Minimum Settings Changed?

Hey all- I'm 1 year in from having my PM. Everything had been going fine until this week I kept having some dizzy/nauseous spells this week. Started off right after I excercised, but then dragged on and I was just constantly light headed and dizzy.

Got some bloodwork done, and all came back good. My EP switched my minimum bpm from 60 to 70 and now I feel so much better (at least not light headed and nauseous). It may be too high of a setting, but I'll take the return to normalcy for a few days before I get picky.

My question is- has anyone randomly had to do this? Why would, after a year of nothing, this just started happening now? I hadn't changed anything (well hydrated, eat sodium, same work outs, etc)? 



Minimum settings changed

by Gemita - 2020-05-29 09:31:26

Hello Happy2bealive,

Why now ?  Don’t think anyone can really answer this.  Our bodies are constantly having to adapt to change in response to our environment, health conditions, quality of sleep, medication, lifestyle, diet, stress, both physical and emotional and so on.  I expect Covid-19 is affecting many of us adversely, however much we may feel we are still coping well.  Additionally the pacemaker can be very traumatic for many of us and our bodies may take time to settle down and reveal the right level of support that is required from our pacemaker.  It is all a bit trial and error at the beginning.

I note your bloods were all normal.  Have your doctors suggested some additional monitoring to check for heart rhythm abnormalities which could cause lightheadedness and nausea ?  Is your blood pressure normal ?  In summer we can get dehydrated quickly and this will cause a drop in blood pressure.

I know when I first had my pacemaker and it was set to 60 bpm I initially felt okay but I soon needed more help when I started getting breathless and unstable.  A higher setting of 70 bpm night and day increase was just what I needed to boost my immune system and general health and I continue to be feeling so much better as a result.

Give it time and hopefully you will continue to feel better


Is 70 high?

by Gotrhythm - 2020-05-30 13:49:42

A heart rate of 70 isn't high.  When I was in highschool, back in the last Ice Age, in Health class we were taught a pulse of 72 was "normal," just like a temp of 98.6. 

But it really doesn't matter.The higher setting won't drain the battery faster to any significant degree, and even if it did, that wouldn't matter either. The only right settings are the ones that are right for you. High or low, you want the settings that allow you to feel the best you can and enable you to do the things you like to do.

I had to really push to get my base rate changed from 65 to 70. There was nothing obviously wirong. I didn't get out of breath, but every action, even talking, keeping up with a conversation  seemed hard. The difference between in the quality of my life between 65 and 70 was like the difference between reading in a room where the light is dim and reading in a good light.

As you are learning, the "right" settings can change. Why? [shrug] The fact is, electrical issues do change over time. It's pretty common to need your settings tweaked from time to time.


by Finn - 2020-05-31 23:12:44

Hi, my Dr set mine at 70 from the start, 11 years ago.  He said I'm young(at the time 49 yrs old), even though I pace 95% , changing my setting down to 60 for example will not save enough battery life to avoid an additional generatior change.


Mine was 60, now down to 50.

by bobjohnson - 2020-06-28 02:03:09

Mine was originally 60, but I could feel that weird feeling in the throat quite often and it was working pretty much 100% of the time, so the doc lowered it to 50.  Now I don't have that weird feeling in my throat (like when they do that test to artifically raise it to like 130 in the office) but I am feeling faint on occassiona afetr maybe 30 pushups. Might have to get it cranked up again. 

I'm only 52 and farily active, so was concerned that having it running all the time would run the battery faster and require more changes, but also, seemed like it would weaken my heart, and not allow it to be strengthened.  Not sure how the heart works so maybe I'm wrong. 

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I, too, am feeling tons better since my implant.