A question for the post-menopausal women here

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Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 1512
   Posted 11/22/2008 12:55 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi all,
I am 58 and haven't had a period in about 4 years. But my OB/GYN says that our hormones can keep fluctuating for 10 years after the periods stop. Isn't that wonderful? NOT!
Anyhow.......for the past 12 years, I've had spells of irregular heartbeats. I've been to the ER a couple times, and have had several stress echoes, and they all are normal. The most recent one was in late July.
Usually, what causes my palpitations are caffeine, low magnesium, GERD flare-up or hormone fluctuations.
Well, starting about 4 weeks ago, the palpitations started happening all the time. Alot of times I get 4-6/min. They really thump me in the chest and I cough with each one.
I went to my Internist this week and he said "you're fine. Just try not to worry about them." Yeah, right.
Well, I think its my zoloft, which I've been on for about 3 months. The doc said that would be very rare (we've all heard 'that would be rare' before right???).
anyhow.......I'm weaning off the zoloft, but these beats are something else. If getting off the zoloft doesn't help, I'll probably see my cardiologist again...........just for some validation that I'm not going to drop dead.
Anyhow................sorry for the rambling...........you women who haven't had a period in a couple years.....do you still get things like palpitations?? I do think its the zoloft, but I also think its my hormones. I've had some ovary pain recently, and I'm thinking my FSH is getting really high and flogging the heck out of my ovaries and maybe this has an affect on the heart.
So......anybody else have any war stories to share? :)

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 263
   Posted 11/22/2008 3:51 PM (GMT -7)   
I've been in menopause for several years, even though I'm only 50. I had chemo at age 37, so that ages your ovaries by 10 years apparently.
I DO get the heart palpitations, and at certain times I get them a lot.
But I've heard they're a symptom of menopause so I really don't worry about them. A quickened heartbeat won't kill you or anything. Maybe your internist is right, even though he didn't deliver it in a very compassionate manner. Perhaps what he meant is that anxiety also causes irregular heartbeat - so if you're anxious about the palpitations (that are normal) then you'd only end up getting more.
(I've studied anxiety quite a bit, so pardon me for prattling on about it.)
Anyway, I do hope you get some relief soon.
I have fibromyalgia ~ nothing else that I know of! I'm very humbled by reading all of your signatures - gosh - many of you suffer with so much more than me! 
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Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 2858
   Posted 11/22/2008 4:12 PM (GMT -7)   

Cathy...I get those all the time.  I once had them everyday for two years, and we're talkin' a skipped beat every four of five seconds.  All Ekg's etc, were normal.  They looked for that Prolapse-thing...Nope.  I was told every person over forty gets them but don't notice them because they don't have anxiety/fibro, which I do.  Sometimes I don't feel them all day long, then sit down to rest and they start in like gang busters.  It is annoying, but not dangerous.  My son gets them also and he has anxiety disorder.

I know it's not easy to just forget about them, but I'm sure you're fine.


Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 1512
   Posted 11/22/2008 4:22 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Shutzhund and Donna,

I'm pretty much convinced they are benign, but its that danged thump in the chest I hate. Plus, what's sort of weird is that when they are the worst, I get so much upper GI gas I can't stand it. (I have IBS and GERD too). It just seems like something is causing both conditions at the same time. I get worn out, just burping and coughing from the PVCs! Seems like I'm doing it constantly all day long.
Hopefully its something that isn't permanent.
I think you're right Schutzhund......my doc wasn't really trying to be mean, his point was that I should just try to ignore it. My cardiologist said that some people have tons of them and never feel them at all. I wish I was one of those people.
I think the condition of fibro makes us feel everything there is to feel!
Thanks again.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 675
   Posted 11/22/2008 10:02 PM (GMT -7)   

Cathy - I've gone through decades of dealing with them.  ER visits, Holter monitors, stress tests, and finally a heart cath - showing everything to be fine.  I know it's hard to live and act normally when your heart isn't beating regularly!  It feels scary!  My cardiologist finally told me that he didn't think there was anything wrong with my heart - that it was probably caused from GERD - something about the vegal nerve being irritated by reflux.  So you are probably making an accurate connection between your GI symptoms and the palps.  I treated the GERD and had great improvement.  You might talkto your doc about that.  I also think the fibro makes us more sensitive to feeling them *sigh* - but at least it gets us to the doctor to check it out!


diagnoses:  mono 1972; postviral CFS 1997; fibro 1998; CEBV 2005; UCTD (dx limbo) 2007
meds:  occasional low dose xanax for sleep, artificial tears w/ ointment at night, ibuprophin (none of which manages the problems very well!)
We cannot avoid the birds of sadness flying over our heads, but we need not let them make nests in our hair. 
       ~~ Chinese saying as quoted by Helen Nearing

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 9090
   Posted 11/23/2008 12:08 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Cathy...

I'm the same age as you and haven't had a period for many years also. I've had times of palpitations but they aren't that often plus I have a very slight heart murmur. Did the whole cardio thing and my heart is just fine. There's a huge range of "normal" when it comes to hearts and their function. Try to trust your medical team and most of all...try to relax. You're going to be around for a very long time...no way you're about to drop. Stay off caffeine, chocolate, etc...cause that just makes it worse. If I load up on anything of that nature I can count on it thumping me hard.

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Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 17528
   Posted 11/23/2008 12:23 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi!  Well, im 61 and haven't had a period since 1995.  My heart palpatations started about two years ago.  I saw my doctor and he gave me an electrocardiogram, and echocardiogram, an ultrasound of my heart and arteries, and had me wear a monitor for 24 hours.  There was absolutely nothing wrong with my heart.  My blood pressure is actually low side of normal and my cholesterol is excellent, along with the triglycerides.  Soooo, it's fibro doing this.  I don't think about it much any more.  I will get several days when I will have the palpatations and then I might go months before having anymore.  I do think that's because I don't worry about them now.  My doctor did about every test but an angiogram!  LOL
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Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 1512
   Posted 11/23/2008 12:57 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks everyone,
It is comforting to know that these palps might just be "normal".
Lucy..........I'm so glad you said that about the vagus nerve. That's what I've been thinking for a couple of years now. It always seemed as though when my GERD would flare up, so would my palps. I had a horrible day of palps yesterday, along with a horrible day of GI problems. I've been eating alot more bread in the past couple of months, so I'm thinking that is aggravating my GERD. So alot less bread for me. Even though I have absolutely no heartburn, I'm going to start eating like its the GERD, and see if that helps.
I know occasionally on the GERD forum, people ask if there's a connection between heart palps and GERD. Not a ton of people notice it, but there have been just enough to make me think it really IS the case for me. I wish I could take the PPI I used to be on for awhile, just to see if it clears up my palps, but the med gives me horrible headaches.
Anyhow......thanks for sharing your experience with GERD. There used to be a guy on the GERD forum who wrote a book about how most GERD is caused by overconsumption of grain products. He felt that our digestive systems were not made to handle so many carbs, and when we overeat them, they just ferment and cause all the GERD problems. In the recent past, I've really noticed that what gives me the worst GERD symptoms is bread. What a bummer! Its soooooo good!
Awhile back I bought a book and never read it. I think I should read it now. Its called "Life without Bread".
I'm curious Lucy....do you know what blood type you are? I'm O and I think we Os have more trouble with carbs.
Anyhow........thanks everyone for your suggestions and support!
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