Hearing My Heartbeat in my Ears
by Neva J. Howell unless otherwise noted
Unexpected Reaction to Eating Cherries – Too Much of a Good Thing?
I had a sort of scary thing happen yesterday. I started hearing my heartbeat in my ears. It wasn’t the same feeling as you might get if you ran really hard or got really excited. If felt really not good and it didn’t go away.
I got online to find out what could cause a person to hear their heartbeat in their ears really loud and all I could find as far as possible causes were high blood pressure, tinnitus, sinus infections, sleeping wrong or wax build-up in your ears.
My blood pressure is always, always low. In all the times I’ve checked it, it’s always lower than normal. However, I never had this feeling before so I thought Id rule out high blood pressure. Turns out, my blood pressure was high. Not really high, just 130 over 80. However, I wondered since my blood pressure is normally lower than even 120 over 80, if this is what it feels like when other people have really high blood pressure. Is hearing heartbeat in ears a symptom of high blood pressure? Yep. However, it seems more commonly to be associated with tinnitus, which I don’t have.
I looked at my diet to see if I had added anything new. I didn’t think I had and then I remembered .the day before, I had bought a pound of sweet cherries. I ate a LOT of them, probably half a pound or more. The next morning, I ate even more.
In researching the benefits of cherries online, at first it didn’t make sense that my blood pressure would be high because cherries are associated with lowering blood pressure, not raising it.
However, as I read more, I realized that cherries are VERY HIGH in potassium. In fact, just 21 cherries contain 270 mg of potassium. I probably ate 4 or 5 times that many and, in addition, had two servings of yogurt containing over 200 mg of potassium each.
Potassium Probably Not My Culprit but….
Although I still believe my binge on cherries had something to do with hearing my heartbeat in my ears that way, I can’t find a direct link. Too much potassium doesn’t appear to be what was causing my heartbeat in ears symptom, or at least I didn’t find anything listing that as a symptom of having consumed too much potassium.
Even though all the potassium that I consumed that I know about doesn’t add up to enough to cause an issue, I wanted to mention that anyone who should restrict potassium in their diet should know which foods are particularly high in that substance.
Too much potassium, just like too little, can affect blood pressure and the heart in dangerous ways. If a person has a condition that results in their needing less potassium than normal, it’s possible that a huge dose of a potassium-rich food like cherries might pose a health risk in certain individuals.
Some of the exacerbating conditions that might warrant restricting foods like cherries include anyone with kidney disease, anyone on ACE inhibitors or NSAIDS (I had also taken an aleeve the night before the big cherry binge), potassium-sparing diuretics, certain antibiotics, beta blockers, angiotensin receptor blockers and blood thinners. Read more about function and benefits of potassium as well as the risks of too much potassium.
Pulsatile Tinnitus: In my researching my symptoms, I came across information about a particular type of tinnitus called pulsatile tinnitus. One of the symptoms was hearing a whooshing sound in one or both ears that might or might not be in rhythm with the pulse, or heartbeat. This particular type of tinnitus may signal a very serious health risk for stroke. It can also be a signal that there is a tumor or some irregularity in the neck area that is affecting blood flow.
So I don’t have a definitive answer as to why I had the heartbeat in ears symptom. I suspect the high blood pressure brought on my the cherries binge was elated but without blood testing, etc. can’t be sure. However, I am sure I won’t binge on tart cherries again that way!