British Heart Foundation
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Pace maker needed?

Am having quite a few very serious symptoms that are related to chronic stress, but evidently, after so many years of this, it is at a critical stage, and is indicating internal damage, especially to my heart.

Just need to know, if I take a stress exercise test, and it indicated a high pulse rate would this be sufficient to convince doctors that something drastic, internally, is going wrong, and needs treatment? What would happen next? More tests? I have had an echocardiogram test which came back negative, which seems unrealistic given the fact my body is in constant pain, evidently indicating internal damage.

Have had fallouts with my gp surgery on a regular basis as they haven't been taking my symptoms seriously. Am aware that at 57, and in poor health, I am not a priority for the NHS, especially being seen as a 'difficult patient'. Am also aware that NHS doctors can quietly dismiss you from treatment if they choose, which I believe is happening. Evidently, I need an operation, a pacemaker, but it seems they are going to refuse this. Doubting this, but is there any way around this, can someone advise...?

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Hi Lydia,

Sorry to hear you've been having a tough time.

We would expect any exercise test to show an elevated heart rate, and exercise stress tests will monitor your heart rate and blood pressure in response to exercise. If you had an elevated heart rate at rest, you may be required to take medications which sometimes can lower your heart rate too much so then a pacemaker would be required, but pacemakers are fitted for a low or erratic heart rate.

I hope this helps, if you have any other questions please call our helpline on 0300 330 3311.

Ashleigh

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Very useful information this. Can you tell me which medicines would be prescribed for an elevated heart rate at rest to lower this?

Could you just explain a bit more about a low or erratic heart rate and why a pacemaker might be needed?

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Hi Lydia,

There are a range of medications prescribed by GPs or specialists for an elevated heart rate-usually the first medications to try are Beta Blockers.

A pacemaker would be fitted if there is a problem with the electrical conduction system within your heart and your heart rate was either too low, or not beating regularly. A pacemaker would ensure your heart beats regularly, maintaining a blood pressure that will allow blood to travel to all your organs. I've attached a link to the BHF web page on pacemakers:

bhf.org.uk/heart-health/tre...

Cardiologists would assess a patient fully beforehand to ensure that a pacemaker is required.

Hope this is helpful,

Ashleigh

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That’s great information. Just what I needed to see. Thanks for that. I’ll check this out straight away.. thanks..

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