(Me: 62 yo male, very physically active (normally).) Recently I had extreme reactions to caffein (from coffee and chocolate) intake: My heart rhythm wouldn't increase in response to aerobic exertion, and instead would palpitate. It got worse when walking outdoors this winter - I could barely walk without my heart doing a lurching type of palpitation, and I felt light headed and weak. The timing of the caffeine intake and the immmediately following condition gave it away. Despite this I was stil able to go to the gym and bench press a lot of weight (although had difficulty walking the few blocks to the gym to do it) - so it had no effect on anaroebic heart pumping requirements. The symptoms went away after several weeks of abstaining from caffeine. Spent overnight in hospital twice for the condition - all the cardiac tests resulted = negative (nuclear stress, echo, heart monitor, ekg, etc.) (I initially thought I was having an MI). I wore a heart event recorder for a week. Results: "This TTM study reveals sinus rhythm. Sinus bradycardia and sinus tachycardia were also noted. PAC's shown, seen in short runs of SVT, PVC's present." During the monitoring I wasn't able to exert myself normally because of the palpitations. My PCP said to just avoid caffeine and stress. No problems since laying off caffeine. Do I need to have this reviewed by a cardiologist?
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replied April 1st, 2012
It is this cardiologist's opinion: If you are unduely sensitive to the effects of caffeine then by all means avoid coffee and caffeine containing preparations.

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