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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » heart racing when lying down (question)

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Author Topic: heart racing when lying down (question)
paleogal
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I feel like my heart pounds any time I lie down totally flat or near flat - I have to elevate my head for it to stop. If I try to lie down at work (no real pillows), or at home (with pillows), this is a problem. I've recently tried to work out, and even if I lie down on any horizontal work out bench, this happens.

Since I can't sleep comfortably on my back, this means I end up having to sleep in a really weird position on my side with my neck up high or on my stomach with a back bend.

Is this POTS? Is it adrenal? What do I to help my heart realize it doesn't have to work that hard to keep blood and oxygen in my head when I'm trying to fall asleep?

This isn't stress - my brain is calm. It's something biochemical or physical, I think. It's hard enough to fall asleep, and this is just making it worse.

Thanks, as always, friendly Lymenet hivemind.

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Keebler
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Inflammation comes to my mind and that lying down can put more pressure on the cardio system, perhaps if there is inflammation. Some very good suggestions here for various considerations - and what can help.

This is an excellent and rather thorough article (I'm surprised, actually, and pleased). Beyond this, of course, there are likely variables unique to lyme / TBD or treatment. Some Rx, OTC and also herbs can do this.

Note that the mineral deficiencies mentioned start with magnesium.

Be sure you have good safe anti-inflammatories on board, and some that are also good liver support. A happy liver helps reduce inflammation all over the body.

http://www.heart-palpitations.net/causes/heart-palpitations-when-lying-down

Heart Palpitations when Lying Down
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[ 06-04-2016, 03:27 PM: Message edited by: Keebler ]

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Keebler
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This kind of breathing has calmed palpilations for me at times. Google:

"diaphragmatic breathing" palpitations

Qigong, palpitations . . . &

Acupressure, palpitations
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paleogal
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Thanks, Keebler - it's not palpitations though. Just pounding (tachycardia). Possible it's the same causes though, according to the article. I can slow it a bit with breathing, but it still feels like strong beats.

Thanks - I'll check into some of the things suggested in the article.

Have long suspected low thyroid, but I tried levothyroxine earlier this year for about 6 weeks and felt much much worse on it so I stopped taking it. Just felt like it was too much for my body to handle at once along with Lyme Tx.

What are "safe" anti-inflammatories? I'm taking turmeric now (no more NSAIDs or tylenol - I only use those if I have a fever).

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SickSam
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I know what you mean. I have to sleep in all sorts of weird positions because of my heart too. I second Keebler's inflammation suggestion.

Not to sound scary or anything, but conditions like pericarditis (I have this) and congestive heart failure can make it impossible to sleep lying flat. It's definitely something to rule out, or properly treat if you do have it.

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paleogal
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My PCP took my BP and was like "you have stable vitals, and no lung crackles, you're fine" - but I've had scary ankle swelling in the last couple of weeks (which is why I went to see her). I have totally normal blood work (CMC and BMP). Also, I'm 32 years old.

Anything else I can do to rule out heart-related problems like congestive heart failure and pericarditis? My PCP is unhelpful, but I have a LLMD appt next week.

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SickSam
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Paleogal, the ankle swelling is concerning to me since you're having the other symptoms too. It can be a sign of many things, including heart problems.

With all those symptoms combined I would certainly get checked out. An ecg is a simple test that might show the problem. An echocardiogram would be excellent, but those are harder to get. A chest X-Ray or CT scan might possibly show the problem as well, though.

An easy way to get it checked would be to go to the ER. I know, it's no fun sitting there, but you could get testing done quickly that way. Just tell them your chest hurts, it's hard to breathe and your heart pounds when you lie flat, and your ankles have been swelling for two weeks. Those three things combined should tip off any halfway-decent doctor to look for heart problems. An ER would almost certainly do at least an ecg, check blood levels of cardiac enzymes, and do a chest X-Ray.

Could you see a cardiologist without a referral? That would be a second option, but where I live it takes forever to get in to see one. If the ER testing came back negative you'd need to see one anyway, though, since testing isn't always reliable (just like Lyme!). A cardiologist might want to do an echo or possibly a stress test.

If you feel like you can wait, maybe your LLMD could order an echocardiogram for you?? I asked mine to order one for me once. On another occasion he ordered one without me asking. He also had an ecg machine in his office, so he has done a few of those on me too. Maybe your LLMD would be able to help you get some testing.

I just turned 30 myself. My basic blood work always looks fine too. This disease is nuts.

Take care of your heart. You only have one of those!!

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daystar1952
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Sometimes people with hiatal hernias experience this increased heartrate when lying down due to pressure on the vagus nerve when the stomach slides up when lying down
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paleogal
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OK SickSam, you've convinced me. I'll ask my LLMD. After the lame appointment with my PCP about this issue, I don't think I'll get any help there.

Luckily the swelling went down a bit last week, but it has come back off and on since then. This is absurd. I've always been healthy! Minus the last 10 years of this random stuff popping up, though. Thanks.

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paleogal
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(Or I'll head to the ER if it worsens before the LLMD appointment next Friday)
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SickSam
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Glad the swelling has gone down at least some! Hopefully your LLMD will be able to provide some help. [Smile]
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bluelyme
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Is it after you eatbig meal...? Day star and sam are probably right .i have both ,cardio wasnt much help he scripted colchiline ekg partial block right bundle ,echo was clear enough , curcumin rocephin helped some

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paleogal
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Not usually after eating, no - though I did have a weird reactive hypoglycemia thing in 2011 shortly after getting 3 tick bites that summer. This really is only when I lie down - either to sleep for the night, or if I lie down for a nap or to watch a movie or whatever. I'll up my curcurmin this week too to see if it helps.
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WPinVA
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Does it go away if you get up and walk around?

Cardiologist told me the heart has to work harder when you lie down to pump the blood through the body.

So try getting up and walking around, or could even try moving your feet to see if that does it. Probably not a bad idea to do a cardiology consult.

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paleogal
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I thought your heart works less hard when you're lying down because it doesn't have to overcome gravity.....

Yes, generally as soon as I pop my head up from horizontal I feel much better. Walking....I usually get lightheaded these days, so that doesn't feel better - usually my heart pounds with any horizontal/vertical change. It gradually fades though.

The ankle swelling is down again today, so maybe my heart is fine?

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SickSam
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Good to hear that your ankles are down again! It still could possibly be your heart though, but hopefully it's just a Lyme thing that will eventually go away for you.

I know EXACTLY what you mean about it gradually fading. Changing positions is the worst, and then it's like the things around my heart "adjust" and it eventually evens out a little bit. It's strange.

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paleogal
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Well at least I am not alone! Thanks, SickSam. I hope it gets better for all of us.
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