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Hard thumps in chest...? Need advice...
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Hard thumps in chest...? Need advice...

Hey guys, I could really use some advice.

The last year and a half I've been having these really weird thumps in my chest, and I just can't figure out why. It feels kind of like...I can feel them coming a second or two before they happen, like a "building up to it" type feeling then a THUMP that I can also hear in my right ear. Sometimes I'll have them a few times a day, and then I'll go weeks/months without having any. I thought I had an idea when they were happening...but I'm not so sure anymore. Sometimes they happen after I eat spicy food, because I get really bad heartburn and that's when I notice them at their worst. But sometimes I get them when I don't feel like I'm having any heartburn...For instance when I lie down to sleep, or stand up really fast. I was taking a walk with my friend about 5 months ago and I had three thumps in a row. It threw me into horrible anxiety. They didn't come back at all for about a month, then I started having them off and on...before they went away again. They're back again this week, just a couple a day...until tonight, I stood up fast from sitting and had three in a row again. It scares the heck out of me! What is this? I don't experience any other symptoms with these thumps. No dizziness, shortness of breath, chest pain...etc.

A few months before these thumps started happening I had been tested for nearly everything. I saw a cardiologist, had atleast 10 EKG's, Echo-cardiogram, bubble echo-cardiogram, Stress test, nuclear stress test, brain/valve MRI (with and without contrast), full blood work on several occasions, tested for thyroid problems, lupus. Everything came back negative and normal. I've never had a holter monitor done though...Do you think I should look into having these tests done again even though it hasn't been that long? Or just some of them?

I'm a 25 year old female and overweight (about 300 lbs at 5'11 tall) but I've lost over 100 lbs and am still working to lose more. Normal cholesterol, blood pressure at about 120/60 -- I've been told I have some panic attack issues due to a stressful life, as well as muscle/nerve pain and inflammation due to Fibromyalgia, and slightly elevated white blood cells. I'm currently untreated for both. I have an appointment to see my doctor, but I'm just wondering if anyone has an opinion about what this could be and if it sounds serious? Should I be worried?
5 Comments Post a Comment
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1807132_tn?1318747197
Only a doctor can say for sure that you have a clean bill of health but I will give you my thoughts.  From the tests you have had it sounds like you do have a healthy heart overall.  Did you experience any of the symptoms you mention during one of your ekgs?  It doesn't sound like you have them often enough for them to be easily captured and no one can say for sure what you are experiencing until it is capture but from my personal experience it sounds like you are having some pacs or pvcs.  They are very isolated which is good and they are not causing you any distressing symptoms which is really good.  So in general, though I am not a doctor and you should take that into account, but from everything I have read and understood about pacs and pvcs you have nothing to worry about.  They are benign and most everyone gets them at some point in their life but most just never feel them.  I would say work on your stomach issue and anxiety because those are the biggest triggers.  And then just do your best to trust that the odd beats are nothing to be too concerned over.  If however, you do start to have distressing symptoms then by all means go back to the cardiologist and get checked out.  In any event, search this forum for threads on pvcs and pacs and you will see you are not alone in your issue.  Take care and keep us posted on how you are doing.  Congratulations on your weight loss.  
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you so much for your opinion. I will be seeing my doctor soon, but I still value the information given from the members and professionals here. :)

For the moment, it does put me at ease a bit hearing it's probably something benign. I'm not sure if I ever had this feeling during one of my EKG's (I would think it would be memorable...) but I can't say for sure. I've had so many EKG's done at so many random times, though.
I'm really hoping it's just the problem you mentioned. Is it typical for pacs or pvcs to continue off and on for over a year? It just seems like something that is harmless wouldn't do that, but I'm sure I'm wrong!

Thank you very much. I'm working hard on getting my health the best I can!
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1807132_tn?1318747197
People have lived their whole lives with far more daily ectopics than you are experiencing and have gone on to live long productive lives.  They are disconcerting and distracting but they are not a threat to the health of a heart free from disease.  So take notice if more severe symptoms arise but in general try to do your best to try and put the worry over the ectopics out of your mind and before you know it you will likely stop noticing them as much.  Keep us posted on how it goes with the doctor.
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Avatar_f_tn
Regarding the scary 'thumps,' the doctor who answers in the heart 'Expert' forum posted a good explanation just today, especially his paragraph 3) :

http://www.medhelp.org/posts/Heart-Disease/PVCs-and-PACs/show/1771698

During my 'swarms' of PVCs, which may last four or five months at a time, my Holter monitor has recorded 4800 of them per day.  That is considered a puny number, not worth treating or fussing about in light of my generally good heart exams.

You would probably benefit from reading up on PVCs to understand, really understand, HOW they can be harmless.

However, these ectopics can be disturbing, and--based on my personal experience with panic disorder--I can say that it is worth a session or two with a good shrink to discuss how to deal with the fear these sensations can cause.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you very much for the link!
With all my anxiety...I might take your advice on the shrink sometime soon, lol.
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