Heart Disease Expert Forum
Cause for Concern?
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Cause for Concern?

Hello,

My name is Kylie and I am 17 years old. For the last month I have been experiencing episodes that only last a few minutes, but begin with a rapid heart rate. Then I have shortness of breath, lightheadedness, a feeling of pressure in my chest, and dizziness. I have felt like I was going to pass out a few times.. These typically occur at rest, and I can go up to two days without having them. Some days, I have up to three episodes.

I have already seen my general practitioner, and have been referred to a cardiologist. I have had these symptoms in more mild/sporadic forms for years, and once visited cardio before. Nothing showed up at the time, and there was nothing wrong with the structure of my heart. My symptoms are much more consistent and severe then before. Any ideas of what this could be?

Additional Info: I am 5'6, 122 pounds, I have Crohn's disease

Thanks so much and I would love some feedback!
Avatar_dr_f_tn
Hi,

Sorry to hear that this has been going on. I think it is worthwhile for you to see a cardiologist for further testing. From a cardiac perspective, I think that it would be worthwhile to have a baseline EKG as well as likely an event monitor to sort out whether this could be an underlying arrhythmia which are causing the issue. I would also get an echocardiogram to evaluate for mitral prolapse (which can sometimes cause some of the symptoms which you mentioned) or other evidence of other forms of structural heart disease. They may want to check your cholesterol as well to ensure that is normal. Given your age (and assuming you don't have a significant family history of heart disease with onset at a young age), I think that other cardiac causes of these symptoms would be unlikely and probably wouldn't pursue further testing (ie stress test, cardiac CT, or cardiac catheterization) if the above testing is normal and nothing else concerning is found out when you are evaluated. Prior to going in, I would ask your family members about any family history of heart disease among your parents, siblings, and grandparents (ie heart attacks, heart failure, sudden death, arrhythmias). If you have more severe episodes at home and especially if you pass out you should seek care at the nearest ED. With all this in mind, what I tried to do is focus on the cardiac perspective on this but that given your age and what you described other noncardiac things such as anxiety are also on the list of things that can cause this and should be evaluated concurrently as well. I hope this helps.
2 Comments
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks so much for such a detailed response! I will follow your advice. Best wishes!
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