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CONCERNED ABOUT IRREGULAR HEARTBEATS
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CONCERNED ABOUT IRREGULAR HEARTBEATS

I'm a 29 yr black male on in the U.S. Marine Corps. Over the past several years I've had numerous incidents of palpitations. No chest pain, dizziness with these episodes. 5 Weeks ago I stopped all caffience intake i.e. Coffee, Cola. I'm not taking any stimulants or medications at this time. I smoke about 1 pack a week also. Last Wednesday at 7:00 am I was running 4 miles with some Marines and I started having intense irregulars heartbeats. They went away about 30 minutes later. That evening at home around 8:50pm I had an episode of irregular heartbeats that lasted about 10 seconds. It seems as though my heart could not get a steady rhythm and it was scary. I didn't go to the doctor until yesterday while playing basketball they started again and this time while running up and down the court. I felt my pulse along the carotid artery(neck) and the beats were sporadic as ever but I did'nt feel dizzy or any chest pain. I went to the clinic as stated and they did an ECG three times: This is what the first ECG stated which they discarded. The other two only had Nonspecfic T wave & Abnormal ECG.
This is what the first ECG stated:
   - Normal Sinus Rhythm with Frequent and Consecutive Premature
     Ventricular Complexes
   - Nonspecfic T Wave Abnormality
   - Abnormal ECG
Vent Rate: 89bpm
PR Interval: 184 ms
QRS duration 88ms
QT/QTc: 356/433 ms
P-R-T axes 75 59 58
Last night I went to the ER at 3:14am because I awoke with a slight pressure in my chest and weakness. I assumed that I maybe had some arrhythmia while sleeping. I'm nervous could you explain? Holter& Echo?
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Avatar_n_tn
Dear ju23ju,
First let me thank you for serving the country in your position as a Marine.  As far as the palpitations the best way to dianosis  exactly what is going on is with a Holter monitor test.  However, you must have one of the episodes during the period that you are wearing the monitor.  If you do not have an episode during this period ask your doctor about getting a loop recorder.  These can be worn for longer periods of time to help in the diagnosis.  An echocardiogram is also a good idea.  It would be less likely to have coronary artery disease given your age and fitness level.  More than likely this arrhythmia can be treated with medication or even cured with an ablation.
24 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
"...I felt my pulse along the carotid artery(neck) and the beats were sporadic as ever but I did'nt feel dizzy or any chest pain."

Obviously, I'm not a doctor, but I have lived 10 years with Atrial Tachicardia, Fibrillation and Flutter before ablation surgery.  It sounds to me, by your description, that you are have runs of Atrial Fibrillation.
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Avatar_n_tn
I also live with the occasional bouts of AF and this definetly sounds like it to me, however, it is worth getting it checked out.  Although scary, it is relatively harmless with the proper precautions.  
I find that if I hold my breath (with force) into my stomach it is enough to stop the AF and get back to a normal heartbeat.

To vstring, a quick question/advice from someone who has experienced this.  I get another weird heartbeat that has never been captured as it happens so rarely.  It feels like a string of PAC's, not a forceful beat, but very light and "fluttery" like my heart has moved into the softspot at the bottom of my throat (It is usually preceded by a few PAC's).  I get a bit lightheaded, but not faint. Does this description sound a bit like Atrial Flutter?  My cardiologist thinks it could be that or PSVT as the mechanism for this type of arrhythmia is already there with the AF.  Also, this beat is harder to stop that the AF but the V..?? manuveur does eventually help.

Thank you
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Avatar_n_tn
loni,

When I would experience Atrial Flutter, it would always convert back to sinus rhythm on it's own within a few seconds; however, sometimes it would turn into Atrial Fib (and that could last a couple of hours with me.)  The vagus manuveur only worked when I had A. Tach and I never had A. Flutter long enough to try it on that.  It's hard for me to describe how it felt..."very light and 'fluttery" could do...although I never did get lightheaded.

I had surgery in November and they were able to provoke both A. Tach and A. Flutter during the procedure and, so far, successfully ablate the problem areas.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi,
I am a 29 year old female. I have suffered with with thousands of pacs and pvcs everyday. I have also had bouts with fast heart beat all of my life. One day my heart started to beat very eratically and very fast it didnt seem to have a pattern at all. I was taken to the hospital and was told that I had atrial fibrillation. I was put in Icu and gven IV drugs which 20 later helped to control this. It sounds like you are having the same thing if I were you I would see a cardiologist asap! Just to get everything checked out and get a echocardiogram. If it is atrial fib and pvcs there are medicines they can give you. I wish you the best.  PB
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Avatar_n_tn
I am very concerned at the present as it seems I might have hypertropic cardiomyopathy, Ive had a ECG scan and I am waiting for a echo scan.
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Avatar_n_tn
Can people who suffer with palps please respond and help me?  I have been trying to post here for weeks.  I have had something, I guess they might be PVCs or PACs. I go back on Tuesday for my EKG and holter results.  All my life, once or twice a month I had that glub-glub feeling.  I have always mentioned it to doctors and been told not to worry.  I am now 40 and the glub-glub feeling is an almost constant sensation.  It also feels like extra beats, hiccoughs, flutters then followed by the flub-flub sensations.  Esp. worse when I am pressing on my back either sitting or lying down.  What have people been told by their doctors / cardiologists is the root cause of this?  Is it electrical in nature?  I know it is likely benign, but I am very depressed over it.  One isn't supposed to be aware of one's heart!  I also have a neuromuscular syndrome supposedly benign which makes my muscles twitch all over all day.  I don't know if the two are related or not.  Because I already deal (cope) with this on a daily basis, I am really at rock bottom knowing this problem will likely haunt me the rest of my life.  I find it very uncomfortable and it makes it difficult to sleep/rest.  Are caffeine and alcohol root causes or do they only worsen it?  I didn't drink any caffeine yesterday which was torture and my heart did it anyway all day!  Having said all this, I believe I am a candidate for symptomatic relief.  Can people tel me which meds I should ask for?  What are their side effects like?  Is Tenormin the one they usually begin with?  Thanks so much for the help and support.  My e-mail is ***@****
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you vstring.  I have been offline for a few days and have only just read your comment to my comment.  Sounds like it could be ... but is probably just runs of PAC's.

Sorry ju23ju for using your posting, I hope that our comments and the comments of others have helped to ease your mind a bit.  

All the best
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Avatar_n_tn
I'm a 27 year old female and have had irregular heartbeat on and off for about 4 years now.  In the beginning my pulse would occasionally go to almost 200 bpm out of nowhere when I was exercising.  Then it started palputating occasionally during the day and still speeding up when I exercised sometimes.  
Right now I have had an irregular heartbeat for almost 1 week straight with no relief after not having any symptoms for a couple of months.
I've been to a few different cardiologists and had ECGs, EKGs and every other test you could imagine.  Unfortunatly, I was never having symptoms when the tests were done except I did have one short spurt of it when I wore a halter monitor for 24 hours.
One doctor recommended me having an operation to "stop one of the electrical pathways in my heart from firing" (that's the best I can explain it).  He said this would fix the problem.  I told him I'd give it a while and see how it goes before I decide to do something that drastic.  Unfortunatly, he left that hospital and the new cardioligist doesn't like that option and basically thinks I should just live with it because he sys it's not life threatening.
After this last week I know that I can't live with this.  It's depressing me and scaring me and not allowing me to live a normal life because I can constantly feel my heart beating irregularly.  I stopped all caffiene a year ago and that hasn't helped at all.
Does anyone have any advise about this?  I would really appreciate any helpful suggestions.  Thank you.
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Avatar_n_tn
For anyone caught with a doctor (even a cardiologist) who says "get used to it" and "they are benign so don't fret over them," please get another opinion and get it from an electrophysiologist (EP) specialist.  This is a cardiologist who specializes in arrhythmias from the point of view of abnormal electrical conductions.  Once your heart has been given a "clean" bill of health using the usual bunch of diagnostic tests (Holters, event recorders, ekg, stress tests, blood tests) which rule out physical problems, those "skips" and abnormal heart rates are likely due to overactive cardiac tissues located in any number of places inside and outside the heart (the most commonly occurring ones are found in pulmonary vein structures attached to the heart).  If so, and the benefits outweigh the risks, the EP can intervene with an ablation of that electrical tissue or recommend just the right kind of drug which may either reduce the activity of these noisy critters or make the heart less susceptible to them.

The trick is to find a doctor who can diagnose the problem instead of guessing at it.  There are solutions out there!  It's up to you to find the person capable of providing them.

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Avatar_f_tn
I too have heart skips.  I have had them for the past 25 years, but since January it's been on a regular daily basis.  I have had many tests, including thalium stress, Holter monitor, blood work, echocardiogram and also upper GI, which shows I have gastro-reflux going on.  I have also had my trips to the emergency room.  Nobody found anything wrong with my heart.  The hospital suggested counseling, which I did, to no avail.  Boy, it's hell that's all I know.  One thing I did find out, it seems to happen more after I eat.  Now I stay off of spicy foods, chocolate, caffeine and try not to eat too much.  Lost 15 pounds.  Right now, all my tests results have been sent to Hershey Medical center.  I'm waiting their report to see if there's anything else I can do.  I'ts just about ruined my life.  I take .50 mg. of atenolol twice a day, and .88mg synthroid once a day.  I thought my thyroid was causing this, but they tell me it's fine.  Go figure.  My email is ***@****.   forgot to tell you,  I started protonix .40mg once a day on Saturday.  Don't see any difference yet.
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Avatar_n_tn
hi,
I understand how you feel. Heart conditions can be very frustrating to deal with. If I were you I would get a second opinion just to see what another Dr. would say. Maybe what you have can be fixed. Best of luck. chocolate lover
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Avatar_n_tn
I too have extrasystoles "extra beats" on occassion, usually from stress, not enough sleep, indigestion, etc.  They come and go and I can be symptom free for months to have them return on a daily basis.  I have never been checked out by a doctor for them.  I began having them 24 years ago when I was young.  I am now on 40 mg. of aciphex a day for GERD/Barrett's esophagus and have noticed since they increased my dosage that I have been getting these "extra beats/palps" on a daily basis.  I know this is listed as a side effect of the medication.  Anyway my question is (if someone can shed some light)....if you have these palpitations from medication are they worse then the ones you normally get from stress, etc?  Also, if/when I was having them could they be detected by an EKG and would they know what kind they were?
Much thanks,
Michelle
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Avatar_n_tn
My irregular heart beats started about 1 1/2 years ago. The first time I experienced them I went to the emergency room. I got there at 10:30p and they didn't see me until 2:00a in the morning. I thought I was having a heart attack. Obviously it wasn't that serious.

My heart beat doesn't seem to be unusually high but it does seem irregular at times like: beat, beat, beat, THUD, beat, beat, THUD, beat, beat...It does this moreso especially after I have eaten and when I'm lying down it seems to get worse. I wonder if it happens when I am asleep? I am on two medications: Pulmicort and Singulair. Both to control asthma.

I don't want to go back to the emergency room again. But, what can be done and what causes these heart irregularities?

Mike
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Avatar_n_tn
I CAN'T BELIEVE HOW MANY PEOPLE HAVE THE FLUTTERING FEELING IN THEIR CHEST.IT IS AMAZING TO ME AND I WISH THERE WAS A SIMPLE ANSWER.IT IS HARD TO LIVE WITH THIS-AND THERE MUST BE SOME RELIEF.
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Avatar_n_tn
I too have this syptom (symptom).  My regular resting heart rate is around 88 95 beats a min..  I have done stress test and had many ECGs or EKGs.  I also had Upper GI and 2D echo test done on me.  All the results came out fine.  My Doctor thinks it could be resting tachycardia.  But many says, its just anxiety due to stress.  

Here are my symptoms.  

Sharp pains under left ribs, rith under the breast area.
Sharp pains in the middle.
Sharp pains on the right.
Sharp pains in the middle of the back and someitme on the left hand side.

Doctor says, thaty they are normal.

When my heart rates, starts going, it goes to about 130 beats a min.  Which according to my doc, ir not something I should be concerned about.  My blood pressure is around 120- 80 and sometimes 95-60.  I also had non lopping event monitor for a minth,which monitors your irregular heart beat.  The results were all negative.  Then why is that evertime I stand up after sitting or laying on a couch, I feel dizzy and my heart beat slows down considerablly.  Anything I should worry about nere.  

Please all your comments will be appreciated.

Thanks!
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Avatar_n_tn
i was admitted to hospital with atrial fibrillation mon 3 sept. i had a resting heart beat of 175 normally 65. i was medicated with sotalol to ring it down which it did but still remained irregular. i was given a cardioversion on wed. the heart appears to be back in sinus rythm and i was discharged on sat after making sure my blood was ok to prevent clotting. i am 36 fit, what happens now, do i come off the medication. could this be a one off brought on by too many beers on sat night and overtraining. i am looking for other people to comment that are my age and have similar experiences.
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Avatar_n_tn
I also  try to post a question every morning from 6:00 am to 11:00am!!BUT you can help me. I also feel a beat(like if the heart  jumps) sometimes. It is like if all my body stops when this beat cames.  I feel it maybe one time in a week only but it is very scary to me,I was made echo, electro and stress test, all were ok.But this strange sensation  is very unpleasant.I am in a stress situation also, can this be?The good results from the tests made me calm down but is this normal? Please answer me...
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Avatar_n_tn
I am 22 years old and have been having an irregular heartbeat for about a year now.  It started out 1 1/2 years ago as just a fast heartbeat.  I now get dizziness, chest pain, ringing in my ears, and sometimes numbness in my fingers.  I take 12.5 mg of Toprol everyday and am also on Zoloft because of depression and MAJOR panic attacks due to my anxiety about my heart.  I have been to two cardiologists and have had almost every test done.  Nothing is supposedly wrong but I feel that it is.  I think I'm going to die everyday.  I had to leave a concert because of a panic attack. I do not smoke, rarely drink, and try to stay away from caffeine. I feel as though I just get by everyday!!!If someone feels the way I do, please feel free to e-mail me at ***@****.
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Avatar_n_tn
PANIC is the unavoidable gut reaction to the discovery of something wrong with your health, especially with the heart beat.
I underwent a similar series of symptoms, and my first contact with a cardio who told me that a pacemaker might be needed really did the trick!  It took me 5 cardios, and 2 years to get over that anxiety.  The problem with arrhythmias is that you end up feeling compelled to keep checking on yourself and you develop a heightened awareness of each suspicious beat....this is what you have to stop doing.  Assuming you have a clean bill of health from your doc, and all that you have are annoying palps which the doc states are benign and nothing to worry about, it's up to you to develop the discipline of mind to avoid paying attention to your heart beat.  Once you get over that hump, the rest of your anxiety-driven symptoms will disappear.  Easier said than done, however, just accept that your body is changing with the years and some palps are just going to come once in a while. It might help to go to a medical library and peruse some texts on arrythmias just to get an idea of what causes them, what kinds there are, and just what is being done about them these days.  If they really bother you, get checked out by an EP (electrophysiologist, a cardio speciallizing in arrhythmias) and go with his/her advice....you really need to find a doc you can trust.  Good Luck.
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Avatar_n_tn
My symptoms started when I was about 21 years old or so.  I was working at the time in a warehouse doing some fairly heavy lifting and going to college at the same time.  I became pretty run down trying to keep this schedule and came down with a cold which turned into bronchitus (bronchitis).  I had the cough associated with bronchitus (bronchitis) for quite a while before I finally went to the doctor for antiboitics.  It was at the same time noticing an unfamiliar sensation in my chest when I started having a coughing attack, kind of a fluttering feeling.  I thought it was just a muscle spasm in my lungs or something caused from the relentless coughing.  No pain really, just fluttering.  After a few days on the antibiotics the coughing symtoms (symptoms) subsided and the fluttering was still there occationally.  I told my primary care doctor about my problem, he checked me out (EKG) and found nothing, said probably PVC's. Long story shorter, I am now 38 years of age and STILL occationally having these flutters or skipped beats.  I did go a cardiologist about 1 year ago and did all the tests which found nothing wrong with my heart.  The doctor suspects that I am having PVC's (premature ventricular contractions)which are nothing more than an annoyance, kind of like a hick-up in the heart! But since I did not have the symptoms during the office visit, he is just guessing. He asked if I would like to take something for it or not, in his opinion I did not need to take anything.  But like you and many others, these episodes have effected me mentally.  I am seemingly always thinking about it and wondering if I am dying when they happen.  So I opted to take something.  I am taking Toprol XL at 25mg/day.  It has helped my symptoms to become less frequent, but they still occur when I don't get enough sleep or am in a stressful situation at work or something.  I play in a retro-rock band on weekends and sometimes have the episodes while performing!  That is real scarry! I had an episode just yesterday while working an open house for one of my customer (I am in sales).  I have not been getting enough rest lately, so I am not surprised.  I went to my cardiologists office and was hooked up to a holter monitor, but by the time they put it on me the symptoms had subsided.  They told me sometimes people can have these PVC's without actually feeling them, so mayby the monitor will pick it up over the 24 hour period I am wearing it.  I want them to actually see something and be able to accurately identify the problem.
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Avatar_n_tn
To all you folks out there with irregular heartbeats... I am in my mid 40's, and have had to live with skipped beats and tachycardia since I was about 12! My advice is get checked out completely. If the tests are negative, try to realize irregular beats are very common, and get on with your life. In my case I suffered anxiety problems for years and wasted a lot of time. I finally got some tapes from an anxiety center and they really helped me deal with it. Just last night I woke up with a fast heartbeat. This would have freaked me out only weeks ago... but this time I shrugged it off and got a good night's sleep. I feel for anyone who has to go through this, but there are solutions!
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Avatar_n_tn
HI I AM A THIRTY YEAR OLD FEMALE NORMAL WEIGHT I SMOKE(NOT GOOD I KNOW)I HAVE MITRAL VALVE AND AN IRREGULAR HEARTBEAT.GOT LUCKY AND MY DOC CAUGHT THE IRREGULAR BEAT ON A EKG.HE IS SENDING ME TO A CARDIOLOGIST.I AM ON 50 MG OF TENORMIN A DAY AND IT DOSEN'T DO ANY GOOD.I HAVE IRREGULAR BEATS EVERYDAY LASTING FROM A HOUR TO TWELVE HOURS.DOC SAYS DON'T WORRY.WHAT IS HE NUTS.THIS IS MY HEART AND IT DOSEN'T WORK RIGHT SO OF COURSE I AM WORRIED.HE IS CHECKING MY THYROID (WAITING FOR THE RESULTS)BUT THINKS IT IS CAUSED BY THE MITRAL VALVE.I HAVE KNOWN ABOUT THIS MY WHOLE LIFE WHY WOULD IT CAUSE AN IRREGULAR BEAT KNOW AFTER 30 YEARS.SCARED TO DEATH HERE IN MICHIGAN.ANY INFO WOULD BE GREAT.
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Avatar_n_tn
I am 24 years old and when I was 14 yrs. old, I had an ablation done to get rid of the w.p.w. (Wolfe Parkinson White) syndrome. I found out that I had w.p.w when I was 6 years old. Before the ablation, my heart would beat 220 bpm and I would have these episodes that would last until I could stop them. My cardiologist told me to stick my finger in the back my mouth and gag myself (I thought he was kidding) but it worked. My heart beat would go back to normal. He did prescribe 50 mg of INDEROL that I was responsible for taking every morning before school. And that was a big job for a 6 year old kid. So, I did that for 8 years and finally when I was able to get the ablation done. Since then, I've been doing well. Occasionally I will have a pain in my chest but I went and got a EKG and the doctor says everything is fine, maybe it's just stress. I may get a second opinion just to make sure I'm okay. Anyway, my whole point is that some of you people may have the w.p.w. syndrome and should ask your cardiologist about it. Some of your symptoms are similar to what I had. Good luck!
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