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Question
Posted by: DianneL | 2010/05/12

Erratic heart rate

I had a hydatid cyst removed from inside my left lung a number of years ago, and this has caused significant scarring. 5 1/2 years ago i went for a dive medical and they said that as a result of the damage to the lung, my heart had developed a leaky valve. The one side of the heart is enlarging because it is battling to get oxygen from the lung and it also has an extra beat. I swim long distance, and lately have been noticing that that at times my heart will slow down to just over, and some times just under 50 beats/min, and then a few hours later, will be pounding away at over 120 beats/min. I will also start yawning, even when i am not tired, and this can go on for hours. Then the other day my lips went blue. My blood pressure (117/60 at the last check) is low and the only medication i take is an antihistamine. I am female, about to turn 50, and am otherwise healthy. Should i be concerned about this? Can i continue swimming?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageFitnessDoc

Hi DianneL

I think it warrants enough concern to see a doctor. When you add up all the symptoms and the history - the leaky valve, blue lips, drop in BP and the rapid change in heart rate, it's something that you should see a doctor about and have a full stress ECG to diagnose what exactly might be wrong there. I don't mean to alarm you, but to say either yes or no to your last question would be reckless in that there's no identified cause. So you need that diagnosis, and a stress ECG is the way to get it. So you'll have to look at that first, before you can make any decision.

Good luck

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1
Our users say:
Posted by: fitnessdoc | 2010/05/15

Hi DianneL

I think it warrants enough concern to see a doctor. When you add up all the symptoms and the history - the leaky valve, blue lips, drop in BP and the rapid change in heart rate, it's something that you should see a doctor about and have a full stress ECG to diagnose what exactly might be wrong there. I don't mean to alarm you, but to say either yes or no to your last question would be reckless in that there's no identified cause. So you need that diagnosis, and a stress ECG is the way to get it. So you'll have to look at that first, before you can make any decision.

Good luck

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