Lisa Nelson #14: What do you recommend for individuals experiencing heart palpitations and what may be triggering the problem?
Dr. Shelby-Lane: Arrhythmias are any deviations in the normal rhythm of the heart (heartbeat). They usually occur as a result of interference with the electrical pathways that produce the heart’s rhythmic muscular contractions. The Parasympathetic Nervous System is responsible for slowing down the heartbeat rate. The Beta-1 Adrenergic Receptors of the Beta-Adrenergic Nervous System are responsible for speeding up the heartbeat rate.
If you experience the following symptoms, you may need to be evaluated for toxicity and consider a stress test, echocardiogram, holter monitor or a tilt table test for further evaluation and diagnosis. A neurologic evaluation may also be indicated.
Fluttering or pounding in the heart
Hemodynamic disturbances are potentially life-threatening such as bradycardia and tachycardia
Unusual awareness of the heart
Abnormal ECG (provides a “one-shot” picture of the electrical activity of the heart)
Holter 24-hour monitoring results (Holter monitors look at the heart for a longer period of time and are necessary to detect intermittent rhythm problems.
Possible Causes, Contributing or Associated Factors
- Coronary artery disease
- Adverse drug reactions
- Endocrine imbalances, especially thyroid or adrenal disorders
- Myocardial tissue disease (valvular, atrial and ventricular abnormalities)
- Sequela of rheumatic fever
- Metabolic disorders
- Nutritional deficiencies, especially magnesium
- Environmental toxins or food allergies
- Damaged conductive tissue (neurocardiogenic syncope)
- anxiety and stress disorders, etc.
Follow up diagnostic testing is recommended to determine if the above conditions are causing the problem.
Heart disturbances can occur as a symptom of magnesium deficiency: Measuring your red blood cell magnesium can give you a good idea of your actual magnesium level.
To learn more about Dr. Cynthia Shelby-Lane, you can check out the services she offers at http://www.shelbylanemd.com.