Q: Hi, I am 25 and have a problem with my pulse. It’s on average 20 to 30 beats per minute faster than normal. It pounds after I eat stuff…even very small meals. It’s fast when I wake up and when I try to exercise. It is very difficult to live with this and I was wondering if there are some herbs that can help keep my pulse at a normal 80 beats a minute resting. Also, this is not anxiety related. I have seen a cardiologist and was put on a couple different medicines, but I really would much rather be on herbs.
A: It would help to know what the doctor said was causing the problem. Tacchycardia can be caused from low blood pressure, hyperthyroidism, excessive epinephrine secretion, etc. It would be a real good idea to find out what the underlying cause is.
Exercise is good for lowering heart rate, but it will unlikely be of much benefit if you have a problem with hyperthyroidism or an adrenal tumor.
If hyperthyroidism is present then bugleweed will be your best best. If there is heart disease present then a mild cardiac glycoside like cactus grandiflorus (night blooming cereus) could be used or coleus forskohlii, which works in a similar manner, but is not a cardiac glycoside source. These will drop blood presure though so you should monitor your blood pressure and avoid them if your pressure is low. Adrenal tumors are rare, and the list is long ffor what can be used. So I am not going to type a list on this one unless that has been diagnosed. Also keep in mind that many medications are capable of causing tacchycardia. If you were on any medications previously you ought to check to see if this is a side effect of those medications.
Q: My blood presure is normal. I don’t have hyperthyroidism. If anything I might have a low thyroid because my temperature is always below normal. When I saw an endocrinologist he checked my adranal glands and they seem to be normal too. The cardiologist prescribed Tenormin and calcium channel blocker to try and control the pulse, but it’s not working. There is no other problem with my heart but this rapid pulse problem and this was verified with an EKG and stress test.
The only thing that seemed to help it was when I was taking Lopressor. The Lopressor would push my pulse to 60, but as soon as the drug wore off my pulse would slam up to 100 or more resting. This would happen in about 12 hours and I’d rush to get another pill cause I can’t stand feeling my heart. Then the cardiologist thought Tenormin would be better.
I use to be a very active person, but since this problem I can’t even stand to go hiking or even walking. I keep avoiding the things I use to like to do cause it’s like having to work so much harder. It’s also embarrassing in front of other people having to stop cause your heart is pounding from such lite activity.
Really wish there was something natural I could use.
A: I would suggest trying the coleus forskohlii. It is not real common, but Gaia has the tincture which will make you gag. Capsules are available from Nature’s Answer. Directions are on the bottle.
You should also continue to try and find the source of the problem. Did the EKG show any other abnormalities like an atopic pacemaker? If you are not sure, does your pulse have a regular or irregular rhythm?