pacemaker syndrome

I have had my two lead medtronic pacemaker for SSS for one year now,today my card doc tells me I might have pacemaker syndrome. I still lack the energy that I had before the pacemaker and I get lightheaded on stairs, not much stamina and I get cold very easily. Has anyone faced this problem, your thoughts or insights would be welcomed.
Thanks, Gary


3 Comments

Pacemaker Syndrome

by BOB 1 - 2008-04-30 05:04:15

TOGUY, I know you didn't ask what is pacemaker syndrome, but I expect some readers will be like me and wonder what in the heck is that? Below is an article I from a comment I saw on the PM Club site several months ago. Bob 1

What is pacemaker syndrome?
Rarely, pacemakers can make some symptoms better but cause new symptoms. People with pacemakers may no longer have fainting spells, but they feel tired and listless. They notice pounding in the neck or chest, and generally don't feel as good during daily activities as they once did. This is called pacemaker syndrome.

Why does it occur?
The heart's pumping action depends on a number of things. It needs good inflow from the veins, a proper rate of beating, and heart muscle that squeezes well. The heart also needs to squeeze in a proper pattern. Each heartbeat starts with squeezing (contraction) of the upper heart chambers (atria). A short pause is then followed by contraction of the lower heart chambers (ventricles). If the pattern is changed even slightly, the heart doesn't pump efficiently.

Artificial pacemakers may help the ventricles, the atria, or both to contract (squeeze) at the proper time. They are designed to follow the heart's normal rhythm. They can be fine-tuned to maintain the normal pattern of the heartbeat.

However, in some people a pacemaker impulse may travel backward. This may cause the atria to contract at the wrong time. A pacemaker that fires at a constant rate may be just fine for someone at rest but may not work well for exercise. Either of these situations may cause symptoms.

How is it diagnosed?
People with pacemakers help make the diagnosis by telling their doctor about their symptoms. An electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG) or a 24-hour tape recording of the heart's electrical activity may be needed to identify just what's happening. The doctor may find abnormal pulses in the veins of the neck during a physical exam.

How is it treated?
Pacemakers can be programmed to change their pattern. The doctor may change heart rates, strength of impulse, and the small built-in pauses that are part of heart contraction. Most of the symptoms can be made better by changing these settings. Several tries with different settings may be necessary. On rare occasions, the pacemaker may need to be replaced by one that can pace both the atria and ventricles, or by a pacemaker that can respond to exercise by increasing its beating rate.

With the right pacemaker and the right adjustments almost all pacemaker syndromes disappear.

Me too

by gmnordy - 2008-04-30 06:04:20

My EP dr said I also have pacemaker syndrome. I have never been the same since my pm was put in. I have horrible dizzy spells, fainting, extreme fatigue and just can barely make it through an entire day. I suppose I should not complain, the pm is keeping me alive. I am totally dependent on it now.

PMS

by ElectricFrank - 2008-05-04 12:05:21

gary,
I have a different take on Pacemaker Syndrome. While the symptoms are real and there is some real reason why it is happening, the diagnosis is just a graceful way for the doc to say he hasn't the foggiest what is happening. This is true of most of the diagosis that end in "syndrome".

Have you had an appointment with the pacemaker manufacturers representative? Most docs and cardiologists are not very well versed in the intricacy's of the electrical systems of the heart. It is out of their field. That doesn't say the they aren't excellent surgeons, etc. I would check into it.

frank

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