Do heart problems arise more often in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients? 

I have a two part question…….I have possible diagnosed multiple sclerosis and for years have had palpitations that my cardiologist has me on Cardizem and Atenolol that somewhat controls those, but there is no cause found for these. My first question is….Do heart problems arise more often in MS patients? My second question is……..Whenever I bend at the waist for a period of time, such as cleaning the bathtub or washing the car, I get very shaky and nervous and a faster heartbeat. Does this sound like it’s caused by some undiagnosed heart problem?

Submitted by Chloe from Colorado on 10/10/2013

by Michael J. Mihalick, MD

Dear Chloe, Slow heart beats are supposed to be the most common arrhythmia associated with MS, but this is very rare, especially in the average patient with MS. If this is an issue, the standard evaluation is to look for structural heart disease and an event monitor is recommended. The other symptoms sound benign to me, but an event monitor should answer that question as well.