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heart quivering....
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heart quivering....

I am a 25 yr old otherwise healthy female.  I have been having problems with irregular heartbeats for the past three years.  I often experience the feeling that my heart is actually quivering, and then it returns to normal after several minutes.
Can this lead to cardiac arrest? I also tend to feel lightheaded and dizzy a lot.  I have had several tests done, but have not had an episode during recording.  Can this quivering be described as a palpitation, or could it be something more serious such as ventricular fibrillation?  I am very concerned due to the fact that the doctor has not been able to record an episode.  I have had every test done, except a stress test, which I will be having done later in the month.  I am not sure what my other options are at this point, since it is impossible to diagnose an arryhthmia without an actual recording of the episode.  Thank you for your time.
TSC
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Avatar_n_tn
TSC,

Sorry to read of your symptoms.  I have never heard someone describe their heart as "quivering", but different strokes for different folks.  The term "palpitations" merely implies the sensation of feeling your heart beat.  People most commonly associate the term with abnormal sensations, and use descriptive terms including: racing, pounding, thumping, pulsing, beating irregularly, hard beating, forceful beating, etc.

If you've read any of this forum, you've seen that all I can try to do is help you estimate your risk for bad outcome.  A healthy 25 year old woman with palpitations (quivering) has a very, very low risk of sudden cardiac death.  Things that would tend to increase your risk would be a strong family history of sudden death or a personal history of passing out.

You should be reassured that you have survived these episodes for the past 3 years without death or ill effects.  It would be extremaly unusual for you to have a life-threatening arrhthymia without symptoms of passing out or nearly passing out during the palpitations.

To help diagnose these spells, I would consider an event monitor.  You would wear this device for some time (ex 2 weeks) and press a button whenever you had one of the spells.  The device would record your hearts electrical activity, which could then be evaluated by your doctor.  You should also learn to check and record your pulse during these events.  If you've already used an event monitor without success, then consider the Reveal monitor produced by Medtronic (www.medtronic.com).

Lastly, approximately 25% of patients who seek evaluation for palpitations actually have an anxiety/panic disorder.  It is even more common in young women.  At least discuss this possibility with your doctor.

Hope that helps.
24 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi TSC,
The dr.'s comments and the way my cardio/ep always assumes I mean my tachy when I say "palpitations" makes me wonder if I should describe the sensations instead.  I rarely have palpitations with the tachy, I usually find it by taking my pulse when I am light headed or dizzy, or have butterfly feelings in my chest.  Even though I have told him this, everytime I mention "palpitations"...
Anyway, I like many others also have the pac's and pvc's, etc. But just recently had a very strange sensation that might be the same as your quivering.  It felt like my heart stopped and got tight and then shivered.  Weird, I know.  I didn't even tell cardio.  He was ordering another echo anyway and a lipid profile (because my mother died of CHF, she had an MVR and 2 bypasses and her fam. history isn't great, either).  But is that what your heart felt like?
Do you have any other problems that you see your cardio for?  I have IST and NCS, mild MVP with mild MR and mild TR.  If so, maybe we should get away from terminology and be descriptive instead, as in your using "quivering".
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Avatar_n_tn
My heart has done the exact same thing as yours.  Twice
now my heart has went into a quivering action that lasted
for about 5 minutes.  It was not a normal palpatation.  I
have been diagnosed with PAT.  My heart will click on
after bending over and race over 200 bpm but this isn't the
quivering action.  PAT is a normal beat just fast.  Usually if
I hold my breath over and over it will go back to normal.
When my heart went into this quivering action there was
nothing I could do to make it go back to normal.  It finally
did on its own.  It made me lightheaded and very panicky. I
thought that was it.  I too have had anxiety for years.  My
heart would be racing and I would assume I must be a nut case
but couldn't figure out what I was so nervous about.  Come to
fine out it wasn't all anxiety but something my hearts doing.
I've been seen by a cardiologist and a electrophisist.  I'm
currently on a beta blocker daily.  I am in my 40's now but
all this stuff has been going on since my early 20's.  Your
problem could be like mine.  They told me it will get worse as
you age.  You will have more and more symtoms (symptoms) of problems.  The
good this is that most times it won't kill you but you feel like
it will.  Always remember, you can die from heart problems no
matter what your age.  Don't let the doctors always make you
think its in your head.  Go to a cardiologist and check it out!
At least if they don't find anything major it's something you
just have to live with.  I wish a doctor had taken me seriously
years ago and maybe today I wouldn't have at least had any
anxiety problems.  They seem to go hand in hand.  

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Avatar_n_tn
I have used the word " quivering" many times to describe a certainkind of palpitation -- it feels like my hear simply quivers, literally, for a few seconds. Now this could NOT be ventrincular fibrillation that either of us are experiencing or we wouldn't be here to write about it. I suspect it is several clustered PACS or PVCS that feel different than other times because of the exact spot of the heart that is contracting.
I can have so MANY different sensations.. it's crazy -- feeling like my heart "stops" for an instant, beats extremely fast but regularly for a few seconds, very fast but IRregular for a few seconds... sometimes feeling a big pound.. other times like a little "weak" beat or two that sort of feels like the air was knockedout of me  -- terrifying - but only lasts a few seconds usually.. and when my heart is "acting up" i can take my pulse and it will be beating regular for 5 or 6 beats then several blips of irregular beats , then regular, then irregular. It is such a miserable affliction..
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Avatar_n_tn
I too have experienced a quivering sensation for about 5 years now.  i have had ekgs, holter monitoring, and an echocardiogram, which my cariologist recommends each year.  The only thing that they found was a mild regurgitation of the mitral valve which my doctor said was fairly common in women of my age. (36)  It is still real scary to have these sensations.  Sometimes I can go months without any, and then here they come, a couple each hour and sometimes more often.  I am scheduled next week for my yearly echo and this year my dr wants to do a cardiolyte stress test.  Has anyone had one of these that can tell my what it involves?  Thanks and God Bless!!
















































































































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Avatar_f_tn
I, too, have experienced the "quivering" sensation you describe and in my case it is probably short runs of vtach.  I know, I know it sounds scary but I have been repeatedly assured by my cardio and ep that is is non-life threatening in someone my age (36) with no heart damage,etc.  In fact, they consider it to be not much more clinically significant than just a whole bunch of pvcs!!!  But it is awful.  I also have pretty high levels of pvcs including bigemeny (every other beat) which can go on and on.  I am on 25mg atenolol and have been getting counseling to help me live with it (although I am considering an ablation in a few years).  I would be happy to chat with anyone plagued by pvcs as I am feeling like a real pro!  Yep, they do feel very different from one time to the next, and they are incredibly distracting and challenging to live with to say the least.  Feel free to contact me if you want moral support or info.  
***@****
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks so much for comment.  It is so nice to know that I am not alone in this.  I am now trying to learn how to get on with my life, and not let these heart "problems" take over.  I am often told by my docotor that these palpitations are all normal, but it does not feel very "normal" when it is happening!  Thanks again.....TSC
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Avatar_n_tn
TSC,

You are definitely not alone in this one.  I have been having these symptoms for years.  I am a 26 year old female and I think it started when I was about 21.  I know that I have always experienced these extra beats (I remember feeling them as a kid) but it wasn't until I got older and realized that it wasn't entirely normal that they started bothering me.  It is very frustrating how they start to rule your life.  I have stopped drinking caffeine and alcohol because I don't want to aggravate them.  I have learned to somewhat deal with them but I still get a little frightened - I think that is normal.  I think the important thing to know is that they are not going to kill you...they are just a nuisance.  I try to tell myself this everytime it happens and I am able to deal with them better now.

Good luck with everything and try not to let them get to you.

ALD
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Avatar_n_tn
Geez, I can't believe this happens to so many people! I too have troubles with my heart skipping and quivering. I am forever checking my pulse, and just so paranoid about my heart stopping. When this happens, I too feel like the air is knocked right out of me for just a few seconds. An EKG last year showed no signs of problems, but how can this be such an ill feeling if nothing is wrong? A few times I have had tingling in my left fingers, and will sometimes be "off balanced" because of light headedness. I am in complete fear of taking any allergy meds because it just amplifies all these feelings in my chest. So what is up with all this?
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Avatar_n_tn
If anyone is interested in exchanging e-mails let me know.  I think it would offer great support, since so many of us are going through the exact same thing.  It can be so frightening.
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Avatar_n_tn
Yep, I would be very interested! My email is ***@****.

Good to know that we are not the only ones!
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Avatar_n_tn
THESE FEELINGS OF QUIVERING AND FEELING LIKE MY HEART IS RACING A BEAT HAS BEEN DIAGNOSED AS TOO MUCH CAFFIENE AND SUGAR. I HAVE BEEN TRYING TO ILLIMINATE THESE THINGS FROM MY DIET AND REALLY DON'T SEE MUCH OF A CHANGE. TONIGHT WHILE ATTENDING A CONCERT I FELT THEM INTENSIFY AND QUITE ANNOYING.   THE DOCTOR MENTIONED THAT HE WOULD PUT ME ON A MONITOR  TOO SEE WHAT IS STRESSING THE HEART OUT.  ANY INPUT WOULD BE HELPFUL
TAKE CARE,
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Avatar_n_tn
Iknow how you feel.  I have been dealing with tachycardia and skipping heart beats for the last couple of years.  They finally took me into the hospital and my cardio did a cath abaltion.  They were able to burn off the area that was causing the tachycardia.  Now all the sudden for the past 2 months I have been getting a skipping heart beat and it freaks me out. I have had alter monitor put on and they say it comes back normal.  It sucks to be such a worry wart about all this.  I would trade it for anyhting.  I'm 26 and have a daughter and I want to be healthy for her.
Please lets e-mail so we all can be a good support system for each other.  you can e-mail me at ***@****. Hope to hear from each one of you.
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Avatar_n_tn
Here are my symptoms, upon inhaling sometimes I get a strange feeling like I'm suffocating and a feeling of anxiety with a tingling feeling in my chest,very hard to describe, I've taken my pulse at that moment and my heart stops for about a second, It almost feels like a weezy sensation. If I take deep breaths it continues to happen if I take slow shallow breaths it helps and gradually dissapates, sometimes laying down causes it to happen and changing positions in bed does also. It seems to occur about 10-30 times a year with the episodes lasting about a 1-3 days on and off....The doctors can find nothing wrong and say it anxiety, is this reasonable? this has been occuring for about 12 years.....

Heres the tests I've had over the last 4 years:
Echo cardiogram
3-4 EKG's
Stress test
several complete blood tests
Abdominal CT scan
Hida Scan
Barium Enema
Several Chest xrays
abdominal xray

all normal except slightly elevated Liver enzyme 30-64

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Avatar_n_tn
HI EVERYONE
I TOO HAVE THOSE AWFUL PACS PVCS AND SOMETIMES THE QUIVERING FEELING WHICH IS SOOOO SCAREY. I HAVE HAD MANY TEST ALSO. GOING BACK FOR MORE 8/5/02. I AM ALSO CONSIDERED HEALTHY OUTSIDE OF THIS PROBLEM. I AM NOW 44 HAD THE PROBLEM SINCE EARLY TEENS. DOES ANYONE NOTICE THEY GET WORSE RIGHT BEFORE YOUR PERIOD? DOC SAYS HE HERE ALOT OF WOMEN COMPLAIN ABOUT THEM AT THAT TIME. ANYONE FEEL FREE TO EMAIL ME AT ***@****
                                         GOD BLESS
                                        HOPE EVERYONE IS DOING  
                                         WELL
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Avatar_n_tn
If y'all want to talk, maybe we should arrange a time and meet in the chat room provided.  What do you think?
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Avatar_n_tn
great idea. let me know what time the chat is.
                                         thanks
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Avatar_n_tn
Let's set up a time to chat.  How about Monday evenings a 9pm (Eastern Standard time)???
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Avatar_n_tn
I have atrial fib and flutter at age 48.  
All the holter monitor tests and and echos and stress tests could not find the atrial fib and flutter, even after angina attacks from a-fib, etc. Had decided the diagnosis was palpitations, the most recent "peri-menopause" diagnosis for women when no real problem can be found thru medical tests. I went into a-fib and flutter that would not recover on its own in May 2002 and was finally diagnosed.

On class 1 drugs for AV node (cardizem and toprol (changed to atenolol to prevent bad dreams from toprol) ), but a-fib still occurring. Cardioversion into normal rhythm that lasted one day.
Guess I'm going to be hospitalized next week for the class 2 anti-arrhythmic drugs to stop the a-fib.

My comment on quivering... When my heart rate is up and pulse is very erratic, I can sometimes feel my heart quivering....shaking like jello and not really feeling like it is beating. Probably from the atrium being in a-fib and meds trying to prevent the too fast beating from affecting the ventricals. Other times, I can just feel the heart being a bit shakey (shaky) or I just feel poorly in general.
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Avatar_n_tn
I had to come back to post after doing a lot of research throughout the web on Atrial Fibrillation.

Just about everywhere that I read about A-fib, the heart was described as "quivering".

Think about the original reply in this column with what is generally known knowledge about arrythmias.
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Avatar_n_tn
This may seem rather crude, but have any of you experienced an increase in your irregular heartbeats when you are having intestinal problems? I've asked my doctor about this and he just looks at me, but I've heard others say they've noticed a similar thing.  When my intestinal woes are over, my heart returns to normal.  But until then, I'm having PAC's every few minutes for as long as 24 hours.  VERY annoying.
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Avatar_n_tn
I too have felt this "quivering" sensation of the heart which I have generally called "palpitations" along with stong heart beats and erratic pulses when communicating with my doctor. These sessions have been present after I starting taking amiodarone to combat my idiopathic VT. I would like to emphasise that I DID NOT feel this "quivering" before I developed my VT.
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Avatar_n_tn
First of all, I am sorry you all experience these symtoms (symptoms), but second, I am glad I am not alone.  Maybe having someone to talk to about it will help.  I am a 46 year old mother of 2 with a professional level job at a hospital.  The heart quivering, jumping, skipping, stopping, and everything else has been happening since my early 30's.  I have one of the best board certified cardiologists in my area of the state, and have been told to "not let it scare me".  I have the same tests most everyone else mentions.  In fact, my current cardio is my 3rd.  I can go days or weeks without a "bad one". I have actually gotten to the point that the "little ones" don't really bother me. But last night I had a Big One.  Thats what inspired me to search the web.  I wasn't doing anything, and I swear my heart stopped, I felt flush, I tried to cough, but I felt like there wasn't enough air in my lungs to even do that. I felt my pulse in both my wrists and neck (which is something I do a lot), and I did not feel one. I even hit myself in the chest. Suddenly, I was fine, my hands were shaking like crazy though and I was terrified.  The whole ordeal probably lasted 5 seconds.  I have been diagnosed with PVC's with a holter monitor, which I have done twice. One time it showed 23 pvc's in a 24 hr period, and my doc said I felt everyone (during daytime), because I pushed the alarm. I feel the quiver that is described too, its almost like the heart has stopped and jerks sideways to get restarted.  I feel like I could drop dead anytime for a while after I experience this.  I even took out extra life insurance! I am on Atenolol 25mg for mild htn, but also for control of this.  Sometimes I feel this thing controls me. When it happens, I am afraid to go anywhere by myself. I did drive myself to the ER one time, but I was diagnosed with a reaction to medicine given to me by the dentist. I've been in the ER about 3 times over all, though not in at least 10 years. I'm just trying to live with it like all of you, and hoping I don't suddenly drop dead.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi Bada,
-
You're not going to drop dead.
This is so recognizable to me.
I have the same symptoms.
The 'BUMPS' and the 'QUIVERING' oh well..., but the 'STOPPING' is very disturbing - I know!
Sometimes it feels like you're going to faint, and then just in time there is 'the normal beat' again.
I've always had a view 'extra beats', even when I was young.
But the 'STOPPING' and 'QUIVERING' is of the last year. I take propanolol (Inderal) 80 mg. caps. once a day. That helps me.
The quilty one? (This is what I think...):
The menopause, the hormones that is...
Or the onset to menopause. I am in the middle of it. I am 56.
And you are just at the right age I am sorry to say...
Many women suffer from the same symptoms, and more ****...
-
And what can we do about it?
Not much, you can hate them, but they come anyway. I know it's difficult, but this is what I do:
-
Eat the right stuff, and eat small meals.
No caffeine.
No smoking.
No alcohol.
Less sugar and salt.
Etc, etc, etc, etc... you know....
And this is important: RELAX, try to take some time to yourself, every day!
Breath the right way. Take enough sleep.
-
Go shopping, even when you feel anxious, don't let this stop you.
Accept the fact that you will feel some rotten bumps and palpitations; do not fight it, it does not help. Go on.
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Smile when you walk the walk of life.
Even if you don't feel like smiling. Keep your chin up!!!
It helps...:-)
-

Greetings -  ***Ianna***





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