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My son was diagnosed with WPW Wolf Parkinson White, and mitral valve prolapse from infancy. He was never put on medication, but did occasionally have arrythmias. His doctor suggested the heart ablation procedure when he was 10, since he was becoming physically more active and wanted to play sports. The doctor said that if he had not outgrown it by that age, he probably would not ever outgrow it. The doctor performed various stress tests a few days prior to the procedure. The doctor mentioned that they would have to do exploratory surgery to find where that extra electrical pathway was and that there was a possibility that they would have to cut through the heart to get to it, but they would not know until after the exploratory surgery. The day of the procedure, the doctor came out after a few hours and said that when they hooked him up to the machine, it no longer showed that he had WPW, but they had not even started the procedure yet. He had a history of WPW his whole life so the doctor still did the exploratory surgery just to make sure but he said it was not there. The doctor said he had never seen anything like it, one day it is there, the next it's gone...the very day of the procedure. I give the credit to God.
My son was 10 at the time and had not had any problems since then, until this weekend. He will be 13 in a couple of mos. and is going through puberty. A while ago he came to me scared because he had rapid heart palpitations, I figured it was a one time thing and after making sure he was ok I told him we would start monitoring if it happened again, he then said it happened last night as well, and that is why he was really scared because it was the 2nd day in a row. I remembered the doctor saying WPW could come back so I should take him in once a year to check, and I haven't. I did some research and saw that caffeine can cause arrhythmias, especially if you have an existing heart condition, but even in normal hearts. My son had four sodas today... and I don't even keep soda in the house. I only allow my family to have it maybe once or twice a week. We went to eat and he had a drink and a refill. Several hours later my husband happend to pick up movies and a soda and my son admitted to helping himself to two glasses. I then asked him if he drank soda yesterday at his youth group and he had two cans of soda there. So he had soda both days and I figure maybe it is the soda. Then again, he has had soda plenty of times since I was told he was cured, but he never had any problems any of the other times? Could his body or hormonal changes have anything to do with maybe him starting to get the symptoms again? Is it just the soda? One things for sure....no more caffeine for him until I can get him in to his cardiologist. I'd appreciate any feed back. Thanks!

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hi, ultimately you've answered your own question - yes caffiene can cause palpitations, yes puberty is a time when a lot of people will experience palpitations for the first time for various reasons, and yes wpw can cause problems further down the line. Again though the solution is just as you have put it - remove sodas and other possible triggers until you can see the cardiologist and monitor until then. Everything you have said and done has been fine so far, so dont second guess yourself too much! hope this helps
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I had an ablation in December and if he hasn't had one, you really might want to think of doing this now! Here's why; 1- he will be driving soon. Passing out in the car is never good. It can happen- it did to me twice while I was pregnant and had kids in the car. It happens very suddenly. 2- the risk of his wpw getting worse, or injury or concussion from passing out is far greater than the risks of the procedure. 3- as he gets older, not only will he want to drive, he will also want to work. Any exertion related to his job can create the same effect as caffeine. 4- also, lack of sleep can make it worse. Likewise, it is often the cause of the lack of sleep. If he has any plans to pursue a college education, you better believe he will have bleary eyed days and stress from staying up and studying for exams. Not good for wpw! Please, if he hasn't had this procedure I urge you to make this happen for him now while he is still young. I had mine at 32, and felt like I could finally breathe for the first time. My only regret about the procedure is that I went l these years suffering without it, not knowing how bad it was, because I never knew how good it could be!
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As someone who was born with WPW, I can personally tell you that caffeine absolutely is a trigger for abnormal arrhythmias. Mine manifested itself as a sudden arrhythmia which would subsequently kick my heart into supraventricular tachycardia (heart rate of 180 BPM+, mine ran ~230 beats per minute). Ultimately I had to have a corrective ablation performed on 6 June 2000 at the ripe old age of 18. This is not a healthy vs unhealthy person thing. I had to skip the state track and field meet to have my surgery. It is a congenital defect which some will outgrow but many require surgical correction. From my experience any stimulant would trigger abnormal arrhythmias. Caffeine is the primary one for youngsters and adolescents. Also nicotine and alcohol will trigger episodes or at least it did for me. Don't mess around with this issue. For now stick to water, milk, and pure juice. No vending machine c**p unless it specifically states "no caffeine". Continue to work with his cardiologist to monitor this and don't be surprised if an ablation becomes necessary.
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