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Dear Dearest  


Dear Dearest Q&A's
Name: Kerry

What about palpitations, rapid heart beats and pounding heart beats? It's driving me crazy. Thanks, Kerry.

Kerry, very possible. My first inclination is to say, "Absolutely, yes, one of the most annoying symptoms of menopause is palpitations and skipped heartbeats." I can speak from experience about this one because I suffered with severe palpitations throughout the worst part of perimenopause (which, as you know by now, can last anywhere from 2 to 12 years -- sorry to be the bearer of unpleasant news).

However, I believe every woman has to have a complete physical examination, especially when she enters perimenopause because so many things are changing. Have your blood pressure checked, cholesterol, FSH levels, estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, DHEA, et al. There are messages in our archives containing the questions you need to ask your doctor, especially during menopause. The tests you should ask for, etc.

Be certain to eliminate any medical conditions or possibilities before attibuting everything to menopause. Once you get a clean bill of health from your internist and/or cardiologist and know that you have a healthy heart, you have to look at a few possibilities. Allergies is one. A very common side effect of food and drug reactions is palpitations. Stress, itself, can cause palpitations. Many women using hormone replacement therapy who've passed through Power Surge complain of palpitations. There's no universal answer.

So, let's say your heart checks out fine. You're not on HRT. You have palpitations. You should ask yourself a few questions, such as when do they occur? Are you stressed at the time? Do they occur at the same time as a hot flash? Do you notice a pattern of fear when you experience a hot flash? When you have palpitations, does that frighten you and cause worse palpitations? How is your weight? Do you exercise? Does exercising, itself, cause palpitations? What type of personality are you?

I know - lots of questions to which, believe it or not, most people don't have one pat answer - including doctors. There are things you can do to help yourself. I can only recommend what I've tried myself after a lot of reading and research. Read the page, Power Surge Recommends. There's a whols host of vitamins and herbs you can try to erradicate the palps.

I stress magnesium because it's proven to be effective in helping palps. Next time you experience a bout of palps, try taking 500 mg. of magnesium. Get yourself on a regimen of 1,000 mg. per day - in two doses. Make sure you're taking vitamin "E" every day -- as long as there are no blood pressure issues. Vitamin "E" can cause elevated blood pressure in a person prone to hypertension. Read the above refererenced page to find other things you can try, such as Coenzyme Q 10, Selenium, Taurine, L-Carnitine. I take these every day.

There's an herb called Motherwort which is helpful to some. There are relaxants like St. John's Wort, kava kava, valerian root, something called Calms Forte - many things you can try.

There are enzymes and anti-oxidants you should be taking if you're suffering from regular palpitations -- things like L-Taurine, Co Enzyme Q-10 (CO Q10), selenium, L-tyrosine.

Lower your sugar intake. Sugar can cause palpitations. Try cutting down on carbohydrates. Avoid drink alcohol or smoking. These all contribute to aggravating palpitations.

Read the transcripts in the Power Surge Library

I'd pay special attention to those of Charlotte Libov, a medical journalist whose focus is on heart issues in women. I would also recommend an excellent book by former Power Surge guest, Dr. Robert Atkins (his transcript is there, too). His book is Dr. Atkins Vita-Nutrient Solution - Nature's Answer To Drugs . I have found this book PRICELESS. He provides various protocols of vitamins for various issues, a few being menopause, palpitations and stress. He's not only a cardiologist, but a brilliant nutritionist, very savvy in alternative, aka complementary medicine.

Read the Power Surge Newsletters to find methods to cope with your menopausal issues.

Whatever you do VISIT THE MESSAGE BOARDS! This area is one of the most supportive areas of Power Surge, both on AOL and this Web site.
Finally, print out this message. You can read a million books, take a zillion vitamins, exercise until you're beet red and pooped -- but no matter what you do, you won't find anything that works as well as the support and camaraderie you find in this group :)

Feel better. We're all here for you :)

Power Surge Founder

Information provided by Dearest is general in nature and should not be construed as a substitute for a visit to and examination by your own health care practitioner.
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