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Heart Issue
DaveHeyd posted:
I've had a right bundle branch block for an unknown number of years and doctors have always said it was nothing to be concerned about. Two years ago there was a complete block and a pacemaker was implanted on an emergency basis. The pacemaker is presently pacing the upper chambers approximately 20% of the time and the lower chambers approximately 95% of the time.

My continuing problem is that upon sustained exertion, I just "hit a wall". There is tightness in my chest, I'm out of breath and I have to stop whatever I'm doing. An example of sustained activity would be walking on a moderate upgrade. It requires me to stop a few minutes every 100 yards. The doctors have done a heart catheterization and that showed no blockages of the heart vessels with the heart looking excellent. I have a St Jude's pacemaker and the company representative met with the doctor, technician and myself to attempt to fine tune the pacemaker to be more effective but that didn't help.

In June of 2008 I tested positive for Lyme disease and was treated with time release doxycycline for one week. When the problem with the heart occured in October 2011and the pacemaker was implanted, the doctors suspected the electrical problem was the result of having had Lyme disease. However, the infectious disease doctor disagreed with that diagnosis. I take no prescription medications, just an aspirin, a fish oil supplement and a general vitamin daily.

I'd appreciate any help in determining why sustained activity cannot be tolerated. I'm seventy and in excellent health other than this issue. .
cardiostarusa1 responded:

"My continuing problem is that upon sustained exertion, I just 'hit a wall'. There is tightness in my chest, I'm out of breath and I have to stop whatever I'm doing......."

"The doctors have done a heart catheterization and that showed no blockages of the heart vessels with the heart looking excellent. "

What about a stress-echocardiogram, as this may/can reveal problems (such as in the heart chambers or valves) only when the heart is put under a load, and of course, compare the difference in heart function (includes wall motion) at rest and stress.

How's your lungs doing?

Take care,


WebMD member (since 8/99)



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Bundle branch block

(Pertinent snippets)

Causes, significance and treatment

Bundle branch block (BBB) is a relatively frequent finding on the electrocardiogram.

Sometimes BBB itself needs to be treated; sometimes it indicates significant underlying cardiac disease that needs to be treated; and sometimes it has so little significance that no treatment is necessary at all....

Texas Heart Institute

Bundle Branch Block


If there is nothing else wrong with your heart, you probably will not feel any symptoms of bundle branch block. In fact....


In most cases, bundle branch block does not need treatment. But patients who have....


Learn about the heart's delicate and precise electrical conduction system

Animated Tutorial

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Heart Disease TYPES

Men and Women

Acquired in life or congenital (born with it)

Heart Disease SYMPTOMS

Mayo Clinic

Heart Disease

Heart disease is a broad term used to describe a range of diseases that affects your heart and sometimes the blood vessels......


Learn About the


The Heart: (Human Anatomy) Pictures, Definition, Location in the Body and Heart Problems

How the Heart Pumps

Animated Tutorial


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Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

For more information, visit the Duke Health General and Consultative Heart Care Center