Hello Heart Forum. Thank you for offering such a great service. I browse the archives constantly.
My question to you is as follows.
I am a 39 year old female who gets palpitations probably 20 times a day. They feel like my heart stops and then comes back with a big thump. Anyways I am trying to live with these as my doctors have done tests and they say my heart is normal.
Sometimes when I wake up at night (I don't know whether the skipping wakes me up or it is just coincidence), but I can just lay there and feel my heart do a couple of quick beats together or it will just feel like it is not beating properly and skip and do a large thud. This can sometimes go on for hours! It really scares me. It also happens sometimes upon waking in the morning (once again not that often), maybe once every couple of weeks.
Can you please tell me how normal that is. It really does not seem normal to me that your heart would skip every 30 seconds or so for so long. Why would it do that? Does it sound like I have a irritable spot on my heart that takes over the heart rate? My docs seem to think that it is that but I have trouble believing it. I think I have some electrical problem (wouldn't an EKG or Echo confirm that though)? It does however stop on its own after a couple of hours. Should I have concern about this or just not worry??
Also it seem when I get palpitations throughout the they seem to come every minute or so for a while then stop and then come back again an hour later and skip around for a few minutes. How common is it for people to get skipping so often (or is that considered often)?
I am getting to the point I am scared to lay down just in case this starts happening again.
If you have had an echo, EKG, and Holter monitor that you wore while having your symptoms, and all these were normal, then you have nothing to worry about. There is essentially no risk of your palpitations degenerating into a life-threatening situation. However, if the symptoms are interfering with the quality of your life, you should discuss with your doctor the possibility of starting medications such as beta blockers, that can help reduce the frequency of palpitations. Also, make sure that you are avoiding caffeine.
Lol. you poor love, really this happens to LOTS of people. I know it's frightening, disturbing, and certainly not easy to accept. It is ok though, most people have it but don't notice it, people like you and I do.
In all honesty worrying about it will just make it all the more likely to occur (stress trigger). In time you will learn to live with it and it will fade into the background...well most of the time anyway.
You will be OK, just check it all out and then get on with your life.
Patricia, I know exactly how you feel. Im 39 and I had been having all these things with my heart since 1993. I guess I was about 33 when they started. It started with my heart racing one day, it lasted about two hours and then it went to the normal rate. The next day it did the same thing. It sometimes starts up when getting out of bed in the morning, or after I eat a meal. It was a everday thing. Then in feb. 1998 it stared up its usual racing thing, only this day it would not slow down after some time like it ususally does. I couldnt get off the couch, or walk across the room with out it going super fast. Then I started to feel all these weird beats or fluttering feeling. So I ended up going that evening to the ER , and had the tests they give and was sent home. They told me to go to a cardiologist, and he did all his tests, says all came back fine, but I was still getting these miserable symptons. In sept. 1999 he put me on Toprol and that really helped curve the symptons alot. I still have these symptons, especially right before and during my menses, they seem to be more frequent and stronger. One other sympton I get which really scares me, is I will feel fine then I feel my heart flutter then it goes to a very slow or weird beating. I cough, and do something with a quick motion like walk fast , and while my heart is beating slow like this , sometimes I start to feel lightheaded, then it goes from the slow or weird beating to a fast beating then back down to the normal rate, and the event is usually over with. Sometines with this I get like a hot flushed feeling. I noticed this event will happen sometimes two weeks after my last period, or right before my period begins. It has to be a hormonal connection somewhere. I noticed in this forum there seems to be alot of women in this age group with alot of the same symptons.
Palpitations are very common. The standard test for them is a 24 hour Holter monitor which will record all the episodes you are having. They are usually felt more when laying down or resting. If all the tests indicate they are benign, then they are. I'm 54 and have had them for 3 years now...they can be annoying, but eventually you wind up taking them for granted. The best description of PVC's (palpitations) I ever heard described them as hiccups from the heart. Thinking of them as heart hiccups helps me put them in their proper perspective.
All the docs say what you are getting is normal.
my cardiologist says that no one has died from extra beats etc.
Both my husband and I have found that posture can bring them on, as well as food, indigeston too.
Dont worry about them as most people have them but don't notice them.
Please look into what you are eating. MSG which is added to most packaged foods under a variety of different names is known to cause heart racing in individuals who are particularly sensitive to it. Food dyes are another culprit. Please consider this seriously. Most people are unaware of the dangerous and toxic additives which are in our foods. Kentucky Fried Chicken, for instance, is loaded with Msg, as are most cakes and cookies. It's even in vitamins though usually listed as hydrolyzed vegetable protein. I'm all too aware of the fear that these episodes of heart irregularities cause and it was only after much research that I determined mine to be the result of certain foods and drinks I was ingesting. Good Luck.
I too had a bout with palpitations about three years ago- anywhere from 10-200 a day. I am a slim vegetarian who exercises moderately. Had all the tests and came through with flying colors. Was told by the docs to avoid the common precipitants of PAC's and PVC's (which is what I had) - caffeine, ephedrine products, stress etc.and that the palps. were harmless and to try not to let them bother me. There's not much else the regular docs can do - the reassurance is great but if you haven't had persistent palpitations it's hard to understand how disturbing they can be.
Having always been into alternative health stuff I tried two things. First, a chiropractor who deals with SOT (sacro-occipital technique). In addition to spinal stuff, these folks deal with organs and extremities. She said that they are often able to help patients who have certain heart symptoms. There is an upper leg muscle called the soas the other end of which anchors at several points, including the diaphragm. If that muscle is in spasm, it can affect the diaphragm and mimic some of the symptoms of a hiatal hernia and among those can be heart symptoms, including palpitations. This turned out to not be the main engine behind mine, but there were a couple of times when they would be worse after eating and/or lying down (classic hiatal hernia stuff) and my chiropractor determined that I was "hiatal" and fixed me, at which point they calmed down considerably. The other thing I did was to consult a homeopath. Homeopathy is very interesting stuff. After a journey through about six or seven remedies which took about a year, my palpitations went away in almost exactly the manner that the homeopath said they would. Along the way there were also some definite correlations between the remedy I was taking at the time and the way my heart was behaving. About three weeks ago they flared up agan (25-100 a day). I went back to the homeopath (haven't seen him in two years). He gave me a remedy to take once a day for a week but predicted that they would probably start improving in a day or two. That was last Thurs. They went away completely in two days. This stuff may sound like voodoo to the good doctors at the Cleveland Clinic, and not to in any way belittle they great service that they provide here, but since regular medicine has little help to offer, people might do well to investigate these modalities. Acupuncture is also supposed to sometimes help, but I have no personal experience with it. I hope this info is helpful to everyone out there! John
Hi Patricia- I don't take anything that is "herbal" in the sense of the kinds of herbal tinctures that you find in health food stores.I did take hawthorne for a while as some recommend it for palps but didn't notice any difference. Many homeopathic remedies are of herbal derivation but are much, much more dilute than the herbal stuff in the little dropper bottles. If you're interested in trying homeopathy you really have to go to a homeopath. It's very much about matching a remedy or remedies to your personal set of symptoms- not just the palps, but other physical symptoms and also mental and psychological symptoms. There are probably about 30 or 40 remedies that might be used for palps but you really have to get with someone who can narrow it down to the 1 or 2 that would work for you. There are some good books about homeopathy - some by George Vitoulkhas (a little esoteric) and some by Dana Ullman (easier) among others.To find a homeopath in your area (I'm near NYC) you might try a health food store or other alternative health practitioner, or a Net search might turn up an index of practitioners. Regards, John
Patricia get all the test reports from your doctors in
"your hand".You need an official echocardiogram and ekg reports.
It is your priviledge to have test results for which you or your insurance paid.Maybe something could happen ~no need to panic right now.Once you have all those reports you will be able to see what your docs consider normal.Maybe what is normal to them isn't "normal" to others even in this forum.
It might be a matter of negligence.Skipped beats are
a characteristic of prolapsing valve or it's leaflet but there can be other causes.EKG is the basic tool for interpreting
variety of causes but there are things that both echo and ekg wont tell.
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