GP for a few minutes and she sorted the referal to cardiology, but the pain between shoulders got worse since then. Looks like I will have to go back again.

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As far as I know lansaprozole stops your clopidogrel working properly ... you should as one of the cardiac nurses on the site ... not 💯 % sure but they will know better than me ... Back to GP ... ♥️

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It'll be interesting if a BHF nurse responds to this as I'm on the same concoction as Anke, which seems a pretty standard mix in one form or another.

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When I came of ticagrelor and went onto clopidogrel they told me not to take omeprazole or lansaoprazole that's what the Dr told me ... But back on ticagrelor since third heart attack...

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Hi JakJenLew. I don't doubt what you were told and I'm interested in any thoughts from the BHF staff as the mix seems common. Some of the other meds leaflets, like ramipril for instance, advise that taking NSAID's, including aspirin and ibuprofen, can increase the chances of side effects of the ramipril. A lot of us are on aspirin for life as part of the mix.

Some of the other meds can cause muscle ache/pain, so when we have heart twinges is it a heart problem or is it discomfort caused by the meds? How do we tell the difference?

I think we all react differently to the combinations and dosages of meds which is why we sometimes have to change things to find our working balance.

Not a dig at anyone as we're all here to help and pass on our experiences but I think it's dangerous for patients, me included, to advise on meds.. we're just not qualified and have no real idea of the interactions. It's useful for us to learn about them and question the professionals if needed though.

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I think if you have a read I said I wasn't 💯% sure back to the GP ... ?

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And I wasn't advising on meds if you read ... we where talking about lansoprazole something for acid reflux ...

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Most Heart medication can cause indigestion and heartburn especially aspirin, bisoprolol and clopridogrel, whitch is often what the hospital sends you home with. I had the same problem after my MI and after living on mints for quite a while I saw my GP who gave me omeprazole which sorted the problem out. Emotionally you will find that there is the fear of a repeat of the MI and your own vulnerability, I cant say it will ever go away but the longer you go without any more problems the less it will concern you. My heart attack was 7 years ago and there always will be the thought in the back of my mine but I always carry my GTN spray with me. Please take up the offer of Cardiac rehab, it helps to rebuild the strength in your body and an increase in your confidence and also tells you all about your medicines and lifestyle choices post MI. I hope that helps you and if I can help you again, please contact me on these forums.

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Thanks Geoff . You have been really helpful

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Your very welcome

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Hi newbie. I'm 10 years in, with a very similar story to yourself. Looks like you're only 25 miles away, so if you'd like to chat over a coffee, then I'd offer my assistance if you need it. I'm 61 now, but was a similar age when I had my MI. My wife could also meet with you, to share with you how the other half cope with it too.

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Thanks . Where do you live ?

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Aberdeen

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It was ARI I was in . I have to say , the care was excellent. Do you keep well ?

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Yip, loads of good things to say about the care I received. Definitely go to the rehab, especially the after-exercise chats on diet, medication, etc. - well worth the investment of time, and you get to meet others in a similar situation. It's always good to compare your progress with others.

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Sounds similar to me I'm 47 had a HA @45. I had a stent in the LAD which was blocked, all other arteries are fine after a MRI , I had a out an of hospital HA & was out for 18 minutes lucky there was an A&E Doctor & another GP in the pub nearby where I collapsed they performed CPR. Broken ribs! My side affect before the HA was not feeling well, lightheadedness. I am an athlete so this was unexpected, 2 years later I intend to enter a full Ironman next year. Cardiologist says keep exercising and eating well, rest well. I've cut dairy out and mainly have a plant based diet with fish, chicken breast that's it. Though I do pig out on crap sometimes as well but not often. I commute 30 miles a day on a bike, 50 miles on Saturday and even another 60 miles on Sunday, I also run and swim 3 days a week.........Now you'll probably saying why am I'm going on about my recovery because with a stent you are pretty much going to be ok, if you eat and exercise well. I was emotionally all over the place as well for about 6 months after HA and then rebounded you have to somehow and I know you can do it! I did have indigestion sometimes when taking bisoprolol for 6 months after HA, then I stopped. I think you usually take bisoprolol for 3-6 months after a stent? correct me if I'm wrong.

Stay strong, you'll be fine. See a Cardiologist about indigestion problem.

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Thank you very much . I feel a wee bit pathetic whining , when a lot of the stories are much worse than mine !

Yours is inspirational. I don't think I will ever be an athlete , but this has certainly given me a wake up call to improve my diet and fitness .

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Your not pathetic, a HA or any type of Heart Disease is emotionally draining, I completed the NHS rehabilitation programme and even though I was the youngest and fittest by a country mile, the programme was extremely rewarding and I met a lot of lovely people, highly recommended. A good diet is not hard, for example yesterday I had porridge with almond milk with blueberries, banana for breakfast and an espresso. lunch, sandwich with tomatoes, lettuce, spring onion, red onion with light mayo, dinner grilled salmon with baked sweet potato, brown rice, broccoli, carrot, peas. strawberries for desert with light cream. Any snacks in between are light cereal bars, almond/walnut nuts (small amounts), lots of fruits. Eat of a lot natural food, stuff like olive oil just a light sprinkle of your salad. Pasta, only have wholemeal with not too much sauce. Limit bread (never white). Cut out alcohol a lot, I only have 1-2 glasses of wine maybe 1-2 beers a week. Keep quantities down for mains, you should only eat when your stomach tells you, snack during the day if hungry but small portions is the secret Drink a good amount of water during the day, pig out every so often your only human!! Hope this helps.....and oh yes lots of cuppa's for me!

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Hi Rouluer, Your story is very interesting. Do you know what your heart rate is when exercising/running, and how does that compare to the safe limit the rehab fitness assessor gave you?

I was given a safe rate of 110bpm in rehab but as soon as I jog or run it goes way past that. From what I've read, most peoples heart rate when running is more likely to be 140bpm+ so I'm struggling to see how any heart patient can run, although they undoubtedly do as you and others prove... or is everybody so fit that their heart rates don't exceed the safe limits even when running? If that's the case, I'm not half as fit as I thought! lol

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Hi Marc68, My resting rate is 43-45bpm, when I exercise it can go up to 180-185 but this will only last for 30 seconds max, what athletes call Zone 5 HR. Normally if I do a hard bike ride 100km or a 10km run average will be 130-140bpm, with running most runners will be 150-160bpm on average. To get your proper resting heart rate, sleep with a HR belt as soon as you wake up take the reading. You should approach a Sports Cardiologist there are plenty around, just google, they will evaluate you. I would start with very slow short runs, then gradually build up. Anything above 160 slow down or stop, get a good HR monitor watch they can beep when you go over a limit you have specified. I believe to beat heart disease you need to eat healthy and most important exercise, do these 2 things and we can successfully fight it.

Exercise delivers oxygen and nutrients to your tissues and helps your cardiovascular system work more efficiently. And when your heart and lung health improve, you have more energy and feel well.

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Hi Rouluer. Thanks for your reply. I have a HR monitor and my resting HR in the morning is around 60bpm. Your exercising HR rates tie in with everything I've read but that's where I'm confused. The cardiac rehab assessor gave me a safe exercising HR of 110bpm but it's impossible for me to stay at that level if I start running. I'll be honest with you, running has no interest for me personally but the max HR is important to me.

It's hard to compare myself with an athlete as I'm certainly not one but were you given a max HR during your rehab, and how does it compare with the high rates you exercise at, which must surely be way over what most cardiac healthcare professionals recommend?

I suppose what I'm trying to determine is whether it's safe to exceed the HR limits given by the rehab team?

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When I went to rehab, I was told to stop over a certain HR limit when exercising, but I cannot remember what that was sorry. Fairly low if I remember. The best exercise to start with is a stationary bike in the gym or purchase a turbo trainer rather than running or even fast walking is good. If you haven't run for a long time, running can be very stressful on your body and heart. 110hbpm is very low just crept into Zone 2 that would be for me but it's a good HR to start with I'd say, but you have to get approval from your Doctor to go higher as I don't know your situation.

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Hi Rouluer. I measured my resting HR this morning as I woke, rather than 10 minutes after as when the above figure of 60bpm was given, and it was between 48-52bpm. I'm inclined to think todays reading was more accurate.

My story, quickly.. I'm 48, was fairly fit until I had a relatively minor heart attack 9 months ago, 2 stents fitted, minimal heart muscle damage and was classed as low risk on leaving rehab. I bought an exercise bike with HR monitor and now also have a wrist based HR monitor smartwatch. On my bike I exercise at 110bpm and I've been doing a fair bit of 4-5 mile fast walking recently and I can just about reach 110bpm when doing it. When it drops to 100bpm I then have a quick jog to get it back up to 110. As I say, running isn't anything I want to do but my max HR is important for something else.

NB. if you want a boring read.. here is the reason... healthunlocked.com/bhf/post...

The issue I'm having is that 110bpm seems low to me, and as I get fitter it just seems too low. Every healthcare professional I've asked, without exception, will only tell me that the HR the rehab assessor gave me, 110bpm, is what I should only go to but that would limit me to just walking for the rest of my life. That is also the rate many others in rehab with more serious issues were working at. I understand that they have to be careful with their advice but 110bpm is severely life limiting for me personally, especially when I consider that others run etc. I think that rate was worked out generically as there's a couple of equations they use to work it out I believe.. 220 minus age, times 65% seems the most common.

Your story is exceptional, and inspiring, and I've no intention of getting anywhere near 160bpm if I can help it but I'm trying to find my own limit in the absence of medical advice specific to me. GP approval simply won't be given in my experience and I've got no way back to the cardiologist.

My only option seems to be to keep increasing my own limit as my fitness increases, but obviously that is inherently dangerous and not something I wanted to do... the only way to know when I've exceeded my limit is if something bad happens!

Thanks for your advice. Despite having a need to exceed 110bpm, I'm erring on the side of caution so won't take anything as gospel. No matter what you say, it is my decision at the end of the day.

I'd just like to be clear to anyone else who might read this... the figures, and what I do with them, relate purely to me and shouldn't be used as proof of anything. We're all different and all have our own limits.

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