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Question

15 Dec 2005

Alternative to Beta-Blockers
Hi Dr, My 6 year old has just beein diagnosed with Barlows syndrome. Symptoms are paplpitations 3 - 4 times a week for 15 to 20 sec per event.

Are beta-stoppers needed now? Is there a natural, vitamin, mineral supliment that could assist whilst the condition is still not that bad.

Looking forward to your responce.
Telana
Answer 409 views
Expert
HeartDoc

01 Jan 0001


Dear Telana,

The diagnosis of Barlow’s in such a young child is very unusual. As s/he also has a rhythm irregularity, it is most important that an accurate diagnosis is made.

Please remember that heart problems in children are totally different from those in adults : from the cardiac viewpoint, children are not just “small adults”. They have a totally different range of disorders, need different investigations, are treated differently and can have very different outcomes. For all these reasons, I hope that your child has been diagnosed not just by a specialist cardiologist, but by a Paediatric Cardiologist. There are not many in private practice, but you will find one in the Paediatric department of most large state hospitals.

Whilst I am not qualified to give a definitive opinion on paediatric heart problems, I can say this much : Make sure that the diagnosis is correct, and has been made by a Paediatric cardiologist, - go to one for a real expert’s opinion. The condition may not be a Barlow’s, but could be a true leaking valve, in which case the management is totally different. But to make that diagnosis takes a very special kind of expertise, which adult cardiologists do not have.

There are no natural supplements etc which can be used here, as this is not a problem with function, but an anatomical, structural problem. Some medication can be used to control the heart rhythm in adults, but I do not know what the position is for a 6-year old : - many of these medications have side-effects which make them unsafe to use in children.

I wish you good luck in investigating this problem – I hope your child is helped soon.

HeartDoc
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