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  #1   ^
Old Tue, Jul-16-02, 04:47
Jinkster's Avatar
Jinkster Jinkster is offline
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Posts: 72
 
Plan: Atkins
Stats: 165/140/130
BF:
Progress: 71%
Location: Charlottesville, VA
Exclamation Heart palpitations

Hi all,

For the past week I've been experiencing what I can only describe as heart palpitations -- every now and then for no apparent reason, usually towards evening, my heart feels like it double-thumps right in my throat. Very disturbing, although apparently benign (for now). I'm 26 and I know it's never happened to me before.

Ok, so has anyone experienced this? Not enough water, too much fat, lack of an essential vitamin? I haven't been drinking any more caffeine than I usually do either.

Thanks in advance for any advice...I figured I'd ask you guys before I went paranoid and called the doctor.

-Jinkster
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  #2   ^
Old Tue, Jul-16-02, 06:48
Natrushka Natrushka is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 11,512
 
Plan: IF +LC
Stats: 287/165/165 Female 66"
BF:
Progress: 100%
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Are you replacing your potassium with a supplement? When you lose that water weight as a result of LCing you also lose electrolytes, potassium among them. Deficiencies in potassium can feel like a panic attack - palpitations, mind racing, dizziness. You can also feel generally fatigued, achey muscles and foggy brained.

400 mg of potassium daily is the recommendation by the Eades in Protein Power. You can either pop four 99mg pills or take 1/8th of a teaspoon on NuSalt with a very large glass of water. (it's much cheaper than popping pills and a lot easier). Potassium should be supplemented until you reach maintenance and even then on very hot days and when you've been engaging in intense exercise.

Of course if you have heart problems or are on medication for blood pressure and or a heart condition you should consult your doctor before taking potassium. Something else to think about : LCing lowers blood pressure - blood pressure that is very low can also make you feel as described above.

Nat
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  #3   ^
Old Tue, Jul-16-02, 07:36
Jinkster's Avatar
Jinkster Jinkster is offline
Registered Member
Posts: 72
 
Plan: Atkins
Stats: 165/140/130
BF:
Progress: 71%
Location: Charlottesville, VA
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Thanks for the quick and informative reply, Nat!

Just to elucidate: I have no heart problems that I know of and I'm taking no medication at all. I have been supplementing with potassium on the days that I work out, which winds up being every 3 or 4 days - and I don't know how much I've been taking. I'm sure it's less than 400! What's interesting is that I don't have any of the other symptoms of potassium deficiency that you mention, but I'm guessing it affects everyone differently. I also know that caffeine causes a potassium loss and I've been drinking my share of coffee recently...

As for low blood pressure...interesting, I hadn't heard that before. I'm not aware of having exceptionally low blood pressure but I guess it's possible Maybe I'll check myself out on one of those machines in drug stores

-Jinkster
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  #4   ^
Old Tue, Jul-16-02, 09:39
tofi's Avatar
tofi tofi is offline
Posts: 6,204
 
Plan: Atkins
Stats: 244/220/170 Female 65.4inches
BF:
Progress: 32%
Location: Ontario
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You might also be more sensitive to the caffeine now that you are on LC. I know that alcohol has a much bigger kick when I have been keeping LC than before.

Without insulin surges, we notice it more. By the way, caffeine can elicit an inusulin surge and give you the shakes, etc. perhaps that's the cause. Try mixing decaff with the coffee to reduce the amount of caffeine gradually.



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  #5   ^
Old Tue, Jul-16-02, 11:18
nawchem's Avatar
nawchem nawchem is offline
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Posts: 7,371
 
Plan: atkins
Stats: 29/25/12 Female 62
BF:
Progress: 24%
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I also had palpitations the first 6 weeks of lowcarbing. I found out that I have mitral valve prolapse. About 10% of the population has this condition and usually there are very few symptoms. I thought I might be low on potassium but the blood test showed that I was fine.

People with mitral valve get symptoms at times from lack of sleep, caffeine, dehydration, stress. You might get a checkup for this, it is your heart we're talking about. I was 39 when I was diagnosed.

I found that drinking lots of water made the palpitations go away. I think my body has adjusted to the initial fluid loss that ketosis caused and I don't have it anymore.

Good luck,
Nancy
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  #6   ^
Old Wed, Jul-17-02, 00:21
Rkhinman's Avatar
Rkhinman Rkhinman is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 289
 
Plan: Dr. Atkins
Stats: 326/280/155 Male 5'6
BF:37
Progress: 27%
Location: Lee's Summit, MO
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Also, if you are stacking (using ephedrene, caffeine, and aspirin) to loose weight then that's probably it.

Stackers are things lie Xenadrine, Diet Fuel, Metabolife, etc
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  #7   ^
Old Wed, Jul-17-02, 08:34
Jinkster's Avatar
Jinkster Jinkster is offline
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Posts: 72
 
Plan: Atkins
Stats: 165/140/130
BF:
Progress: 71%
Location: Charlottesville, VA
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Just so y'all know, I started taking potassium yesterday afternoon and haven't had a palpitation since! Woohoo!

It's amazing all the things that have potassium that I no longer eat...orange juice, milk, potatos. I'm definitely going to add spinach and avocados into my diet more regularly as a natural supplement as well.

Thanks everyone
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  #8   ^
Old Wed, Jul-17-02, 11:48
doreen T's Avatar
doreen T doreen T is offline
Forum Founder
Posts: 35,054
 
Plan: DANDR '92
Stats: 236/187/140 Female 5'5"
BF:
Progress: 51%
Location: Eastern ON, Canada
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Many low carb foods are naturally high in potassium.
  • 1 can (7 oz/ 200g) sockeye salmon - 1,391mg
  • 1 medium california avocado - 1,097mg
  • 1/2 pkg (5 oz/ 140g) spinach - 824mg
  • 1 medium stalk broccoli - 526mg
  • 1/3 cup natural sunflower seed kernels - 331mg
  • 1/2 cup canned diced tomatoes - 290mg
  • 1 Tbsp dutch process unsw. cocoa powder - 254mg
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted natural peanut butter - 214mg
  • 1/8 tsp potassium-salt substitute - 325 to 500mg
Reading your first post here made me think dehydration Are you drinking lots and lots of water? Coffee, tea and diet sodas don't count as part of your daily water intake, since the caffeine, tannins and other substances in them can be diuretic and cause you to lose fluid. In the hot weather, you really need to up the water intake. Barest minimum is 8 x 8 oz glasses daily (64 oz) PLUS another 8 oz glass for every 25 lbs you need to lose. More is better.

Dehydration and low potassium often go hand in hand. When you start to increase your potassium intake, then it's important you also increase the water too.

Glad you're feeling better

Doreen
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  #9   ^
Old Wed, Jul-17-02, 20:49
Kent's Avatar
Kent Kent is offline
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Posts: 356
 
Plan: Atkins
Stats: 256/220/215 Male 78 inches
BF:36/28/20
Progress: 88%
Location: Colorado
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Hi Jinkster,

Quote:
For the past week I've been experiencing what I can only describe as heart palpitations -- every now and then for no apparent reason, usually towards evening, my heart feels like it double-thumps right in my throat.


This may be completely prevented by taking potassium as you have found, but it may still reoccur from time to time. I use Morton's Salt Substitute, potassium chloride, as well as common table salt, sodium chloride, to balance electrolytes. Most LC foods are natural and contain very little sodium chloride in contrast to manufactured foods which are generally loaded with it.

Athletes also have this problem which has some relationship to being very healthy and having a very slow heart rate at rest. This is typical toward evening or bedtime when the body naturally reduces the pulse rate. The low pulse rate has a delayed or skipped beat which can be followed by a sharp beat or two close beats. This condition in athletes does not cause any health problem that I could determine in my research.

Kent
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  #10   ^
Old Thu, Jul-18-02, 08:35
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K.T. K.T. is offline
New Member
Posts: 7
 
Plan: Atkins
Stats: 140/134/123
BF:
Progress: 35%
Location: Southeast
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I love this web site!!! The amount of helpful information found here is amazing. I, too, have been experiencing several "anxiety attacks" a day for several days. Now I know that it is a combination of too little water, too much caffeine ( I have really got to get off that stuff), and not enough potassium. Thanks for all of the good advice everybody! Gotta go drink some water now
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  #11   ^
Old Mon, Aug-04-03, 11:49
Kent's Avatar
Kent Kent is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 356
 
Plan: Atkins
Stats: 256/220/215 Male 78 inches
BF:36/28/20
Progress: 88%
Location: Colorado
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I had a few heart palpitations that were mainly cause by eating to much salty foods like fried pork rinds and high salt cheese. My blood pressure was moderately high at 150/95. Reducing the salt and adding potassium helped reduce the palpitation greatly, but they still seemed to be borderline. My blood pressure dropped to the 145/85 range.

I was reading Drs. Michael and Mary Dan Eades book, Protein Power Lifeplan, and found the section on magnesium especially interesting. I had been taking 500 mg. of chelated magnesium twice a day and 1000 mg. of chelated calcium per day and thought that was more than adequate, but I decided to increase the magnesium another 500 mg. per day and keep the calcium at 1000 mg. I also kept salt intake low and switch to "No Salt Added" Swiss cheese from Safeway. These values are for a large male with 160 pounds lean body mass and should be adjusted for smaller people.

The magnesium will take several weeks or months to build up in the body so don't expect immediate results. However, my heart palpitations stopped within a few weeks and have not returned. Heart rate is very steady and equally spaced. My blood pressure has dropped further to the 125/75 range and was measured on two different days at about 109/68. AWESOME. I was still drinking regular caffeine coffee, some diet colas and caffeine black tea. I found the caffeine had no effect as is commonly claimed.

The higher magnesium is also very good for the bones. Magnesium may be more important for bone health than calcium according to Drs. Eades, and I agree. Avoid excessive calcium because the excess depletes the magnesium. Excess sodium also depletes both potassium and calcium. Give it a try and let us know if it works the same for you.

Preventing Osteoporosis, Bone Loss, Hip Fractures and Degenerative Disk Disease.

Kent

Last edited by Kent : Mon, Aug-04-03 at 11:50.
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  #12   ^
Old Mon, Dec-08-03, 12:31
psybermagu's Avatar
psybermagu psybermagu is offline
New Member
Posts: 1
 
Plan: Quasi-atkins
Stats: 192/182/175 Male 6 feet 2 inches
BF:
Progress:
Location: New York City
Talking Thank You!!!

hey, all...i've been freaking out about the heart palpitations...i get them every night when i lie down for bed...after about a minute, BOOM BOOM BOOM...the thumping is so hard i have a lot of difficulty getting to sleep. this has caused me to quit induction before. i had an EKG done just to be sure, and my doc said there was nothing wrong, just electrolyte imbalance probably...

i'm glad, though, to know that others experience this and that there is a way to remedy the situation.

i used to almost pass out sometimes after standing up too quickly...

anyway, thanks for all the good advice and information.
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  #13   ^
Old Mon, Dec-08-03, 13:15
Kent's Avatar
Kent Kent is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 356
 
Plan: Atkins
Stats: 256/220/215 Male 78 inches
BF:36/28/20
Progress: 88%
Location: Colorado
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Hi psybermagu,

Check out my new web page about heart palpitations. It may have more information than I posted earlier here.

Blood Pressure Control, Heart Palpitations, Arrhythmias and Blood Testing.

Kent
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  #14   ^
Old Sun, Apr-25-04, 21:04
bigbadwolf bigbadwolf is offline
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Posts: 1
 
Plan: Atkins
Stats: 205/190/130 Female 64 inches
BF:
Progress:
Unhappy Heart Palpitations

I have been doing the Atkins program since the beginning of January with only limited success (only 10 pounds lost in 3 months)! So, I decided to go on the "fat fast" described to overcome metabolic resistance. I ended the 4 day "fast" last night and started back on the Induction phase this morning. Now I'm experiencing heart palpitations which are causing me to cough and feel a little nauseated. I've had 2 episodes so far. Has anyone else experienced these problems?
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