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Is Coffee Fine If I Do Not Overdo It?

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kensclark16 I was born in North Shields in the Uk and moved to the US at the age of eight months. I love gaming, building computers, programming, fishing, hunting, and many other activities including collecting knives. I am addicted to Minecraft and play it every day. When I was born, the doctor said I had a heart murmur but it was too small to mean anything. When I was four, a doctor said I might have cardiomyopathy. I am now seventeen, had and EKG and a heart ultrasound as part of a physical and they said I had a very irregular heartbeat and left ventricle hypertrophy. I just had another EKG at OHSU in Portland Oregon and they said I have HCM. I have to wear a holter monitor for two days and have a cardiac MRI and a stress test. Find out more about kensclark16
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  • Is Coffee Fine If I Do Not Overdo It?

    I am 17 and was recently diagnosed with HCM. I think I had it as a newborn because when I was born I had palpitations and other issues but those went away until now (at least I think they did but I do remember palpitations in grade school). Before I was diagnosed, I used to drink energy drinks and coffee all the time. I would have close to 500mg of caffeine a day which is the limit suggested for adults. The caffeine never seemed to make my palpitations worse and the only time I had a rapid heart beat was when I accidentally drank two energy drinks because I forgot I had one. My heart was beating at 100bpm for 5 minutes or so. I never felt dizzy. I just started drinking coffee again but I limit myself to 3 cups per day. I love light roast but since it has more caffeine, I am now learning to like medium roast/dark roast. My daily intake of caffeine probably does not go over 300mg now. Is this safe? I have not had any issues at all. The only med I take right now is 50mg of Atenolol and I might get an ICD in a few months which I do not want to get because it will ruin everything I want to do in life since I wanted to become a mechanic but I can't because of the magnetic fields.

  • #2
    Re: Is Coffee Fine If I Do Not Overdo It?

    Certain things are triggers for some and not for others. Caffeine and Alcohol are both known triggers for arrhythmias (and oddly one is a stimulant the other a depressant). That said - A lot of us do drink coffee, but in moderation. You say 3 coffees - but in what context? are these from a familiar chain who's sizes are grande and vente? Are you having a normal size coffee cup (the kind in your kitchen cabinet) or larger ones? (we tend to super-size things here in America!) Are they a frozen concoction that's laden with chocolate and sugar (both sources of stimulants)?. Are they within 4 hours or throughout the day?
    As for energy drinks - They've learned that their reputation is getting hurt so they are formulating with other "natural" stimulants and not just caffeine - Now they fly under the label radar.
    If you were my kid (and I've forbidden them to EVER consume an energy drink). I'd say limit yourself - Have one in morning and the other sometime later, but limit to two a day. Its good that your aware and watching what good/bad for you. Just don't take it to the limit - because with HCM that threshold varies day to day & hour to hour.
    Marc
    Diagnosed @ 48
    Saw Dr. Michael Debakey @ age 5 - "He's fine, just a little noisy"
    Father to 3 boys 22, 25, 29 (all currently clear - pending genetics)
    AICD - Valentines Day '08, Spark Plug replaced 11/14
    After much research, I had a Myectomy @ Mayo for my 50th Birthday '08
    Quietly going insane . . .

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Is Coffee Fine If I Do Not Overdo It?

      I have 3 normal 8 ounce cups of coffee. I'm trying to stay to the darker roasts to limit the caffeine even more. I have about 3 cups per day but I may have around 2 cups at a time. I forgot to say that I do not have energy drinks anymore because they are loaded with vitamins and crap that I am scared may cause some issues. I was halfway through a box of Monsters (16 oz) when I was diagnosed and I got scared of the caffeine so I stopped drinking them. Is it okay if I drink one can per day if I do not have my coffee that day? Also, would 3 cups of coffee at once be fine? It shouldn't be over 300mg of caffeine which is what is in most energy drinks. Also, the Monsters have 160mg caffeine PER can. So that would be 80mg of caffeine if I drank half which is about a cup of coffee. But I do not know about the vitamins and other stimulants in it.

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      • #4
        Re: Is Coffee Fine If I Do Not Overdo It?

        Hi.Have you discussed any of this with your cardiologist? Or is he one that tells you to just say "no" to all of it? I happen to like the taste of coffee too.Coffee is a great debate...there have been studies that show some health benefits to a cup a day....I have asthma and one of the ingredients in coffee xanthines, actually relax my lungs, my daughter has Migraines and Coffee is a god send for her pain relief. Soooo that being said, coffee and caffeine are not evil. But it sounds to me that even though you enjoy the taste of the coffee, you are probably somewhat addicted to caffeine at this point. There are a bunch of questionaires on line that can tell you if you have a caffeine addiction (I just took one 2 days ago myself!) So, of all the things in the world one could get addicted to caffeine ain't the worst thing....right? But you (and I) have HCM....caffeine can trigger arrhythmias...it also, as in my case covers up some of the symptoms I have due to my disease and my meds...like being tired. Why do you feel you need energy boosts throughout the day? Are you asking your heart and your body to do more than they are really able? I'd say stick to 1 or 2 cups.....and if you are motivated even further switch to 1/2 caf mixing regular and decaf 50-50. Then if you are really brave, go to decaf. That's what I decided to do last week. I was down to 2 / 12 oz mugs of 1/2 caf every morning....now I'm on decaf....They don't taste that much different ...but I did get some headaches and slept for 2 days when I got off the caffeine LOL . Also, did you know there is a place called Hang Out on this website for young people with HCM? especially with the life changing decisions you have to make regarding the ICD, you might find some reassurance from others your age.
        Good Luck to you!!
        After years of symptoms:
        Officially Diagnosed HOCM 2006
        Myectomy 3/11/13 at non-COE
        Extended Myectomy 7/23/14
        At Mayo with Dr. Joseph Dearani

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        • #5
          Re: Is Coffee Fine If I Do Not Overdo It?

          I have been off of caffeine for years, and when I have some now, I can feel it immediately. I get twitchy and feel like my skin is crawling. I tend to drink decaf only occasionally. But if you can handle it, then as long as you don't overdo, then it is probably ok. Just pay attention to your body and its reaction. I know it bugs me, so I stay away.
          Daughter of Father with HCM
          Diagnosed with HCM 1999.
          Full term pregnancy - Son born 11/01
          ICD implanted 2/03; generator replaced 2/2005 and 2/2012
          Myectomy 8/11/06 - Joe Dearani - Mayo Clinic.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Is Coffee Fine If I Do Not Overdo It?

            So I should be fine if I drink 2 - 3 cups a day and spread them out a few hours? If I switch to Decaf, what coffee do you recommend? I will not drink Starbucks because it tastes like crap (sorry for my language :P). I love medium roast coffee but I don't know what decaf will do to the flavor. I can drink a dark roast but I do not like the over roasted ones that taste like bitter charcoal. My favorite coffee brand is Green Mountain Coffee but they only have a few decafs. Oh, I would like the whole beans because I grind my own.

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            • #7
              Re: Is Coffee Fine If I Do Not Overdo It?

              Try Gevalia - www.gevalia.com - their coffees are very good (I like very strong, dark coffee) and come both whole bean and ground. The are a bit pricey even with their promotions and unless things have changed they only see through their website.

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              • #8
                Re: Is Coffee Fine If I Do Not Overdo It?

                Responses to coffee vary among people, but most of us can tolerate drinking coffee. When I was first diagnosed with HCM, I talked to my cardiologist about this. He told me coffee was fine; I told him that a friend was sent to the ER after drinking coffee. He said "Really? How much?" I said "14 cups of espresso." He laughed and said "That might do it - don't do anything like that and you should be fine." And I have been - coffee is the drug I would least like to give up.

                Gordon
                Myectomy on Feb. 5, 2007.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Is Coffee Fine If I Do Not Overdo It?

                  I have no problems if I limit the amount of coffee I drink in a day. I drink one or two cups at most. If you don't like switching to decaf because you feel it lacks taste consider pure Arabica coffee. That contains less caffeine than Robusta and is considered to be better tasting anyway. I clearly notice it when I drink the mostly drunk coffee in The Netherlands. Lots of Robusta in that and it really pushes my heartrate so I try to avoid the stuff. Also I tend to drink my coffee right after breakfast. Having a full stomach helps to slow down absorption of the caffeine. Having a lower dose of caffeine for a longer time in my blood helps me more than a big peak and bouncing around in hyperactive mode.
                  Some people say I don't have a heart, but my doctor says I have too much?

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                  • #10
                    Re: Is Coffee Fine If I Do Not Overdo It?

                    I have a friend who does his own roasting and there is a lot to learn on beans, roasting, blends, etc. We have a moderator here who has his own coffee roasting business and I'm sure he'll chime in if need be too. I think our young caffeine fiend is a bit "addicted". I'd suggest not putting so much focus on the numbers (when and how many) but on the trigger's that make you want more and learning to switch to decaf when these occasions happen. its all in moderation. . .
                    Marc
                    Diagnosed @ 48
                    Saw Dr. Michael Debakey @ age 5 - "He's fine, just a little noisy"
                    Father to 3 boys 22, 25, 29 (all currently clear - pending genetics)
                    AICD - Valentines Day '08, Spark Plug replaced 11/14
                    After much research, I had a Myectomy @ Mayo for my 50th Birthday '08
                    Quietly going insane . . .

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Is Coffee Fine If I Do Not Overdo It?

                      Hey there, I have a very low tolerance to caffeine as I will start having labored and fatigued chest pains a short while afterwards. Would caffeine be a no go? Perhaps switch to only decaf?
                      "As a diamond is perfected through friction, so a man is perfected through trials."

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Is Coffee Fine If I Do Not Overdo It?

                        They joy with HCM is that no two people have the same identical reactions to medication, stress, exercise, etc. Technically, a dose of caffeine should not affect one, but everyone is different. For some its a trigger for A-fib. Have you discussed this with your doctor? It could also be not related to HCM, but to vascular issues.
                        Marc
                        Diagnosed @ 48
                        Saw Dr. Michael Debakey @ age 5 - "He's fine, just a little noisy"
                        Father to 3 boys 22, 25, 29 (all currently clear - pending genetics)
                        AICD - Valentines Day '08, Spark Plug replaced 11/14
                        After much research, I had a Myectomy @ Mayo for my 50th Birthday '08
                        Quietly going insane . . .

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Is Coffee Fine If I Do Not Overdo It?

                          Hi Phenix,
                          I think your question has its own answer: if you have a low tolerance to caffeine and it leads to chest pains, then quitting coffee might be a great idea. But I would also recommend discussing it with your doc.

                          Gordon
                          Myectomy on Feb. 5, 2007.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Is Coffee Fine If I Do Not Overdo It?

                            Hi Phenix,
                            I think your question has its own answer: if you have a low tolerance to caffeine and it leads to chest pains, then quitting coffee might be a great idea. But I would also recommend discussing it with your doc.

                            Gordon
                            Myectomy on Feb. 5, 2007.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Is Coffee Fine If I Do Not Overdo It?

                              I agree with you both, it would be a good idea to discuss it with my doctor further and assess the caffeine situation. I used to drink 4-5 cans of Monster energy drinks a day and this was all post open heart and all of my pacemakers, so I do hope that hasn't caused any harm to my already taxed vascular systems.

                              This heart may be old and worn out already, but I sure do love it and want to take care of it
                              "As a diamond is perfected through friction, so a man is perfected through trials."

                              Comment

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