I got my pacemaker 3 months ago and since I went back to working out/strength training I have issues with dizziness and a-fib that I did not have before the pacemaker.  Still not to the level I was at before the pacemaker and wondering if anyone else has had this issue.  Also my pulse goes way high (above 150 BPM for some of the workout but not for the whole time.


Rate Response

by Good Dog - 2022-09-08 21:01:52

I wonder if you have the rate response turned-on? Do you know. I would think it is on since you are athletic. I am just guessing, but I've heard others complain that if the rate response is not adjusted properly, it can cause those kind of problems. I can honestly say; "been there, done that". I just went through that experience. Are you sure it is A-fib? Rate response usually needs tweaking to insure that it is all good at different activity levels and you do not have any negative effects. That is the first thing to check. Regardless what is causing it, you need to discuss it with your Doc (EP) and perhaps the PM Tech.

You really need to get to the bottom of this, because it can be dangerous. I am not suggesting that it is, but it only that it may be.

When you determine what is causing it, please come back and post it. It may help someone else!

I wish you the very best!



Rate Response

by Butch P - 2022-09-09 08:49:02

Rate Responce is turned on.  Haven't done any tweaking at activity level as of yet.  They mess with it when I go in but I am just sitting there and not doing anything.  Not sure it is A-fib, just going by what my smart watch tells me.  I do know I get severly dizzy about half-way thru a 1 hour workout.  Doesn't happen everytime but fairly often.  When the figure it out I will post here.

Thanks for Responding



by Good Dog - 2022-09-09 11:03:15

It sometimes takes mulitple tweaks to get rate response optimized. It could be that the upper level is not high enough. It is also possible that your watch is simply detecting ectopic beats which are relatively harmless, but I don't want to assume that. If they interrogate your PM, there is a histogram that should show them how high your pulse was elevated including the extent of how much your heart was working on its own, and also if you had any A-fib episodes. You really need to be an equal partner in tuning your rate response to insure the settings are meeting your needs when exercising. You MUST insist on that! My PM tech had asked me to make a diary of the date and time and pulse rate when I felt bad so that we could work together to pin-down the problem and hopefully the solution. They can adjust the aggressiveness as well as the max and min settings. Here is the thing, you could be getting arrythmias due to your heart taking-over at a time when your PM had not detected the beat and so you can get double beats. They can make you feel awful, but not necessarily dizzy. It is hard to know for sure. I am assuming the problem is the rate response, because it seems that is the only time you experience the issue. However, it is certainly possible that it is something else. I have to run for now.

Do not be bashful in pushing your Doc and/or PM Tech to get to the bottom of this problem. That is what they get paid for!



Rate response

by AgentX86 - 2022-09-09 12:47:36

St. Jude's rate response isn't so great for weight lifting. Like the Medtronic pacemakers, they rely on an accelerometer to modulate heart rate. Lifting weights doesn't move the chest/pacemaker enough to trigger the accelerometer the heart won't increase rate, even though the body needs more oxygen because of the energy expended. Swimmers and, to a lesser degree, cyclists have a lot of trouble with either Medtronic and St. Judes pacemakers.  Boston Scientific also has a "minute respiration" algorithm that senses a higher respiration rate caused by the increased oxygen needs and adjusts heart rate to match.

St. Judes and Medtronic pacemakers are great for runners, where there is a coorelation between footfalls and oxygen needs/heart rate but not so great when the exercise doesn't move the chest as much.

Maybe you can try slowing your routine down so the oxygen demand can remain low.  Save that for cardio exercises that do move the pacemaker.

You know you're wired when...

Your device acts like a police scanner.

Member Quotes

In fact after the final "tweaks" of my pacemaker programming at the one year check up it is working so well that I forget I have it.