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Does this sound like a serious heart issue?
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Does this sound like a serious heart issue?

I'm not expecting to get diagnosed on here, but hopefully trying to find someone who is maybe going through the same thing as I am, or who can give me some advice?
I don't know if I have a heart condition, or if this whole problem is just anxiety. I know I definitely have anxiety, and I know that it plays a huge part in a lot of my heart troubles, but I feel like there's something else. I don't have insurance, so it's not easy to just make a doctors appointment for this..so i've been just dealing with it for about 2 years now. Here is some of my issues..
Heart pounds when it's hot out. Uncomfortable pounding that makes it difficult to do anything.
Heart pounds after eating almost anything at this point. It use to be random occurrences, or just after big meals.. but now it can be after eating 2 crackers.
While drinking alcohol, I feel great. Heart is no issue at all...the next day, it pounds, palpitations, etc.
Definitely pounds with caffeine.
Heart pounds when walking uphill, or up stairs, makes me feel out of breath, sort of light headed.. puts me in panic attack mode. I find myself avoiding stairs or hills if I can.
I usually wake up fine, and go to bed fine.. it's just during the day usually I have all of these episodes.
I find myself avoiding so many things now due to being scared that my heart is going to be pounding and causing me to get anxious over it.
I think a lot of the time my heart pounding is caused by anxiety.. but I think sometimes my heart is pounding due to other issues and it makes me anxious and then gets worse because I get anxious.
At this point, I'm 26 years old and I feel like a prisoner. I was always so active, happy, adventurous... and now it seems like I can't do anything because I have to deal with a pounding heart. I'm not suicidal, but it's to the point where I don't even know what reasons I have to live anymore If I can't enjoy my life.
I'm not really overweight, but I want to go out and run and exercise..and I can't even do that.
The last time I went to the doctor, which was about 2 - 2 1/2 years ago, she listened to my heart and said it sounded fine and shrugged everything off as just anxiety. I have had an ekg and a heart monitor back in high school (for skipped beats) and everything was fine then..but that was also probably almost 10 years ago.
Any feedback would be highly appreciated!

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Personally the best advise i could give you is that you need to be checked out by a doc if it has been a couple of years just to rule anything out.  There is so much that can make our hearts pound that it would stun you and many times it is not structural or electrical based....it sounds to me like you are letting this take over your life and you have to take back control of this situation and get the right answers that you need which would be confirmation from a doc telling you that you are fine....or if you aren't fine and what needs to be done to help you thru this.  We all go thru bouts of anxiety at one time or another when it comes to our hearts acting up because it is just plain scary....until you get the answers you are going to continue to play this guessing game and won't be able to live your life.  If it were me the first thing i would do tomorrow is make and appt. w. a heart doc and have them run a couple of simple tests.  Anxiety will definately make things worse for you.  Millions of people have what is called benign heart issues and there are specific things you are supposed to avoid to keep your racing heart at bay...a couple of them are...
no caffeine...this does not mean just coffee...its tea, sodas with any color in them at all....no red wine, no chocolate, limit your sugar intake, definately no energy drinks, stay away from gatorade type of products that have electrolytes in them...drink lots of water and this means plain water not flavored water because dehyration can set this off like crazy, limit your stress if possible, get a full nite of sleep each nite, watch your salt intake these are just a few of the basic rules to follow for any of us...first and foremost i would make an appt. w. a heart doc so you can get your life back......i know it feels earth shattering to you but this could very well be a benign situation here and you aren't going to feel better until you have the answers....it is not uncommon in what you are describing so i would relax a little bit but get seen by a doc so you can get you back...good luck
Thank you..even the littlest bit of assurance makes me feel better.
I agree with the dehydration thing.. it definitely makes it worse. I have good days and bad days. There are days that I can drink 2 cups of coffee and be absolutely fine, and then days where I literally take 2 sips and my heart pounds out of my chest and I feel like I can't really catch my breath. I just hate the thought of having to alter so much of my life just to be able to feel like everyone else. I do appreciate your response though, thank you!
It's a good idea to have a doc listen to your heart as it is now as well as to run a standard EKG.  Considering that you are very young and have always been active, the chances that there is anything wrong with your heart are very, VERY low.  When you get that news--as you probably will, along with the news that you're suffering from anxiety and panic--the trick will be to accept that diagnosis.

You will probably have to ask your doc for help in treating your anxiety, since the awareness of your heartbeat is ruining your life.  In the meantime, check out this site about da Costa's Syndrome:

Step away from the coffee.....step away from the coffee.....i know for me on a bad day two sips can do it to me...most of the time i am good but i guess if the stars aren't all aligned i pay for it LOL..........good luck

I would advice you to "stop" and think through your situation. You can start by reading your post again. It's an excellent description of your symptoms, and I really think you've completely understood what your bothersome, yet benign symptoms are caused by. You just don't trust your rational thoughts.

Your symptoms are easy to explain (I can answer them in the order you've written them).

The pounding when it's hot is probably caused by a natural dilation of your blood vessels, which reduces the diastolic blood pressure. To prevent you (and everyone else) from fainting due to hypotension, the heart beats harder (and faster) which you experience as palpitations. Some anxiety will further increase this effect, making it more bothersome.

When you're eating, blood runs to the GI tract, increasing heart rate and force of the heart beats. It happens in every living human being. Once you get this on your mind, it becomes really bothersome. After eating, you will get an insuline surge, which makes the blood sugar levels drop, making the body eject adrenaline, which you probably know the effect of. Stop eating white bread/candy/chocolate if this feels bad. Stop drinking coffee too!

Alcohol can make you relax, but as you know, the next day you feel twice as bad. Completely normal and another sign this is mental and not a heart disease. Do you really think alcohol would cure heart diseases?

When you walk up hills, the heart works harder. It really should, and something else would be seriously bad. Again, if you pay attention to this, you will get the adrenaline effect, with forceful/rapid/irregular heart beats.

You have the classical signs of cardiac neurosis! Nothing you describe seems dangerous, and your heart will really act up if you pay attention to it! If you can't handle this with reassurance or cognitive therapy, you could ask your doctors for beta blockers, which often helps, but managing this without meds is always best.

You're 26 years old and you don't have a heart disease! If you want, you could ask a cardiologist for some reassurance, which often helps. It helped me, and I completely recognize ALL of your symptoms. Stop searching the internet for answers, you should consider it all normal reactions towards stress/anxiety/stimulants and hypervigilance. Go out and live a normal, happy life, knowing you have a healthy heart! When you're climbing hills, counting backwards or enjoying the nature is a nice trick to get attention away from your heart.

At some points, I got a panic attack just from walking one minute, and climbing stairs almost made me go crazy. I've been there. I know how hard it is. The only key is to accept that your heart is healthy!

Reading your comment feels like i wrote it. I have been dealing with this for 7+ years now it sure ***** and allot of the time i feel like you whats the point if i cant enjoy my life.
I always tell myself that i will not let this beat me. Im still here fighting and i figured if there was something really wrong i would have been dead along time ago. I finally found a (good doctor) very important and am on my way to figuring out if its only in my head or not.
I stopped drinking and smoking 9 months ago witch helped but i still have very high blood pressure when stressed witch is always. the only time i feel ok and my blood pressure is low is when i wake up with a clear mind once i start thinking/stress is when i start feeling like crap...
I say do whatever you can do before you even think about taking meds been there done that it did help but didnt cure anything since im still here trying to make sense of all  this....
I say get insurance if you can if not regardless find a good doctor get blood work done to rule out thyroid adrenal problems etc The most important thing is find a doctor to talk to and get to the root of your anxiety...  
if you do decide to take meds stay away from beta blockers and doctors stupid enough to try to put you on them......Try to find a doctor that has a medical degree but thinks outside the box like acupuncture, mental health therapy, diet change etc............ Watch out for pill pushers..........

             hope you feel better soon
One more thing the worst thing you can do is not do anything  at all. I see you posted a comment in july dont be like me and drink your way though it . I did and guess what eight  years of my life gone and i am still here feeling like crap with anxiety because i didnt do anything about it... Remember that you are the only one standing in the way of you getting healthy....       :)
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