This is kind of long, but I just have a lot of questions and details to share with you:
I'm am a 21 year old male, about 6 feet tall, 160lbs. Aside from this problem I am quite healthy, as I am a collegiate athlete. I run cross country and track and field for my college, so I run 60-70 miles a week. The issue I have is that for a long time I have had infrequent palpitations. I also have an anxiety condition, so I had always assumed that any palpitations that I felt were not a big deal, as they could probably be attributed to the anxiety. My symptoms would usually only present once every two or three months. However, over the course of the past month or so I have begun to go into periods lasting days or weeks at a time during which I experience multiple episodes of fluttering or "skipped" heart beats, multiple times throughout each day. They seem to come and go unannounced, and the times when I don't have them I feel completely normal and healthy.
I had a resting EKG done, as well as a full echocardiogram. They found no structural problems with my heart, so I'm no longer worried about those sorts of issues. However, I am still worried that I might have some kind of non-structural heart defect that could be dangerous. Now, I did have a 24 hour holter monitor on last week and I ran with it on, and they saw no problems or arrhythmias during any part of that day. They said I just showed some normal PVC's, but that it all fell within the normal range.
So, what I guess I want to know is whether or not you have to actually be feeling the heart palpitations while you are running in order for the results of that test to rule out serious conditions like PVST. If I had such a condition, or any other sort of dangerous congenial arrhythmia (or non-congenial arrhythmia) would it be very likely that it would have shown up while I was running with the monitor on, or would I have had to have an episode in order for this to be the case?
I also want to add that there is no family history of heart disease on either side of my family. Going three, four generations back, no one has died from heart disease (or anything really) before the age of 50, so that appears to be a good sign, but I am far more physically active than the rest of my family, so you can see why I might be worried about something happening to me, which has not happened to any of them. I should also add that I have a couple cousins who have experienced palpitations throughout their lives, but all their stress tests, EKG's, echocardiogram, etc came back normal, and they have been told to simply live with it, as it is probably from the anxiety condition we all share. I am just a little worried, because I have noticed that my palpitations tend to come on more often when I am lying down on my stomach, or when I have just finished a run or workout, which concerns me, since those seem to be bad times to have palpitations. However, like I said earlier, they seem to come at random times. For example, on Tuesday we did a full VO2 workout, so my HR was obviously well up near 200 during the intervals, but I felt nothing bad that day. Then yesterday, we were just doing some easy strides after a run and I started having some really scary heart fluttering.
The only other thing I was wondering about was MVP. When I was taking the echocardiogram the technician said that she noticed a very minor leak from the mitral valve, but that it was so minor the cardiologist probably wouldn't even list in in the report. Indeed, he did not, and even marked, "no sign of mitral valve prolapse," but I just wonder if some of my symptoms could be the result of this minor leak (that is said to be somewhat common and normal within the healthy faction of the population), because my family does have a history of Graves Disease (thyroid...although mine currently tests normal), and autonomic neurological disorders (the anxiety), and I have read from multiple sources that there is an unexplained, but scientifically sound correlation between MVP and these other disorders. I wonder if my cousins and I could all be experiencing the symptoms from minor leaks in our mitral valves, simply because we are more aware of these sort of things, as we tend to be the ones that have the most acute anxiety within the family.
If any doctors or anyone else who has gone through the same or similar things can help me answer any or all of my questions, or help to alleviate any of my fears, that would be greatly appreciated. On the other hand, if any of you read this and find that your opinion is that there is something I should be more worried about and need to look into, I would greatly appreciate hearing about this as well.
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