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Fluttering in chest
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Fluttering in chest

Hello,

I am concerned by a fluttering feeling I have been getting in my chest. When it happens, it lasts only for a split second, but usually happens 2-3 times in a row. Some days I don't feel it at all, and other days I get it a few times throughout the day. It is never accompanied by any pain, shortness of breath, dizziness--nothing. I just get the fluttering feeling and then it goes away. I can't describe the feeling much better than just a sort of fluttering feeling in the middle of my chest, a little to the left. Every now and then I also feel it in my throat a bit.

I have only noticed the fluttering in the past month or so. To give some information on my background, I am a normal-weight, 28 year old woman. My medical history is pretty empty--no major illnesses or treatments. I have seasonal allergies but have not been taking antihistamines for some time now (6 weeks approx--they seem to have sorted themselves out). Other than birth control (Implanon), I am not on any medication.

I am currently training for a marathon--started about 4 months ago. I am running over 25 miles a week, including one long run of over 10 miles each week. The fluttering was not present before I started the training program, however I don't get it while I am running. Could it be caused by the increase in activity/exercise? I wasn't sedentary before--I was running about 10 miles a week before I started training for the marathon.

In terms of family history, my sister had a heart murmur as a child and my mother and 3 siblings have hereditary high cholesterol. Though I haven't been tested since I was about 15, when I have been in the past I never came up positive for high cholesterol.

Should I be worried about the fluttering in my chest? Should I cut back on my running--is a marathon going to be too much? It's worrying me quite a bit, so any information you have would be very much appreciated!

Thanks.
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995271_tn?1312416925
Flutter in chest could be ectopic beats originating in the ventricles, ectopic beats originating in the atria.  Ventricular ectopics can then be broken down into multiple sub categories and so on and so on.  Then there are junctional rhythms that can cause flutters, or tachycardias originating in the atria and/or the ventricles that can cause flutters.....  Sometimes hyper trained athletes are more prone to other types of rhythm disturbances.

It needs to be caught on an EKG to understand what is going on to give you a clear answer.  If you went to see a cardiologist you couldn't get anything other than a vague answer.  Doctors have ways to catch the events.  Namely they can use a Holter Monitor.  There are various types.  Some are 24 hour "looper".  Some are multi-day event.

When I was in my early 20s I described this similarly to my doctor.  She said it was probably premature atrial contractions.  Years later the feeling was caught on an EKG and it was actually premature ventricular contraction.  So even an educated "guess" can be wrong about what's going on.
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