Sunday, August 21, 2011

Pregnancy Anemia

So I recently had my blood drawn at my 28 week appointment. I discovered 2 things. One, I failed my one hour glucose test, which means I have to go in tomorrow for the 3 hour test. I was gestational diabetic with my first daughter, and I'm expecting the same diagnosis later this week. I also discovered that I was anemic so I need to start taking iron supplements. One of the symptoms of anemia in addition to fatigue, shortness of breath, and headaches is...heart palpitations. Bingo. Maybe that's why I've been feeling so many of those nasty misbeats lately. And hopefully, now that I'm taking the iron pills, I'll see a reduction in the number of palpitations I get (especially before bedtime.)

Fingers crossed.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Left or Right Side?

I mentioned in my last post, that I tend to experience more palpitations when I lay on my left side before falling asleep. So, I usually find relief when I flip over and lay on my right side. I've heard conflicting thoughts about whether to lay on your left or right side. I'm of the mind, you do what works best for you.

But since I'm curious, do you find a better side to relieve heart palpitations when you lay down? I'd love to hear from you.

The right side vs. the left side???

Thursday, August 11, 2011

And the Beat Goes On

I'm so sorry to all my readers. I have been an absolute horrible blogger recently. I got pregnant and that caused a whole myriad of things to prevent me from blogging regularly (nausea, fatigue, keeping up with a toddler, appointments, etc).

But I'm doing well, and I'm nearing the end of my second trimester. We found out that we are having another little girl (yay for sisters!) and she's due to arrive in mid November.

How are my heart palpitations these days, you may ask? Oh, they are a pretty active right now! Some women say that pregnancy makes them better and others say that they make them worse. In fact, many women first experience the sensation of palpitations when they become pregnant. This causes many anxious and frightened mama-to-be's to report this symptom to their doctors. Usually, the doctor reassures the mama that these are normal and for many lucky women, they go away after pregnancy.

Mine come almost every day. Some really scare the beejeezus out of me. But for the most part, I've come to accept their annoyances. They are especially bad as I lay down before I go to sleep. I've noticed that if I lay on my right side, they seem to diminish somewhat. And if they are really annoying, I'll sometimes prop myself up with several pillows and sleep upright. They are not too bad when I'm active, but no surprise there. Most of us PVCers are more aware of them when we are sedentary. That doesn't mean they don't occur when I'm up and about; I just don't feel them.

I'm most nervous about the heart palpitations during the post-partum period. Lack of sleep and caring for a new baby and a toddler is a recipe for stress-induced palpitations. I've mentioned before on my blog that my cousin Beth past away within the year of giving birth to her 4th child. There has been much discussion over the cause of her death, but most of her doctors think that she may have had Long QT syndrome, a condition that causes palpitations, fainting, and sudden death. Findings indicate that among women with LQTS who gave birth, the 9-month postpartum time is associated with a 2.7-fold increased risk of experiencing a cardiac event and a 4.1-fold increased risk of experiencing a life-threatening event when compared with the preconception time period. After this transient high-risk postpartum period, the risk of cardiac events reverts to the baseline pre-pregnancy risk. What does this all mean for me? I've been tested over and over and my doctors feel fairly certain that I do not have this genetic condition. So, I shouldn't worry about an increase risk of sudden-death during the post partum period. But when you have a family member die after giving birth, it does make you a bit anxious.