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How Do You Know If You Need A Pacemaker ?


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Hi ...

I've been diagnosed with a left bundle branch block via several tests by my cardiologist for several years now and am wondering if I need to pursue getting a pace maker. My cardiologist didn't recommend it when I saw him a couple of years ago.

But, I'm still getting winded extremely easily despite strength exercising for the last 3 months and I have a positive tilt table test. I've been using salt to keep my bp up because without salt, it gets way too low. I also get petite mals / staring episodes all the time if I overdo it or I don't lay down for an hour every few hours.

How do we know if we need one ? The reason I'm asking is that I met someone recently who has one and feels much better now. His regular cardiologist told them it wasn't necessary so he went somewhere else and it's made a world of difference for him.

Thanks .. Marcia

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Marcia~

Usually you get a pacemaker if you have bradycardia and you have symptoms from it. Have your cardiologist do a cardiac monitor (Holter monitor) on you for a couple of days or a week. When I did it, they found that my heart rate was going into the low to mid 30s, and I was extremely fatigued all the time and either felt like fainting or actually fainted during some situations. They normally won't recommend a pacemaker unless your heart rate is in the 30s, or possibly low 40s. I know most cardio's don't seem to get too upset with a heart rate in the 50s, even though you may feel lousy.

The pacemaker did help me, and it's set so that my heart rate will not go under 60 beats per minute. Of course, all of this would be individualized for you. You can't do an MRI and you have to be patted down at the airports in security if you have one, but they're doing more of that now, anyway.

Good luck! Let me know what happens, and PM me if you have more questions.

Cheers,

Jana

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Thanks Lieze,

Hope you're feeling better ...

I'm hesitant to go back to my cardiologist until I have a better understanding of what's going on. And I'm having trouble finding info on this ... If I hadn't met that man who was told by one cardiologist that he didn't need it and then a different cardiologist put one in for him, I wouldn't be questioning this ...

tc ... Marcia

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Thanks Jana,

That's great that it's helped you ... I was wondering how it helped you. Do you still have POTS ?

I had to google bradycardia ... lol ... I don't think I have this since I've been watching my heart rate sporacticly over the last few years and never saw it go that low.

I get winded a lot but I've noticed that this symptom seems to come and go and I'm not sure why. Yesterday I vaccuumed for at least an hour and felt fine. :unsure: Other days, I can't even stand up for any length of time without getting winded ... Stairs are a problem 98% of the time ...

My cardiologist mentioned that since I'm a celiac, nutritional deficiencies may be affecting my heart so I need to re-check my labs. I thought that they were looking good now but maybe I'm not absorbing them ...

tc ... Marcia

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A pacemaker will only help you if you have problems with your heart rate dropping low. It will do nothing for the rest of the autonomic dysfunction that causes POTS symptoms. While the incision that is made to put the pacemaker in is pretty small, the risks of putting in a pacemaker are significant. So the cardiologist will only put one in if you meet specific criteria. The only way to know is to ask your cardiologist and if you still have concerns, get a second opinion.

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A pacemaker will only help you if you have problems with your heart rate dropping low. It will do nothing for the rest of the autonomic dysfunction that causes POTS symptoms. While the incision that is made to put the pacemaker in is pretty small, the risks of putting in a pacemaker are significant. So the cardiologist will only put one in if you meet specific criteria. The only way to know is to ask your cardiologist and if you still have concerns, get a second opinion.

Thanks ... for some reason, I thought a pace maker would correct my left bundle branch block.

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