Three years ago (holy hell time moving way too fast), I wrote a post about Anxiety & Arrhythmias. It is a post I like to share with people who are having a hard time with their skippy, obnoxious tickers and/or their anxious minds. However, some of that info is a little out-dated for me. So, I thought – why not write an update, you lazy ass?! So, here it is.
It Ain’t All About That Mag
The first thing I would like to mention is my incessant preaching about magnesium. I pretty much spoke like a dealer trying to procure new customers when it came to this mineral. I talked it up to everyone and anyone who would listen. It may have been slightly obnoxious.
It took me a while, but I started to notice trends. While I was keeping my magnesium intake high, Some of my symptoms would still persist or at least pop up every so often. And every time I went to the ER with heart issues – my potassium was on the very low end of “normal”. One time, it was even slightly below normal.
I have since learned the importance of mineral balancing (this is a link to a great article explaining this). Magnesium, sodium, potassium – they all interact with and balance each other. Too much of one could bring another down. And I was finding that I had nearly every symptom of low potassium. Even though my lab results would sometimes be considered “normal” – my body is clearly very sensitive and the slightest imbalance or decrease could set it off and turn it into quite the asshole.
Once I started to realize this, I stopped my very low carb diet and began adding in more fruits and vegetables. Coconut water is also helpful when I am feeling low. I do not lose weight as easily, but my heart has been behaving quite well. I just need to be okay with putting health over that unobtainable “perfect” body that I have always been seeking.
So, while magnesium is indeed very important. It certainly isn’t the answer to everything. Sodium and potassium are just as crucial and should not be ignored. Some bloggers and Facebook groups insist it is all about Mag – that more and more Mag is the cure for all that ails. But this simply is not the case. And I apologize for preaching so hard about soley magnesium in the past.
Beta Blocker Update
Since my previous blog post, I have decreased my metoprolol to the lowest possible dose – 12.5mg each morning. I will take an extra 12.5 if I am having racy heart or an uncomfortable amount of ectopics. But this isn’t too often. I will sometimes also take the extra if I am going to be doing something that raises my heart rate a lot – like dancing or having an alcoholic beverage. It just seems to help. THIS IS NOT MEDICAL ADVICE. In fact, do not take medical advice from anyone on the internet. You can gather information (from reputable sources), discuss everything with your healthcare providers, and use your best judgement. But no blogger has the ability to keyboard treat you!! I will go one step further and urge you to avoid many of the fear mongering, conspiracy theorizing, medical guru wannabe websites. Natural News, Alt Health, even Mercola. They are all selling either products or agendas. Just be choosy about where you get your information.
For years, I have had fairly mild reflux off and on. Nothing too worrisome. But about a year ago, it started getting worse. Even water would cause that nasty burny bullshit. It sucked. And then I started having these crazy little burps ALL DAY LONG. Not like a real, satisfying beer belch – but these wimpy little nothing burps.
I was up to 300mg of zantac a day. And it worked pretty great for the most part. Since I have allergies – it was also helpful in that regard. And it was obvious that my reflux was very much associated with my histamine levels. So, bad allergy days always meant more reflux.
With more reflux came more PVCs. It was like clockwork. And it took me a while to figure out why. Here is my hypothesis (of which I am quite certain is fact, but whatever)…
Histamine &/or hormones triggered my gut which responded with reflux, GERD, heartburn – whatever you wanna call it. The reflux irritated my vagus nerve. When my vagus nerve was pissed off, it would activate the heart shit – PVCs, PACs and SVT. Doctors may not yet accept this cycle but I know it to be true for me. Don’t worry, they’ll catch up.
My doctor decided that I should be put on a PPI for the reflux. I really saw this as a last resort because many people become dependant and usually never stop taking them. Plus, PPIs can severely deplete your minerals. That was the last thing I needed. So, I researched my butt off and decided to try one more thing before starting the PPI.
As it turns out, low stomach acid activates pretty much the same exact symptoms as too much acid. So, people then take meds which decrease the acid even more. Kind of like throwing someone a brick as they are drowning. I purchased Betaine HCL and Digestive Enzymes. I slowly weaned off the zantac completely. And ever since, no more reflux, very minimal burping (usually only on days that I do not take enough HCL) and my heart is so much better. And when I say so much better – I am talking night and day. Honestly.
**When taking the Betaine HCL, you MUST take it with protein and DURING the meal. If you do not, you will feel the burn – and not the white haired Senator variety.
I am so grateful that I discovered these associations. I feel exceptionally better. Heart, tummy and mind. Who knew my tubby belly would be the cause of so much disruption – that bastard in addition to making shopping for jeans an absolute nightmare.
That’s About It
That pretty much clears up some of the outdated info from my old post. Everything else I had written pretty much still rings true and those suggestions still stand. I will also add that diaphragm breathing and guided meditation are both extremely important for me. I do not do either one nearly enough but always feel physically and mentally healthier when I do. I LOVE the app, Insight Timer for hundreds of FREE guided meditations – huge variety of time lengths, topics, types, etcs. There is something for everyone. Download that sucka now and you will not regret it.
I also returned to therapy for while last year. She was WONDERFUL. I absolutely adored her and wanted to be her BFF. We were a perfect fit. Past tense you noticed? Yea. Because I have the greatest fucking luck – she left and moved to a practice an hour away. I doubt I will try another therapist. Maybe for biofeedback or something specific like that. But for talk therapy – she is the one that got away and I don’t wanna new one. For now, anyway.
But I do strongly encourage others to seek out therapy AND to find the right person because that is so vital. Sadly, our mental health industry is in a very pathetic state right now – countrywide. There is a devastating provider shortage in many areas. So many people are underinsured. Waiting lists are miles long. And people are actually dying because of it. It is an awful and heartbreaking plaque on our society. But if you are able and in need – please, please seek help. These people really do know what they are doing and it can do a world of good.
Alrighty, then. That is enough for now. I wish you all the happiest and healthiest yous yous can be. Enjoy.