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HELP! Freaked out by pharmacist's pulse rate worry during BP check


Tiny dancer
S: 9st7lb C: 9st1lb G: 7st9lb BMI: 24.8 Loss: 0st6lb(4.51%)
My local pharmacist did my BP check yesterday morning - BP was fine, but my pharmacist was very concerned because my pulse "varied wildly" between the three readings. She advised me to get an ECG because she thought there might be something wrong with my heart! :eek::eek::eek:

So, obviously worried, I made a doctor's appointment for next Friday.

Which is when I realised I had had a really strong espresso before leaving the house that morning.

I'm still learning how to use my espresso machine, and it was really strong - I normally drink loads of instant coffee without any ill effects, but yesterday I was feeling a bit palpitatey all day.

I also suffer with anxiety. Could those two things have skewed my pulse rate?

I'm really worried and I don't know what to think. I half-want to talk to my LLC about it at WI tomorrow, but I'm afraid she'll tell me to come off LL.

I don't want to die, obviously, but I also don't want to come off LL until I see the doctor - I've lost almost a stone now and I feel so much better for it!

Is a fast/slow pulse rate even cause for concern?

I've had my BP checked/chest listened-to by the doctor numerous times before, and they've never said anything.

Sorry for the length and rambliness of this, but I'm confused and worried and don't know what to do, apart from maybe to stick to instant coffee....

Have any of you been through anything similar? Any advice appreciated - thanks in advance...
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S: 12st6lb C: 10st8lb G: 9st7lb BMI: 28 Loss: 1st12lb(14.94%)
it could well have been the coffee - and then panic when the readings were different.

have you tried taking your pulse yourself since?

do you feel ok, have you been feeling ill at all recently?

if not i wouldn't let it bother you too much - just see what the doc has to say

one thing is for sure, worrying will only make it worse unfortunately

daisy x


Tiny dancer
S: 9st7lb C: 9st1lb G: 7st9lb BMI: 24.8 Loss: 0st6lb(4.51%)
Thanks Daisy.

Apparently my pulse rate varied between 80-something and 65, so not abnormal, just different. I don't really know how to take my pulse - boyfriend did it last night and said "it's a bit fast, but then you're not very fit" (thanks!).

Actually, I just had a (less strong) espresso in my bananmochaccino this morning and feel a bit palpitatey again.

I've been feeling so much more well since I started LL - a bit tired the last few days but figured that was me being pre-menstrual/me cooking one pack a day and losing some of the nutrition.

Arrrg. Friday is a long way away. Maybe I should call NHS Direct for advice?


Tiny dancer
S: 9st7lb C: 9st1lb G: 7st9lb BMI: 24.8 Loss: 0st6lb(4.51%)
Oh and just to clarify, I walked to the pharmacy (about half a mile away) - they got me to sit down for 15 minutes "and relax" before the test but I was still a bit anxious throughout (I always get anxious when someone tells me to relax!). Apparently the BP was consistent but pulse was high, then low, then high. Hmph.


Staff member
S: 18st2lb C: 16st1lb G: 11st2lb Loss: 2st1lb(11.42%)
really strong espresso
My own experience of espresso coffee happened
a few years back a friend of mine was into making really strong espresso...I never had an espresso coffee before and when I tasted it I just loved:) So went and had a second...:eek: This was late in the evening:sigh:

My heart was racing and I was bursting with energy and spent six hours spring cleaning the house in the middle of the night as I could not sleep.

Needless to say I stay away from espresso coffee now.

Stop drinking the coffee and go back and have your heart rate checked again in a few days time.

Here is a link about a young girl who overdosed on espresso coffee.

Overdose drama of girl who had 14 cups of espresso | Mail Online

Love Mini xxx


Tiny dancer
S: 9st7lb C: 9st1lb G: 7st9lb BMI: 24.8 Loss: 0st6lb(4.51%)
Thanks Mini - I only started having espressos in my banana/chocolate hot shakes because it tasted nicer than instant!

Think I'll knock it on the head though, and go back as you suggest. Palpitations are really not fun at all.
a range of 65-80 is only a difference of 15. Your pulse will go up more than 15 when you stand up!!

I think your pharmacist has scared you totally unnecessarily to be honest. 65-80 is a good resting pulse. your pulse is rarely consistent from one minute to the next, even when you're sleeping. If you were anxious it would have been all over the place. Plus you'd walked to the pharmacist so your body would have been in recovery mode.

I'm not sure they should recommend an ECG to you. Not especially professional given they didn't take your medical history.

Go to your GP for peace of mind but from what you say, it really isn't anything to worry about....and you're certainly not going to die.

So long as your BP was fine, your LLC won't get you to come off LL I'm sure.

Relax and don't think about it...that's the best way to make things settle down xx


Tiny dancer
S: 9st7lb C: 9st1lb G: 7st9lb BMI: 24.8 Loss: 0st6lb(4.51%)
Thanks - that's really put my mind at rest. I've never had any heart problems, but I don't know anything about pulse rates at all, and the pharmacist was very insistent.

Glad I'm not likely to keel over! My anxiety sometimes provokes me towards slight hypochondria when I'm stressed, and I was really happy because I was staying on top of it since starting LL... and now this.

So thanks loads :)


Is back in the saddle!
S: 15st1lb C: 14st5.8lb G: 12st7.0lb BMI: 31.6 Loss: 0st9.2lb(4.36%)
I don't drink espresso anymore because it gave me palpitations. It's lethal stuff!

I should get it checked anyway, and don't end up with white coat syndrome worrying about it!!!! But I bet it's the espresso.


Tiny dancer
S: 9st7lb C: 9st1lb G: 7st9lb BMI: 24.8 Loss: 0st6lb(4.51%)
And I only had the one!

Thanks everyone for all your advice and support. Feeling a bit stupid now :) x


I Can Do This!
S: 18st12lb C: 12st9lb G: 9st6lb BMI: 29.5 Loss: 6st3lb(32.95%)
Stupid - no, relieved - I'm sure.

I agree with all the advice provided. Bin the espressos, or at least restrict them to moderate strength and just occasionally. Go get your pulse checked again and then see the doctor if you feel it will help.

This is the place to ask these questions and put your mind at rest. It was a very valid question that will be of interest to others reading the boards I'm sure.



Playing the Angel
S: 14st3lb C: 8st7lb G: 9st2lb BMI: 20.4 Loss: 5st10lb(40.2%)
Hey Hun

Glad you are feeling better, I also think your pharmacist was a scaremonger, I think espresso is fine, just in a very limited quantity. Lots of things can raise our pulse rate even shopping and finding that great bargain!! I also had a bit of a scaremonger doc before I started, because my BP shoots right up when I get stressed. He also wanted to rush me off for an ECG and told me to call 999 if I had any chest pains - really upset me. Now my BP is totally normal and has been since about week 4 of LL.



Tiny dancer
S: 9st7lb C: 9st1lb G: 7st9lb BMI: 24.8 Loss: 0st6lb(4.51%)
Thanks all :)

I will see the doctor on Friday; partly because I'm on some medication which can (rarely) affect the heart (but I've been on it for years without problems). Mostly just to set my mind at rest.

I really appreciate all the support on this thread: THANK YOU. The pharmacist was acting as though I was about to drop dead there and then and I was slightly out of my mind with worry: there's a fine line between not obsessing, and being completely feckless about your health.

I'm cutting out the espressos (wonder why I never had this problem with my beloved skinny lattes?) and will get the doc to take my pulse too.

Will keep you posted - thanks again :)

- Bea x

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