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Heart Palpitations and Sleep Apnea

This area is for Sleep Apnea questions and general Sleep Apnea Discussions.

Heart Palpitations and Sleep Apnea

Postby lukin4antsirs » Fri Feb 27, 2009 1:32 am

Having lunch today, and a friend is asking me what button I keep pushing in my pocket. Embarrassed, I come clean and tell him that I am activating a heart event monitor. I tell him that every time that I feel an "event" (PAC or PVC), I record it for later transmission to the hospital. Now, rewind 2 years ago when my palpitation nightmare began. Cut to the chase: I am just about at the end of my rope with these palpitations. So, I am grasping for any relief that I can get. My friend(who embellishes quite a bit) tells me that he had the same symptoms 7-10 years back, went for a sleep study, has 9th degree(?) SA, wears a CPAP and feels like a new man....all symptoms gone...and almost overnight. I am 30lbs overweight, metabolic syndrome, 18.5 inch neck. I had a sleep study done about 8 years ago, but I lightly slept for 15 minutes maybe. I slept late the day before for some reason, so I have never thought that the test was reliable. They told me that I had restless leg syndrome. Now, with hearing this from my friend, I'm thinking that I may have found something here that is related to my heart. I can wake up in the morning and know if I am going to have a good day or a bad day. Any suggestions? Should I retest? Anyone have any thoughts on SA and heart palps. I hate to say this...but I am desperate!! :) Thanks for reading.
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Postby Dianne » Fri Feb 27, 2009 8:23 am

I had irregular heartbeat/palpitations BEFORE cpap, but haven't had one episode since going on cpap about Oct/Nov 2008.

AHI:was 23, blood O2 WAS as low as 80%.

Edited to add: No longer need blood pressure meds (hypertensives) as BP dropped from 150/110, to normal levels within first 2 months.
Dianne's: Remstar Auto M, C-flex, smart card. Mask: Swift LT. AHI- 23, lowest blood ox 80%.

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Postby Linda » Fri Feb 27, 2009 9:29 am

Hi there lukin4antsirs (like the username!),

If you have heart problems and have had even a few possible sleep apnea symptoms, it's worth being tested, if only to rule out sleep apnea.
There must have been some concern for you have been ordered your sleep study years ago. It might be worth being restudied, especially considering your heart problems.
You may or may not have sleep apnea, but it's important to know. Untreated sleep apnea affects the heart and causes a host of health issues. People with untreated sleep apnea are at a significantly higher risk to heart attacks and strokes. If you do have sleep apnea, treatment can help. If you don't have sleep apnea, the testing can help doctors to focus on other possible causes. You owe it to yourself to get tested.

And if you do go for another sleep study, give yourself a fighting chance. Do everything you can to be as sleepy as possible at night. Refrain from naps during the day before the sleep study, cut out the caffein. If you have trouble sleeping and really need a sleep aid, you might have your doctor prescribe a sleep aid temporarily. Take it with you to your sleep study, let the sleep tech know, and they may decide you could take it, if necessary, in order for you to sleep enough for the sleep study. The preference is to not use a sleep aid, but sometimes it is needed to be tested.

Good luck!

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Postby umpwidow » Fri Feb 27, 2009 10:37 am

Hi there,

I only have mild apnea (if that), but I had the pounding heart before CPAP and haven't had it since starting on the CPAP. I was also diagnosed with restless leg syndrome at one point and did the dopamine agonist medication but still found no relief to the restless sleep, peripheral neuropathy, and morning tremors. All of which have abated on the CPAP.

I'm not technically qualified as having apnea, but I have many respiratory events at night with some desaturation.

Good luck to you and I hope you find answers.

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Postby Vicki » Fri Feb 27, 2009 11:48 am

Hi Lukin,

Untreated OSA can cause arrhythmias. I have PACs when untreated and my brother has PACs and atrial fib. Forum member Harley Howard nearly died from his OSA induced arrhythmias and his story was the topic of a segment of The Learning Channel's "Mystery Diagnosis" program. The first link goes to medical studies, including those of OSA and arrhythmias, the second link is Harley's story.

The cardiovascular and metabolic effects of OSA

Personal Stories

Being defeated is often a temporary condition. Giving up is what makes it permanent.
Marilyn Vos Savant

That which does not kill you makes you stronger-Friedrich Nietzsche
Friedrich must of had apnea.
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Postby ApneaKiwi » Fri Feb 27, 2009 2:15 pm

lukin4antsirs all the best with your journey and i look forward to hearing more about how things go. its a good idea to cut out caffeine, but if you normally have caffeine every day then maybe it's best to continue that on the day of your sleep study because withdrawal might keep you awake. just a thought.

umpwidow, from your other posts it sounds like you may have upper airway resistance syndrome and if so, a pounding heart and all the symptoms you mention could fit with that. according to the medical sources i've read (including dr steven park) while many people may think of UARS as a mild form of OSA, this is untrue. the sequelae of UARS can be at least at debilitating as OSA and probably more so in the short term. i think i am one of the subgroup of people who had UARS for many years before developing OSA - in my case from rapid medication-related weight gain. because UARS was only 'discovered' relatively recently, i am thinking there is not yet widespread understanding about it beyond sleep doctors (and not all of them fully appreciate the nuances of it). it doesn't seem to be a very common disorder too, but that might be due to under-diagnosis. so, i just wanted to say to you (and others reading) that at least in my mind, people with UARS are very much a part of all this ;-) i hope that makes sense.
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Postby lynn543 » Fri Feb 27, 2009 3:22 pm

if the machine results dont point elsewhere, the palps could be from anxiety, in which case a beta blocker med may help, if you have high blood pressure, this is they type of BP med for you
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Postby onewaypockets » Sat Feb 28, 2009 4:05 am

Something to consider...

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Postby NoseHose » Sat Feb 28, 2009 9:54 am

My PCP put me on Metoprolol (a beta blocker) to quiet the PCV's, and to slow my heart down. A side effect of the medicine is brachycardia (my heart rate dropped to 60bpm). I was taking 175mg a day. I felt like bolder was on my chest everytime I did something physical because my heart wouldn't respond to the increased need for O2. I was 5'7', 200lbs, 18 in neck, blocky looking; big chest (44 jacket), shoulders, and arms....sound familiar? A bad night of OSA would give me frequent PCV's for a week before they would subside. By frequent, I mean every few beats I get a skip. A new PCP, which happened to be a pulmonary specialist immedediately recognized the symptoms as OSA, sent me to a sleep study and got me on CPAP. Then he cut my dosage in half. My signature at the bottom explains it all. Hope you get it taken care of!
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