Questions about Prinzmetal

Hi, my name is Teresa. I am 41 yo. I have been diagnoses with Prinzmetals Angina, left ventricular hypertrophy, tachycardia, type 2 diabetes and possibly an arrhythmia. I was admitted to the hospital last month for more testing. They did a nuclear stress test and kept me on a monitor for 48 hours. They also did blood work twice a day. But no better answers than it was probably just the Prinzmetals. I am so tired of going to the hospital and feeling like an idiot. How do you decide when to go to the hospital?

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First of all, what kind of meds do they have you taking for heart spasms etc. Remember that beta blocker make the spasms worse. I was first put on these when I was diagnosed and it make them much worse with my heart rate going down way low. When they finally put me on the right combo , I felt great for a couple of months but the pains came again and I had to increase my dosage of Imdur. I too felt like such an idiot going to the ER every time becasue the spasms would just about overwhelm me so I couldn't concentrate and was so tired I could barely walk. I go to the hospital now when I have taken two nitro then a lorazapam then a third nitro and the pain has not gone away. Have not done this since last October and then was put on the nitro drip which wasn't scary at all but took all the pressure away while I was on the drip. When I got home a day or two later the pains came back and to the cardio I went who had to adjust my meds until I felt better. Had to quit work so I could relax and take a nitro whenever I could feel a spasm coming on. Now I just know when to lay down and take it easy and if the pain doesn't go away in a minute or two then I take a nitro. It really just takes experience with having this condition to learn when to go to the ER, when to call my cardio on the phone and tell him what I'm feeling. I have his cell phone number in more emergency situations which is my safety net. If you feel like you need to go to the ER, please do. These spasms can cause heart attacks of which I have had. Two !!!! These happened during a very very stressful time in my life before I was diagnosed. Click on my name to get all prior info.

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Right now I am on Metoprolol (which is a beta blocker) and Nitro. I am on the beta blocker because my heart rate is too high. I am going to talk to my cardiologist about changing it at my next appt. I was diagnoses almost six years ago but it seems to be getting worse. I went to the hospital last month because the chest pains were so bad and my Nitro wasn't helping at all. They had me on the Nitro paste and the tablets and it still took hours to get it under control. They kept me in the hospital for two days and a million tests only to say it was just my prinzmetals acting up again. I don't have insurance so I have to go to a free clinic and I see a different doctor every time so its really hard having to explain what prinzmetals is and what has been done so far. Right now I usually wait until the pain is horrible and the nitro isn't working to go to the ER.

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I have to second what special85 said about beta blockers. While I know some have no issues with them, I have heard of more Prinzmetal's patients than not that cannot tolerate BBs. I am one that had a heart attack due, in part, due to my spasms and it was within a few weeks of being placed back on the BB. If you can get a doctor to prescribe something other than a BB to get your heart rate down you may notice a significant improvement in your symptoms.

Hope you get answers soon -

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I dont have Prinzmetals but microvascular disease in small cardiac vessels so I get spasms too but there are many women here that have had heart attacks with Prinzmetals. It can be very serious, ask the cardio dr when you should go in. I too have tachycardia without my beta blocker but to help spasms a calcium channel blocker is better, you may also want to explore long acting nitrates. It is hard to know when to go in, I wish I knew the answer to that one! I just recently made my first trip in 3 years cause my symptoms very different than usual, I know it can make one feel foolish but it would probably more foolish not to go in and get checked out.
I hope you feel better

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I am wondering if you are still taking the beta blocker and no calcium channel blocker? Some of us ( not me) do OK on both BB and CCBs. CCBs are really needed for the spasms. Ask the doctor if there is a combination that might work for you if you have to stay on the Betas for the racing. I think it is hard for you with not having a regular doctor. Joyce

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