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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - March 19, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta 18-THE LETHiRIDGE HERALD Tutaday, March 19, 1974 Lawrence Lamb M.D. Dear Dr. Lamb For approximately five years my wife has had periods where her heart pounds hard or flutters, she feels faint and her fingers tingle. I cannot leel any pulse at her wrist during these periods. These actions used to be spaced months apart, but lately they are a lot closer together, and the periods last longer (10 She has seen a doctor of internal medicine who gave her an electrocardiogram test twice. Each time he has said "there is nothing wrong, you are a, woman and lots of people have these spells all the time." This alibi does not help you at all As I understand it, an electrocardiogram test shows heart damage or change. We would like to remedy this problem before the damage is done. She is 40, not overweight, does not drink or smoke. Would you have any comments on this situation? Dear Reader From your story, I presume your wife started having this problem when she was about 35. The story suggests two possible causes. Your wife may be having an irregularity of the heart These may occur in attacks as you describe. In this case often the only evidence of the irregularity that you can see on an electrocardiogram occurs during the attack. The heart tracing really has two purposes, first it shows the rate and rhythm of the heartbeat, and second it provides evidence of heart muscle damage, as in the case of a heart attack. Doctors and patients are both frustrated with recurrent attacks of irregularity. It seems that the episodes have a way of happening outside the doctor's office and never when he wants to take a record to see what it is. There is a solution to this too. but it is sometimes difficult to accomplish and expensive The new portable tape recorders can record your heart rate continuously for hours and even days, and when the attack occurs you then have a record of what it really was. I would like to reassure you that most of the irregularities of the heart, in a young person who has no evidence of heart disease, are not really dangerous. They are very annoying. Your wife is probably in this category because her medical examination didn't show anything. Incidentally, irregularities of this sort can be treated if that is what the problem is. There are medicines that can be taken to calm down the heart muscle and prevent the irregular beats from taking over the heart. The other possibility is that your wife over breathing, a condition called hyperventilation. I think of this because of your comment about her hands tingling Overbreathing can cause irregularities of the heart and the tingling sensation The next time your wife one of these ask her to breathe very slowly and in a shallow manner. That may help her Do not ask her to hold her breath. Breath holding in these circumstances can cause her to pass out. Send your questions to Dr. Lamb, in care of this newspaper, P.O. Box 1551, Radio City Station, New York, N.Y. 10019. For a copy of Dr. Lamb's booklet on balanced diet, send 50 cents to the same address and ask for "Balanced Diet" booklet. Fun with figures By J. A. H. HUNTER Each distinct letter stand for a particular but different digit. You know what's odd and what's even' Well, the GONGS here will not be odd! You figure it out. I) I X (i D 0 N (J G 0 (i 0 N (J S Thanks for an idea to G. Ferrell, Huntsville, Alabama. (Answer tomorrow) Mr Hunter answers all letters: ideas welcomed. Goren on Bridge BY CHARLES H. GOREN ic, OT4, Tte TriMMt Both vulnerable. North deals. NORTH M V KM 3 0 Q95 AKQJ85 WEST EAST 4 K965 AJ843