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Heart problem or Indigestion?
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Heart problem or Indigestion?

I'm 44 yr. old healthy woman.  I run on a treadmill and have no problems. Two years ago I had stress thallium done and it was fine. Recently I had three or four heart tests ran and all came back fine, including 24 hr.halter. Reason for these tests, at night after I lay down for sleep, my heart will start bouncing all over my chest. I feel it beating in my abdomen, then high in my chest, then under left breast,and in my back on the left side. sometimes I experience lightheadedness, and tightness. Usually hangs around for hours, coming and going.The next morning I always feel like I have a rock in my chest just to the left of center. Of course, I get anxious and start burping and have nausea when these episodes start.  I do not usually eat before bed and this has never seemed to be a cause anyway.  My husband believes it is indigestion problems, which may be part of it, but my heart just feels like it is in a fist.  Two different doctors say I'm fine and I'm still scared, wanting to take all my tests and go to a cardiologist and see, because I know women get misdiagnosed with heart disease and sometimes it is hard to diagnose. This has me greatly concerned and, therefore, anxious. One other point, I gave up caffeine totally 6 months ago.  I have noticed this happened on two occasions when I had a drink with caffeine during the day, but it happens many more times without having had any.  Any advice????? D
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Hello - thanks for asking your question

Without examining you, it is impossible to say whether it is your heart or not.  With a normal stress-thallium 2 years ago, coronary disease is less likely.  The definitive test to rule out heart disease would be a cardiac catheterization - whether this should be considered is a decision for your physician to make.  

Regarding the "bouncing heart", you stated you already had a Holter.  Another test would be an event monitor.  This is similar to a Holter, except you can press a button whenever the episodes occur and it would record the rhythm at that specific time.  A thyroid test and echocardiogram (an ultrasound of the heart to evaluate the structure) should also be considered.  

As for GI causes - they are certainly possible.  I would consider an upper GI series or upper endoscopy to evaluate for an ulcer, GERD or inflammation.  

Followup with your personal physician is essential.

This answer is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice - the information presented is for patient education only. Please see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.

Thanks,
Kevin, M.D.
6 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
It may be anxieity or panic attacks that is causing this. Just the stress of wondering IF it is your heart could cause it.
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Avatar_n_tn
does it happen during the night when you are asleep or does it happen immediately after you lye down in bed??
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Avatar_n_tn
Usually it occurs right after I lay down, but there were a few times when I woke up and it was happening. I don't believe it's anxiety, but I do feel anxious a lot of nights wondering if it will happen again. The thing is my chest muscles arent' sore the next morning (like if stress caused me to tense up), but I'm very aware of the area of my heart feels tight or hard. D.
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Avatar_n_tn
I think I would take all my test and go to a cardiologist and get any heart problems ruled out once and for all....If thats ok, maybe ask for a gastroenterologist referral....Im not sure if its the same or not, but I have episodes of rapid heart beats that are related to acid-reflux, and since you mention burping and upset stomach it might be worth checking into...Mine never occurs while awake, and always happen within the first hour of going to sleep, I will wake up and my heart is pounding, feels like I have been running a race...I also never eat within three hrs of laying down....Good luck, Tessa
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Avatar_n_tn
thanks to all for responding.  Yes, I wasn't aware of the event monitor. One of these episodes never happened during the 24 hr. Holter, so this might be more effective tool for determining.
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Avatar_n_tn
I had similar problems and had seen a heart doctor and was diagnosed with mitral valve prolapse and then he had me wear an event monitor for 30 days and I recorded my strange episodes and he came to the conclusion that I also have supra ventricluar tachachardia(spelling?).
Neither are very threatening but the MVP requires me to take medicine before going to dentist or having any surgery.
The SVT, you can do nothing, take daily medication or have a procedure done called heart catheter ablation. Sending a prob up the artery in leg and burning a nerve area of heart to eliminate extra nerve signals.
So, I would suggest a cardio and getting the 30 day event monitor.
Hope this helps in some way.
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