Should I be concerned?: Hi, I am 35(M... - British Heart Fou...

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Should I be concerned?

dcsquoy profile image
48 Replies

Hi, I am 35(M), I have been referred to a cardiology clinic due to repeated episodes of chest pain and heart palpitations.

I've had heart palpitations since I was a child so have never worried about them, although they are probably worse now and I now get heart palpitations that make me cough unexpectedly which is fairly new. I only started getting chest pain when I was put on Clarithromycin, the pain was horrendous on that (and heart rate was around 115) but has improved since minus a couple of episodes. My resting heart rate has gone up in the past month or two, it used to be a consistent 60bpm and is now 82-90, again this doesn't worry me overly as it could have done this is the past but I wasn't wearing an Apple Watch so I wouldn't have known! I would say that I am struggling with getting short of breath far more easily than I used to, but I am older than I used to be, so again could be nothing. My Nan had several strokes and suffered from blood clots all her young and older adult life, my Grandfather died of a heart attack in his 60s and my Mum had a heart attack in her 40s which then makes me wonder if I'm being too blasé about the situation, but I think there are reasonable non-heart problem reasons for my symptoms.

Has anyone else had similar and it all been fine, or did it turn out to be something to be concerned about?

48 Replies
Thatwasunexpected profile image

Hi and welcome :)

Obviously nobody here is going to be able to diagnose you but, from what you've described, getting it properly checked is absolutely the right thing to do.

Certainly, with family history and your symptoms, there's a better than evens chance that there's some sort of cardiac involvement. The good news is that it's being investigated BEFORE any sort of "event" happens.

That means that, if they do find anything, you have a much better chance of being "cured" than if they only discover it after a blue light ride.

No doubt someone will point out that heart problems "can't be cured", which is technically true, hence the quote marks around it.

My way of looking at it, though, is if it's successfully managed to the point where you can live a normal life, of a normal length, doing normal things, then the difference between that and "curing" someone is splitting academic hairs.

dcsquoy profile image
dcsquoy in reply to Thatwasunexpected

Thank you, that does make sense to be honest. It is better to catch it early and sort it than wait for something to potentially happen down the line.

Thatwasunexpected profile image
Thatwasunexpected in reply to dcsquoy

Exactly that.

I had high cholesterol picked up around 2010 along with some "odd" chest sensations & had a calcium score done. They prescribed statins which I took for about 3 months then couldn't be bothered.

In 2018 I had a heart attack. Lesson learnt!

dcsquoy profile image
dcsquoy in reply to Thatwasunexpected

That sounds awful, are you doing better now?

I struggle to sort health issues so I can empathise but not on the same level, I should take Topiramate for IIH but I stopped taking that a couple of months ago as it affected my mood badly, I should really contact my neurologist before things deteriorate though. I'm very sorry you went through what you did, but thank you for sharing as it has encouraged me to sort my own health out.

Thank you again!

Thatwasunexpected profile image
Thatwasunexpected in reply to dcsquoy

I was really lucky that the attack was "mild" (as far as a heart attack ever is!) So basically it was the wake-up call that the previous tests should have been. Certainly the second most scary medical event I've ever had (or want to have!)

One stent later and throwing myself back into exercise again, I'm now sprint training with teenagers - and even keeping up some of the time!) Also just got my first selection to triple jump (and reserve for the 4x200m relay) for Welsh Masters against the English in about 3 weeks time 😁

Like I said, I was lucky but would have been better to get it sorted before because it could have been a whole lot worse!

dcsquoy profile image
dcsquoy in reply to Thatwasunexpected

That's amazing that you are doing so well. I don't think I could have ever done sprinting, even at my fittest!! Good luck with your triple jump, and thank you for your advice

Thatwasunexpected profile image
Thatwasunexpected in reply to dcsquoy

I could never run distance, even as a youngster. Well, I could but I was SLOWWWWW! 😁

dcsquoy profile image
dcsquoy in reply to Thatwasunexpected

Ha ha! That's still better than me, I have always been useless at both of them!

devonian186 profile image
devonian186 in reply to dcsquoy

The problem is that at your young age you think you are immortal and are consequently being very blase about your situation. It does need checking out thoroughly and if an appt isn't made soon then chase it, don't let it slide.

Are there any lifestyle changes you know you ought to make? Overweight? Too much drink? too many takeaways? Too little exercise? Dealing with those will help. Good luck, but be proactive.

dcsquoy profile image
dcsquoy in reply to devonian186

Thank you for your reply. You are right, I’ve told myself I should be fine because of my age so it’s not that likely, but I shouldn’t treat it like a guarantee. My diet and exercise need to change. I’m heavier than I should be, but I am trying to work on that. I’m not much of a drinker and have quit smoking which will hopefully count in my favour.

devonian186 profile image
devonian186 in reply to dcsquoy

Firstly, you have been exemplary in the way you have replied to so many people. Many of those who pose questions don't interact.

So, when is your diet and exercise going to change and have you set a target weight?

Incidentally most harm comes from fat around the stomach-there are many articles on this and how to measure your waist properly. I was shocked to discover how much larger my REAL waist size is compared to my trouser size!

You don't have to be religious to think that Lent is a very good time to try to cut out things you shouldn't be doing.

dcsquoy profile image
dcsquoy in reply to devonian186

I think if someone takes the time to reply to my question then it is no trouble for me to reply to them! I'm very appreciative of the fact anyone would take time out of their day to reply to me.

I have a large waist (53in), I'm short and most of my weight is carried there. I think I had managed to deny how big I am as my jeans can button up, but they sit around my hips in reality but my jeans are only 38in. The difference was a shock to me too, I'd bought a belt the same size as my jeans but I couldn't get the two ends of the belt to even get close to meeting around me, let alone fasten it, hence me taking measurements and weights. I can't bring myself to return the belt as it is too embarrassing to ask for the size I actually need, I honestly can't believe how stupid I am for not realising just how big I am.

Every day I say I'll improve tomorrow and I'll get motivated and feel up to it, and then the day comes and I'll feel starving, I'll get shaky and feel dizzy and I end up eating something to feel physically better, but an hour or so later I feel shaky and clammy and need something else to feel not seriously unwell. Then in the evenings I feel so low that I binge eat, I hate it, I don't enjoy the food, it makes me feel ill and then I feel ashamed of myself. Then I vow to be better tomorrow and I fail again. I need to be better though, I cannot keep going like this or it will just keep getting harder.

I want to get down to around 55kg, which is 49kg that I need to lose. I tend to get very regimented and restrict my food too intensely when I diet so I also don't want to fall down that road, but I would probably want to do alternate day fasting and low carb as they've worked in the past and I think being extreme about food type may help me not be extreme with calorie restriction.

When does Lent begin? That sounds like a good plan to be honest, it gives me more of a structure to focus on if that makes sense?

devonian186 profile image
devonian186 in reply to dcsquoy

A 38 inch waist sounds fine doesn't it, but when the reality is completely different it shows too many of us are deluding ourselves! Having a structure to change makes perfect sense.

This year Shrove tuesday is tuesday 21st February when people traditionally ate their last celebratory big meal before the start of more abstinence starting with Lent on Wed 22 feb . Shrove tuesday became 'pancake day.

Lent ends on 8th April this year. So it is a sufficient time to lay the foundations of a really big change. I don't know your weaknesses but rather than a strict diet i tend to try to cut out foods beginning with 'C' in order to have an easy theme that covers a wide variety of foods.

Crisps, Chips, Cookies (biscuits) Cake, Chocolate, Cheese, Croissant, Cheese straws and Coffee. I am not a saint so with some I cut down rather than completely cut out or consume only at the weekend. It sounds as if you also need to give yourself a little bit of leeway as well otherwise you will break the diet very early on. Alternate day may be a plan but it does mean you then go a day without food so then might binge the next. Don't know if you have someone you can diet with or could join a local group to spur yourself on?

As you can see many of these things are high in fat and calories and salt. To keep the C theme you might cut out 'carry outs' or as we more term them 'take away's' (which includes deliveries.

I am sure we will all be interested to hear on this forum what you decide to do and whether it is working and can give encouragement.

I am not saying all your health problems will disappear and you might want to run your plans past your GP who might advise a more balanced eating plan, but it is clear you need to make some drastic changes and your weight, eating habits, waist size are central to your future health. You are far too young with too much to look forward to, to carry on as you have been.

devonian186 profile image
devonian186 in reply to devonian186

I forgot to mention that you might find it useful to keep a very detailed food/drink diary for a week prior to possibly using Lent as a catalyst for change so you can identify what particular weaknesses you have that need curtailing.

If one of those weaknesses is eating fruit I think we can excuse that, but you might find crisps, chips, chocolate and take away's for example play far too large a part in your daily diet. Putting it all down in a physical notebook might have more visual impact than hiding the information on your phone.

Tos92 profile image

Hi dcsquoy.

When I turned 28 in 2020, I started experiencing tachycardia (likened to heart palpitations), chest pain, back pain and pain in the arm. I went back and forth from the hospital with a very few investigations done over the course of the year. Often I was told that it was not a cardiac issue due to my age and having no risk factors at all.

In January 2022 I went abroad with the same symptoms. I ended up having an NSTEMI which was triggered by a coronary spasm. Upon investigation, they found that I also had a myocardial bridge. I have chest pain quite consistently on rest and I find that certain triggers can make it worse such as stress and cold weather. This is known vasospasm.

It might be a good idea to keep a log of whether you have any triggers, the frequency of the chest pain and when it occurs during the day and night. If you have an Apple Watch, that can also be a good indicator for heart rate. Also check your BP at the time of chest pain if you have BP monitor at home. This can be good information to present to your doctor or cardiologist.

By no means do I want to alarm you, and I really hope that it is nothing to be worried about. Good luck!

dcsquoy profile image
dcsquoy in reply to Tos92

Thank you. That sounds stressful!

My blood pressure is higher than it should be, I'm borderline between stage 1 and 2 last time it was checked. I also do get frequent high heart rate notifications from my Apple Watch when I'm just sitting around doing nothing.

My palpitations tend to come on with activity, and are consistently bad if I have to lift something or move something heavy (I do a manual job so I do this fairly often).

I am not in perfect health otherwise, I have IIH and they suspect I have sleep apnoea (I'm pretty certain I do too) but I don't think that affects the heart so hopefully that won't cause more of an issue. I definitely do need to lose weight, but I don't smoke anymore and I don't drink to excess so I'm hoping that will lessen my risk factors.

Lcfc85 profile image

Just from a personal experience Please don’t go by Apple Watches etc for health conditions heart rates etc. They have been known to be misleading

dcsquoy profile image
dcsquoy in reply to Lcfc85

I think that's one of the reasons that I'm not stressing as much as I would be if the doctors had run the tests and they'd come back with similar things as they watch as they aren't diagnostic tools.

Yumz199725 profile image

Hi dcsquoy

I didn't have the chest pain eveytime but terrible palpitations so had a lot investigating done and was eventually diagnosed with VT. Sorry to hear your having the chest pain aswell that can't be nice. Are you having any tests done like a holter monitor, stress test? I noticed about you saying you get out of breathe more than you used to and I have noticed the same thing myself so I'm having few other tests done in the next few months. I haven't had a chance to read your bio yet so what heart issues do you have sorry for asking?? Mine is quite long so won't go into that 😅.

Hope your able to find out what's causing your chest pain and palpitations 😉

dcsquoy profile image
dcsquoy in reply to Yumz199725

I haven't had anything diagnosed apart from high blood pressure, they are just beginning the investigation now so I'm hopeful I won't end up with anything. I'm not sure what the cardiology department will request once I'm there. I hope they get to the bottom of what is causing your breathlessness, it is very uncomfortable.

theonethatgotaway profile image

I have also had palpations and aniexity since my mid 20s. Skipped beats usually. Comes and goes. Odd times with cluster of them where i do go slightly dizzy and feel like my heart has stopped with a dread, sinking feeling.

Fast forward to 35 where i now had a suspected ha and left with severe heart failure! I had the warning signs leading up to it years before... Had freezing cold hands for years (poor circulation), erectile problems (circulation), tingling in left arm in the weeks up to it, and a cough also weeks up to it. Fobbed it off as a lung infection... Big mistake. Get those symptoms checked out!! My life would most likely been different if i checked them out 6 months before... All the best sir.

dcsquoy profile image
dcsquoy in reply to theonethatgotaway

That sounds terrifying, how are you now? Do you mind me asking if you were otherwise healthy - no worries if you'd rather not answer that question as it is very personal?

I tend to have the opposite with my hands, my hands and feet often are quite warm, but will go a purple colour until I raise them up, which does make me wonder about my circulation but I've ignored it as I've had it a while and never had it cause me any issues apart from aesthetically.

Mine feel like skipped beats or fluttering, they can be severe enough that I'll be unable to talk whilst they are happening as they take my breath away, and the sensation when I try to pick up or move a heavy object is awful.

theonethatgotaway profile image
theonethatgotaway in reply to dcsquoy

Yes i dont mind anything on here. The more open everyone is, the better in my eyes.

Yeah i was real fit. No problems throughout my life. I was born with a heart murmor which i was told had cleared up. I was Training at the gym every day. Boxing, running. Working active security jobs doing 80 hours per week for fun. But i was using Yohimbe at a ridiculous strength alongside viagra at times to try and sort that issue out. (all along it was the heart). I read after the heart attack that Yohimbe can be a real bad herb and at the doses i was using, well no wonder i got heart failure. Its actually banned in the UK which i also didnt realise till after....

I did notice though when lifting heavy or training hard in the gym, that i would also get dizzy and my heart would also sometimes go funny. Slow down, skipped beats. Etc.

You can easily get a ECG heart monitor from the doctors for 24hours. Do your lifting whilst using this. Go walking. Do your usual day to day activities to try and pinpoint your concerning heart rythum. But now I'm a veteran at this heart business, i can say that the mind is so powerful when it comes to symptoms and aniexity. I can literally sit here now, think of palpitations and bam, itll trigger them off.

dcsquoy profile image
dcsquoy in reply to theonethatgotaway

Thank you for sharing, I appreciate it.

I can imagine that wasn't the best combination, the fact you were so fit otherwise was probably a life saver for you. That sounds really scary though, and at your age as well. It wouldn't have dawned on me that something herbal could do that...

I have gained a stupid amount of weight this past year, can't even bring myself to meet up with friends I haven't seen in a while because of it, but whenever I try to do exercise, whether it is cardio or strength it causes me to get severe palpitations. But then I don't want to not exercise as I need to lose weight as excess weight is bad for the heart... I also have a tendency to go overboard with restrictive diets so I'm nervous to go down that path too, although I will have to.

I am definitely getting a 24 hr ECG monitor, I just need to arrange it with my doctor which I will actually do after speaking to everyone on here. Again though, because I've put on weight I don't like to go to the doctors as I'm embarrassed. I was meant to go for a foot exam as I've lost the sensation in my right big toe and part of my foot completely, but ended up cancelling as I just can't face the inevitable conversation, but I realise that this is slightly ridiculous, especially as they are probably best placed to provide me with decent weight loss support...

theonethatgotaway profile image

How much is a stupid amount of weight? I used to be obese as a teenager (you can imagine how that affected me in so many ways over the years). Luckily lost the weight training for the army and became strong over the years but on and off putting weight on. Now of course with this happening the weight is naturally piling on. As well as the mental side of things not going out also. Rarely see friends. So it is best to nail it now before it happens. But also getting a dog is the best thing i done for heart failure. Seriously. Just walking it to keep active each day, even at night time. Couple times a day.Its tough mate. Staying positive in this world as it is, is really tough at times. But you gotta try push yourself to get out that comfort zone.

Honestly, i was done for in that hospital. I couldn't walk 5 meters without being out of breath!! It didn't make any sense. I was in the gym the week before, hitting the heavy bag for 45 minutes! Lifting weights. Best shape of my life. In hospital i was seeing older men, in their 80s and 90s coming in with heart attacks, then leaving a day or two later, all fixed up. I was laid then, coughing up pink blood from my lungs, not being able to sleep as my lungs were full of fluid! Hadnt slept for 5 days straight! All i wanted was sleep and to get better. More time, i asked for! Just more time to spend with my loved ones... Thats it. Didnt ask for anything else. Not money, not career and definitely not to work all those hours again.

So my point is, your health is EVERYTHING man. Being able to sleep a nights sleep or walking with two legs is the best gift to us all. Try, push yourself to keeping that health mate. Good luck

dcsquoy profile image
dcsquoy in reply to theonethatgotaway

Over 40kg in a year, my BMI is around 44/45 so really not good. It's 100% my fault, I have always had a terrible relationship with food, I'm always either binging/purging/starving and have been since I was a teenager (I'm really short as I stunted my growth as I'd eat a maximum of 200 cals a day and exercise for 4 hours a day). Around a year ago I started making myself vomit all the time, I'd binge eat and then throw it up, I managed to stop the vomiting but haven't managed to stop the binging. I get myself psyched up for losing weight and start off okay but find myself getting back into vomiting and cutting my calories further and further down. I went to the doctors back when I started struggling, but there doesn't seem to be any help so I'm trying (and failing) to fix it on my own.

That must have been traumatic, to go from being so fit and healthy to not being able to walk without feeling exhausted sounds horrendous. A dog is a really good idea, perfect reason to get out, and they are amazing pets. It must be tough having to adjust, especially at your age when you aren't expecting these kinds of health problems. This is probably a really ignorant question, but do you continue to suffer from heart failure or can they treat it and fix the problem?

Auiron profile image

Heart palpitations are when your heartbeat becomes more noticeable. They're usually harmless, but get help if you keep getting them or you also have other symptoms.

Cough, Irregular Heartbeat, Palpitations (Fluttering In Chest), And Pounding Heart (Pulse)


Brand names: Klaricid, Klaricid XL, Xetinin XL. Find out how clarithromycin treats chest infections and pneumonia, and how to take it.

Side effects of clarithromycin

Symptoms of anaphylaxis

GWP1952 profile image

I'm really pleased to read that your symptoms are being investigated. The key is to keep positive and not worry about the unknown. There will no doubt be what you might consider delays in getting tests and results, but that is the norm for the NHS... just go with the flow.

As far as Clarithromycin is concerned, I had a reaction to it with severe chest pains. I am very sensitive to many medications (my GP once described me as being a nightmare to medicate) so if I get issues I stop taking the medication and refer the problem back to my GP. Thankfully, so far suitable alternatives have been found. 😀

dcsquoy profile image
dcsquoy in reply to GWP1952

I am similar in medication sensitivity, can’t take penicillin, can’t take ibuprofen, can’t take acetazolamide, can’t take Topiramate… the list goes on and now includes clarithromycin. My chest pain was awful on it, and my heart rate just wouldn’t drop. So bad.

Thatwasunexpected profile image

To be fair, with the original post, there was a fair bit of info packed in there already and it can be REALLY hard opening up on your first post with stuff that you find hard to even approach your doctor with.

Nobody knows as they start typing that first post how a new forum will react, it's great that dcsquoy has felt able to approach that so soon - and really positive for the chance of them tackling it!

To dcs, gimble is right that the more information we have, the better chance of sound advice. I haven't run a survey but can pretty much guarantee that, whatever you face, someone in this (pretty amazing) space has faced similar and beaten it.

While their solution may not be right for you (we're all individuals!) just knowing that someone else has made it can be a real game changer.

With the weight, I hadn't gained as much as you but was about 30kg over "ideal"* when my attack happened. I knew I should lose it but quick (and tasty) snacking was a way out of loads of work pressure. Especially crisps - nothing quite like saying "that's it for the day" while grabbing 4 packets from a multipack and putting your feet up to unwind 🥺

After the attack the idea of losing so much, frankly, terrified me - it had taken maybe 5 or 6 years to creep on and I knew it could take that again to lose if I was going to make it sustainable.

4 years later, 25 of those 30 have gone - with huge plateaus along the way which I learnt not to worry about. I stalled completely about 28 months ago, still technically in the "slightly overweight" range but that's ok - I've maintained for the past year & a half without really thinking about it!

dcsquoy profile image
dcsquoy in reply to Thatwasunexpected

Thank you both for your replies.

I did feel a bit exposed talking about my struggles with food, I feel a lot of shame around my binge eating - I think people generally think I’m just greedy and lazy.

I’m 47-61kg overweight, depending on which end of the range I should use (I’m short and weigh 104kg and my BMI is 45). It seems like an impossible amount to tackle right now, but I need to work on not getting heavier which I’m struggling with at the minute if I’m honest - I literally dread stepping on the scale.

I have hoped that the fact I’ve gained the weight quickly will mean it has less long term health impacts than if I’d been obese for a long time, but this is probably wishful thinking. I can’t find any data on it though.

I tend to avoid going to the doctors as I’m too worried about what they’ll say about my weight. It sounds stupid as I know I’m too fat but hearing other people say it about me makes me feel really depressed - ridiculous as it is factually 100% true and I think my doctor has a duty of care to tell me so I can improve my health but I can’t help my gut reaction.

Unfortunately when I went around a year ago, I was referred to the eating disorder service and I was given a 9 month weight for an information class on what binge eating is. That is all the help there is for binging so I feel very alone with it.

in reply to dcsquoy

Hello :-)

Reading this reply I really felt for you and had to answer

I suffer with severe anxiety which comes with all complex issues and I know even if in another way that I know I do but hearing others say it somehow hurts

You have been very brave to come on and I personally feel humbled that you would trust a load of on line strangers and share what your difficulties are and open up

It could be easier sharing it this way but it still takes some doing so good for you as this is taking the first step and the first step is always the hardest to take

But you do need help and I agree especially now with the NHS it was hard enough before to find help but even harder now as I to struggle getting the right help

If it means having to go and see your Doctor then do it this is your life and you deserve a long and happy one and if as they no doubt will say you are over weight then so be it because you can and want help trying to do something about it where there are people out there with all kinds of issues that do nothing so brace yourself to hear them say it but at the same time tell yourself these words will pass and I can bear it to get the help I need and you can I have faith in you that you can do this :-)

Behind things like Binge eating etc there is always a reason why we have turned to this to try and cope maybe to start with you need some kind of Counselling to help you get to the root of the problem as it could make it easier for you to break the cicle of binge eating if this makes sense ?

You are not lazy , you are not greedy you have some underlying issues that you need help with and you have no reason whatsoever to feel ashamed but to know you deserve help and I sincerely hope that you get it :-)

I have found a Community on here for eating disorders , it does not look like it is very active but that does not stop you posting on it as it could even wake the Community up :-)

But you could read the posts on there and advice as there seems a lot and you may get some tips as well as knowing you are not alone

Worth taking a look I will put you the link on and let us know how you get on as I would be happy to here how you are doing :-) x

dcsquoy profile image
dcsquoy in reply to

I had managed to find a private nutritionist as I was desperate to build better habits, and she was brilliant, but I ran out of money so I couldn't keep seeing her. I feel like I need to get to the bottom of my eating issues, I haven't eaten normally since I was around 8/9 years old so trying to fix my broken relationship feels really hard as I don't remember what a normal relationship is.

Part of me dreads going to the doctor as I had an online appointment through Livi and they've told me I need a physical examination (unrelated problem, just severe left hand lower rib pain) but I know I'll have to take my top off and have someone touch me, which I just can't do. I wear the biggest clothes I can find and avoid all physical contact right now, I don't want to be seen, let alone touched.

I'm very appreciative of all the advice I've been given on here, I don't think I had really processed a lot of the reality of my issues until now.

in reply to dcsquoy

Hello :-)

Can you recall anything that happened when you were about 8 or 9 it might be the smallest thing that happened or affect you in some way that kicked this of the mind is a very complex thing

I can totally understand you would not want someone touching you , I have dreadful ocd and cannot bear to be touched by strangers I feel they will give me germs ( we all have issues you see ) but when it comes to medical things through gritted teeth I let them and yes it really is through gritted teeth but I need help so I have to come out my comfort zone just for a few minutes and get the help I need

I so wish there was something more I could say to try and reassure you to go because without the help it does not matter what you look like big or small it is your health which you need and that is the most important thing

You know you are stronger than you think :-) x

Thatwasunexpected profile image
Thatwasunexpected in reply to dcsquoy

Promise you no judgement here! Before my attack I used to catch my reflection in shop windows and think "I really have to do something" but had no idea what my weight was until I was admitted for the attack because I actively avoided weighing myself. When they put 110kg on my notes it was a bit of a shock!

And, yes, it felt like an impossibly large amount to lose - around 1/4 of my bodyweight!

The "early" losses weren't too hard once I started - rehab and walking burned through the first 5kg or so surprisingly quickly, then it slowed down and got depressing 🥺

What I found helped was getting a cheap backpack and sticking those 5kg in it using sand, then wearing it for my walks.

When I lost a kg I added more sand so I was always walking at my "old" weight. That obviously burned more calories but also reminded me every time I put it on just why I was doing it. The other effect was, at the end of each walk, I got to "lose the weight" all at once, which is a much better motivation than having it slip off slowly so you don't notice!

I stopped once I'd got to 20kg in there be ause I ran out of sand, but I'd kinda got the message by then! Still got the loaded pack & every so often I'll put it on for a minute or two just to remind me what I was carrying - every day in everything I did.

dcsquoy profile image
dcsquoy in reply to Thatwasunexpected

That's exactly what I keep doing. I look a massive, bloated ball on legs. I see my reflection and just want to go home to hide away so no one can see how grotesque I've become.

That's a really clever idea, it must have felt so satisfying getting to 20kg and being able to remove that weight and feel the immediate difference. I often think back on the way I used to run up the stairs to my flat two steps at a time and just felt fine! Now I trudge up the stairs and have to sit down to catch my breath for a good time after getting through the door. I long to run up the stairs again, I can't stand what I've done to myself.

Do you mind if I ask what you did diet wise?

Thatwasunexpected profile image
Thatwasunexpected in reply to dcsquoy

To be honest, for diet I didn't do too much at least to start with. My weight was pretty stable so figured any increase in exercise was going to put me into some sort of calorie deficit as long as I didn't start eating more "because I was exercising".

I did cut out the regular takeaways - but they'd been for convenience more than anything. And massively cut down on crisps and other snacks. One of the first effects I noticed with the exercise was that I actually didn't FEEL like snacking so much, which helped.

Other than that, pretty much ate as I used to for the first 15 or so kg. Then it started to get harder to lose because the lighter you are the less you burn. So you have to start thinking a bit more about diet as you go along.

But it made sense to me to worry about one change at a time, and I found the extra walking and cardio rehab in the gym mentally easier to embrace than consciously restricting food.

By the time diet became the biggest factor, I was hooked on the exercise bit so was, again, only having to worry about one change.

As for being able to "drop the weight" - yes, it was a fantastic feeling. Not least because it made it really obvious I was making progress well before those shop windows showed it. And that was a really great incentive to keep going!

dcsquoy profile image
dcsquoy in reply to Thatwasunexpected

Congratulations on your weight loss by the way! It is amazing that you’ve got yourself from where you were to where you are today, and it’s after having a heart attack.

Thatwasunexpected profile image
Thatwasunexpected in reply to dcsquoy


I'm tempted to say "if I can, anyone can" but I know it's not that simple.

I know I couldn't before the attack - I knew I should, and I wanted to, but I'd got to the point of giving up giving up - I was still paying a gym membership from about 3 years before "for when I try again" but there were always reasons not to.

The attack changed that because, for the second time in my life, I really thought I was dying (first was a sudden back spasm years ago which I was convinced I was either dying or paralysed for life - even with the attack I've NEVER known pain like that!)

I guess what I'm trying to say is that, physically, "if I can do it, anyone can" because it really IS as simple as eat less and / or move more.

But, mentally, that can be incredibly hard to do until something comes along to really motivate you. In my case it was a trip in an ambulance which, at the time, I thought might be my last. And that's pretty extreme motivation!

Qualipop profile image

Family history should always be taken seriously no matter what your age. I spent two years making repeated trips to my GP with worsening breathlessness. It was always put down as being muscular because I have quite severe spinal problems. Not once was heart considered or family history. My mum had heart failure and died after 3 heart attacks; my grandfather,the youngest of 13 children was the only one to get beyond the age of 50. All his siblings died of what was then called dropsy. If my GP had listened I may not have had a heart attack. I was lucky it was mild. Other patients will be lucky that my GP has now learned an important lesson - to take family history seriously.

dcsquoy profile image
dcsquoy in reply to Qualipop

Wow, that's horrendous that they didn't take all of that family history into account! That is awful. I can't imagine your GP will make that mistake again, I imagine that will have stuck with them.

Qualipop profile image
Qualipop in reply to dcsquoy

Oh yes, profuse apologies and they were heartfelt. (Ooh no pun intended) . I have such severe problems with my spine that was his immediate thought. Heart never occurred to me either. It was only when I went to Urgent care that a very young newly qualified doctor actually asked me and booked me for an urgent stress test . He didn't know about my spinal problems so here was nothing to distract him. Never got he stress test- I had the HA before that got booked.

dcsquoy profile image
dcsquoy in reply to Qualipop

I suppose it is easy to look for something you are already expecting, not a good excuse but I can see how that could happen. Awful that you had to go through that though, absolute nightmare.

Qualipop profile image
Qualipop in reply to dcsquoy

Luckily it wasn't a bad one. I'm still here. It gave me a kick up the pants to change things. I Posted a mainly to say don't ignore anything and don't be fobbed off. You are obviously concerned or you wouldn't have posted so please don't ignore your concerns or make excuses for them. Do act on them and change what you may know you need to change and get investigations done for your worries.

I never thought about my weight or my diet. I cooked mainly what my husband was brought up on because I'm really not interested in food and I'd been the same weight since I was 13. After the heart attack I looked seriously at the amount of unhealthy stuff we ate, the pies, dumplings, cakes and biscuits and my big downfall- crisps. ( A post war diet). I took the advice offered , introduced far more veggies, cut red meat to once a week and banned cakes and biscuits. I lost 2 stone in 6 months without even trying. Didn't even realise until my summer skirts fell off me. My GP was so surprised he actually sent me for tests for cancer because I hadn't even tried to lose weight. Well, at least he wasn't going to miss anything that time LOL.

guinness1759 profile image

Hi, I think the fact that you have reached out to ask some questions suggests you may possibly be more concerned than you are letting on!

If you dont seek medical advice you'll never know , and that in itself may well pray on your mind, equally being in denial isn't really helpful either - heart issues tend not to resolve themselves. If you have any health issues then sooner they are identified the sooner you will be receiving the right care.

Take that first step and get things checked out. Good luck!

dcsquoy profile image
dcsquoy in reply to guinness1759

Thank you, I think you are right, I haven't felt anxious about it but I think in a way it must be bothering me or I wouldn't have needed reassurance. To be honest, having people tell me their stories has made me certain I want to get this checked out, I tend to cancel most medical appointments I'm given as I hate having medical tests etc. but I won't dismiss this now.

pjw17 profile image

Make sure you get checked out ,I've had ECGs,echo , myocardial perfusion and angiogram in the past ,your situation will be clearer after whatever tests you have ,and the cardio team will advise.As for the weight ,I lost over 10ks in a year,it was mostly done through diet change and limiting alcohol , I was very fit before HA ,my exercise now is moderate walking and cycling .

You CAN get down on your weight ,be positive and change diet now.

The only down side for me is having to buy new jeans and shirts etc !!!!

Good luck and keep posting on here on how your doing.

dcsquoy profile image
dcsquoy in reply to pjw17

Thank you. I really do need to sort out my weight, not just for my physical but for my mental health. I haven't seen any friends since gaining weight as I'm too embarrassed to meet up with anyone or go out in public unless it is totally unavoidable.

Congratulations on your weight loss!

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