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Heart Palpitations caused by self starvation
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Heart Palpitations caused by self starvation

I am 19 years old and for the past couple of years i have been experiencing Heart palpitations, chest pains, fluttering and pressure on the heart. I've had and EKG which came back borderline abnormal, which led the doctor to do further testing. I had an ultra sound done and worn a 24hr holter monitor, both came back normal within normal limits.

My doctor then wanted to set me up with a cardiologist to do a full test of my heart, to be on the safe side, but the cardiologist refused to see me because i am young and healthy and feels that it has nothing to do with my heart. She also prescribed me 2 medications: one for anxiety and one for heart burn. I haven't tried the anxiety one yet (cause i haven't felt the need), and i feel no affect from the heart burn medication.

So, i started to think about what changes happened around the same time of the palpitations, and all i could come up with was the fact that i started starving myself. I limited my diet to only fruits and vegetables, and lost a good 10 or more pounds, but never reached anorexia. For the past couple of years I've been trying  Could this be the cause of my heart palpitations?

Thank you for taking your time to read this and help me!
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Avatar_n_tn
Hello,

It is possible that not eating could exacerbate PAC/PVCs.  When you starve yourself, your electrolytes can change, adrenaline levels increase, among other changes.  I would not recommend starvation as a way to lose weight.  I agree wtih cutting back on calories and increasing activity, but please try to do it slowly.

Try to work with your doctors to make sure you are losing weight safely.

GOOD LUCK!!  Thanks for posting.
13 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
I also wanted to mention that about a month ago i had an experience while driving.  I felt extreme pressure on my heart and heavy/deep palpitations that lasted about 5-7 minutes, after which my left arm started to fill with pain. It was very hard to breath and it got me really scared. I also realized that i hadn't eaten anything that whole day leading up to that night(when it happened).
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16292_tn?1189759421
Of course starving yourself can lead to heart palpitations.  There are vitamins and minerals in a healthy diet that regulate the way your heart beats.  You are probably deficient in several.  This is precisely the way that supermodels die.  They starve themselves and then die from a heart arrhythmia.  Please get some help with this problem asap.  You can still lose weight while eating properly.  Please, really, asap.  I'm gonna pray for you.  Good luck!
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Avatar_f_tn
I used to be anorexic and had a really scary episode of heart arrhythmia during that time.  Stop starving yourself, start eating normally and I bet you will see that your heart palpitations get a lot better.
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Avatar_n_tn
The last line meant to say... "for the past couple of years i have been trying to eat right and rebuild a healthy diet. But it is hard now that i have a tendency to  not eat. I have been doing really good for the past 2 weeks with eating three meals a day and i can now feel hunger again and i am starting to crave food again, but i am scared cause i think it would be really easy to start the bad habits again."
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Avatar_n_tn
Friend,

You need to:

1) eat right and
2) go to a cardiologist who will bother to do a full work-up on you. Cardiologists who dismiss young patients because "they're too young" are irresponsible.

God bless
NP
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191631_tn?1189759421
i think you are experiencing anxiety i have the same  problems and everthing you have said makes me believe you are having panic attacks
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Avatar_f_tn
Two words: Karen Carpenter
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Avatar_f_tn
You need to be honest with your doctor about your eating disorder, and if you are admittedly starving yourself, its an eating disorder.. It can cause all kinds of serious cardiac issues than can lead to cardiac arrest and even death.. He will immediatly refer you to a cardio again, and make sure its a different one.. Many young people have heart problems and its extremely unprofessional and irresponsible to dismiss someone because they are young.. rediculous.. Good luck on your road to recovery.
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61536_tn?1340701763
The very definition of what you're doing is an eating disorder.  Eating disorders can lead to serious, potentially fatal complications.  Take it from me, I went through 14 years of anorexia and bulimia.

And it can very definitely play with your body in unpleasant ways, palpitations being one of them.

The cardiologist that refused to see you is a moron.  Consider it a blessing you found out this way and find another.
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61536_tn?1340701763
If you want additional info about eating disorders or my experience with them, please feel free to e-mail me - ***@****
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Avatar_n_tn
Hello, I did not have an eating disorder but when I was 16 my father was killed and I did not eat for about 2 months. I was very stressed and did not sleep or eat. I was 120 and went down to 98 and I had to force myself to eat after I saw how much weight I lost. I noticed my palpitations started shortly after that and I felt it was from the stress to my body such as what I went through. I wish you the best of luck in seeking help with your eating disorder but just wanted to chime in to let you know that not eating can affect your heart. Be well.
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Avatar_n_tn
Just to let everyone know that I think that if you are having palpitations it is a good idea if you get checked for any infections.  In my experience they get extremely bad when I have an infection.  Recently, I had an abcess (abscess) (sp/) on the nerve of tooth and I was having them extremely bad.  If someone says they are not related you could look at my medical history, I complain (when I have an infection). Not the only reason for having them I am sure, but definately does not help.
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