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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » General Support » Stress Echo Test Harmful to Lyme Patients?

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Author Topic: Stress Echo Test Harmful to Lyme Patients?
chaps
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Because my heart has been acting up a bit with palpitations and funny little impulses, I saw a cardiologist last week. He scheduled me for a stress/echocardiogram later this week. Because this involves getting on a treadmill and getting the heart rate way way up, I'm wondering if this is a wise thing to do. I know that with Lyme, I'm not supposed to do cardio exercise and I don't want this stress test to throw me on my butt and let the disease get a leg up on me.

My cardiologist is not a Lyme-literate cardiologist. I found out that there is one not too far from here. Anyone have any advice? Should I go for a different (non-exertive) type of stress test? Should I cancel and go to the Lyme-literate cardiologist? Opinions would be appreciated.

--------------------
-chaps
Listen to the bell, Borrelia. It tolls for thee!

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randibear
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don't worry about it hon. i just went through both about a month ago.

my cardiologist was there and a nurse. course i could barely finish but i did make it the full 10 minutes, panting all the way. thought i was going to pass out.

but ya know what? the nurse said my heart never did get up to the highest rate, so apparently i did ok.

however, i flunked the echo. you just lay down and they put the gel on you and it pokes this wand type thing up under your ribs. now to be honest, it hurt!! maybe won't bother you, but it did me.

but at least we found out i have an enlarged heart and how to treat it.

my doc said just take it easy, no marathons, and take these meds.

my cardio is not lyme literate either but he's very well thought of.

please don't cancel your appt. you're going to be fine.

it's better off knowing exactly what you are dealing with.

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do not look back when the only course is forward

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Keebler
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Aerobics can damage the heart if infection is present. See links in the thread below that explains that.

I would not do it. I would not do the chemical stress test, either. I would find a LL cardiologist. True, not everything is lyme related but lyme has so many effects that only a LL doctor would be able to discern what will be handled by your lyme treatment and what might not.

* What does your LLMD say about all this?

* What is your current level of magnesium and type? Calcium?

* How much fish oil are you taking a day?

* Are you taking Turmeric/Curcumin & or Hawthorn"?

* What is your liver support (to reduce toxic load); Be sure Adrenal support is also in place as that supports the heart.

All those can help tremendously with " palpitations and funny little impulses. . . " Often, we don't need all the fancy stress tests and high bills.

A person with lyme simply cannot be evaluated as a person without lyme. If your cardiologists was not referred by your LLMD and is not LL, you are probably wasting your money.

* Medication side-effects? Read all your medication inserts to be sure they don't affect QT. QT is explained in the thread below.

* Also, I assume you don't consume even a TRACE of aspartame or MSG (Google for all the names). After basics about lyme, this thread may be the most important information you ever read so you know more about your heart:

==================

http://flash.lymenet.org/ubb/ultimatebb.php/topic/1/77325

Topic: To everyone with cardiac symptoms please read !
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[ 05-17-2010, 04:43 PM: Message edited by: Keebler ]

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Keebler
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-
http://www.ott.zynet.co.uk/polio/lincolnshire/library/uk/post-me.html

or http://tinyurl.com/33rxy8

[Post-polio expert] Dr. [Richard] Bruno points out that physical over-activity is the biggest cause of post-polio symptoms. [3] (See Dr. Bruno's "Fainting and Fatigue" in the Spring 1996 CFIDS Chronicle, page 37.)

EXCERPT:

when mice infected with Coxsackie B3 [virus] were forced to swim in a warm pool, the virulence of the virus was drastically augmented.

In fact, viral replication was augmented 530 times. This did horrendous things to the animals' hearts. We all know that to play squash [similar to racket ball] with the flu can lead to heart attacks. Much the same danger can be courted by undertaking hard exercise with M.E.[CFS] - (end quote)
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[ 05-17-2010, 06:25 PM: Message edited by: Keebler ]

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Hoosiers51
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In terms of will it help the Lyme get a "leg up", I would not worry about it.

The no cardio rule is moreso for people who exercise regularly, they shouldn't be doing aerobic exercise, thinking it will make them better. I don't think one time will hurt you or adversely affect your Lyme status.

It will probably just result in needing a few days to recover, because you may mobilize some toxins, but it's not something like a vaccine or taking steroids (both big no-no's) that could mess you up forever.

I would just do the test, personally, if the Lyme is your only concern.

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Hoosiers51
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I wouldn't bring up Lyme (because I find it isn't worth the debate with non lyme literate doctors), but you could warn them that you have _____ symptoms (like fatigue, dizzyness, etc), and so you are concerned about making it through the test, just so they are warned ahead of time.
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Keebler
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Even once, when ill, aerobic stress can also cause hypoperfusion in the brain that shows up on a brain SPECT the next day. No one can predict how that can affect long term brain function but low blood volume in the brain is never a good thing.

That's in the cardiac thread. See the details from Canada's Nightingale organization.
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Stacyb
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I did the test when I was very sick
and for me I rather know then not know.
I did make it thru the testing too
and found out I had depressed ST waves
(back side of the heart).

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randibear
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well i figure i was in a hospital with the leading cardiologist, a nurse, and a technician with me, so what could go wrong....LOL

oh yeah, the husband too...

but let me clarify my stress test was just on the treadmill, it was not with the drugs.

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do not look back when the only course is forward

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lpkayak
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i've done 3 with no problems and i am obese

i did get my heart rate up to where it needed to go

if you don't get it up there---i guess you get some info but not exactly what the test is supposed to do: find blockages

it is in a very safe environment - hosp - lots of docs close by and ready

i think you have more chance of not getting up to the heart rate than you do of hurting the lyme-but of course i'm not a doc

i only had to be on the tread mill 3-4 min to get my heart rate up---that means i am very unfit but no blockages

the chemical thing scared the h*** out of me...they didn't think i could do the tread mill cuz of the weigh and artificial knees...but i did.

the first 2 times i had very paineful arthritic knees and did it

the 2nd ultasound part hurt real bad but the 3rd didn' t

i think it depends on the skill of the tech...and what hurt was te boob getting in the way...so if you're a guy that wouldnt bea problm

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Lyme? Its complicated. Educate yourself.

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chaps
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Yikes.

I am just recently diagnosed. The LLMD with whom I am attempting to schedule an initial appointment requires a referral from a local doctor--he says he doesn't "treat" patients, he has the referring physician do it. He just acts as a consultant. Sound familiar?

Anyway, I think there might be a Lyme-literate cardiologist here locally. I'll cancel the stress test and go to the other doc. Thanks for all your replies.

--------------------
-chaps
Listen to the bell, Borrelia. It tolls for thee!

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chaps
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Keebler, thanks for the all of the good information. I've upped my magnesium and it seems to be calming down the palps.

I went to another cardiologist who was recommended by a local Lyme support group member. Well, just because a person with Lyme goes to him, that doesn't mean he's Lyme-literate. Guess what he did??!! He set me up for a NUCLEAR stress test!! Here I was, worried about the physical exertion of a stress echo test, now this new guy wants to inject me with radioactive dye and expose me to radiation!!

They didn't tell me the details of a nuclear stress test at the doc's office. I looked it up when I got home and was shocked. If this guy knows about Lyme, he should know that Lyme patients are constantly detoxing and their detox pathways are often stressed. Why add to that stress by injecting chemicals? And on top of that, why expose them to radiation when their T-cells are low??

That's it. I have completely lost all faith in the medical profession. They are just out to make as much money as they can. They don't care what else you've got going on. They don't care if you die. They just want to live a lavish lifestyle, take Fridays off and make sure that they buy each of their kids a Mercedes-Benz on their 16th birthdays. If you die, their only remorse is that they won't be making any more money off of you. I'll tell you what else is dead. The hippocratic oath!! It's deader than a freakin' doornail.

I cancelled the appt. for the nuclear test. I'm going to consult with the LLMD about this before doing anything else. Who knows, I may end up going back to the original cardiologist for the stress echo after all. I'd certainly rather exert myself for a short time rather than do the same thing with a bunch of radioactive chemicals in my veins, along with exposing myself to radiation. Good Lord!

--------------------
-chaps
Listen to the bell, Borrelia. It tolls for thee!

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Keebler
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It's been years since I was around any heart tests, so it may have changed but I thought the stress test was not an echo but an EEG. An echo is usually done lying down - although they should also do it standing up but most doctors don't know about that (in the cardiac thread).

Yep. I was astounded when I told them I passed out with the last stress test years ago - so they then wanted to shoot chemicals into my body (and I have porphyria so need to really limit chemicals). I did not bite on that one. Magnesium, Fish oil and Hawthorne got my heart rhythm back on track.

I think your instincts served you well to pass on that. But, there is more to study in order to find a resolution.

However, I'm not a doctor and there are times when some tests can save a life. If life changes and supplements help, that's great. Don't give up on doctors just try to find one who is very well educated. Not everything is lyme and supplements are the cure-all for everything.

But, there is so much about lyme that we often do just have to be patient and do the best we can. Tests can't tell us everything at all and we just have to use intuition as to when we need help.

The Cardiac thread has details from Paul Cheney - also look up his web site for new details. He's done a lot of research on the heart from the "CFS" aspect and that applies to lyme patients, too. Perhaps, if you contact him or his colleagues in the articles, you can get the name of a cardiologist near you who is educated about the more complex details of his research regarding patients with chronic infections, etc.

Good luck.

============

http://flash.lymenet.org/ubb/ultimatebb.php/topic/1/77325

Topic: To everyone with cardiac symptoms please read !
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[ 06-05-2010, 03:38 PM: Message edited by: Keebler ]

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Lymetoo
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Five or 10 min on a treadmill ONCE is not considered exercise to me. At least not as far as impacting your health in a negative way.

The test will NOT feel good as they inject you with stuff that makes your heart race, but you will be OK. It would tell the dr a lot about your heart and so will the echo.

(PS.. you may not even make it past 5 min!)

---I just read your last post... I agree... I had the nuclear test too and sure don't want another anytime soon. Felt it was too much C*** for my system, though I didn't SEEM to react to the dye.

I just don't like the chemicals!

--------------------
--Lymetutu--
Opinions, not medical advice!

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randibear
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oh yeah, i wouldn't do that test.

mine was really simple. just run on the treadmill, no drugs, no nuclear no nothing. just er walking on the treadmill.

i'm exercising 10 minutes a day on my elliptical tho and i've had no problems.

got another appt on the 24th of this month.

--------------------
do not look back when the only course is forward

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chaps
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Thanks Keebler. Your help is invaluable.

--------------------
-chaps
Listen to the bell, Borrelia. It tolls for thee!

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Keebler
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Hey, if you can do just walking on the treadmill, that might be one thing. When I had one done, I even passed out with that - several different times and no doctor had clue as to why. So, I err on the side of caution. And, if infection is raging, yes - even 10 minutes of RUNNING - can be too much stress on the heart and cause damage [citing Bruno's research] .

But, be sure you know what you are looking for - you may not really need a test. And also know all the kinds of tests available as each one looks for something different. And lyme does change so much about how the body works (or doesn't).

And tests designed, administered &/or interpreted by non-LL doctors may not be adequate.

You said: " . . . My cardiologist is not a Lyme-literate cardiologist. I found out that there is one not too far from here. . . ." end quote.

You might make an appointment with the LL cardiologist, then. I think that is the best call. But, first, is this one your LLMD suggests? Be sure to ask your LLMD's office who they think is best in your region.

But, also be aware of the full range of symptoms -what's "normal" and what's not -- and what helps. So often, some really scary symptoms can be lessened if we just know what to do. (I'm not sure by what you write) so - I hope you have a LLMD - or can find one soon.

Good luck.
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[ 06-06-2010, 04:29 PM: Message edited by: Keebler ]

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