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Heart Palpitations, or something worse?
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Heart Palpitations, or something worse?

My first post... Yikes!

Anyway, I guess I'll try and explain my situation as clearly and concise as possible..

So, I am a new student at university, who started the term no worries
loving every minute of the experience. Until suddenly, I woke up one night with what is
now known or "thought" to have been a panic attack. I had what I now know to be the normal
heavy heartbeat, freaking out severely, short of breath, shaking. Anyway.. Paramedics were
called whom which hooked me up to the heart monk to which showed up completely normal.
They took me to the A+E anyway for good measure as they saw I was in huge distress.

A couple of weeks passed where I was gradually learning to cope with my anxiety being
prescribed  Diazepam which I needed for about a week.

Another week passed, and I learnt that the anxiety I was having was hypochondria and that it was
giving me symptoms fitting of a stroke. Everytime I lay down half my face would go numb and it would last
for a couple days. Additionally I was having "Heart skipping" a beat palpitations along with a consciousness
of my heartbeat (in fact there wasn't a time since I haven't been aware).

I went to a specialist who said I definitely
wasn't having a stroke and took EKG's of my heart which all came
up normal. A couple more weeks passed.

And now my heart palpitations just seem to have got worse. But they're
a different type to what I had before. Now I'll try and be as clear as possible.

I will have a normal pulse, then suddenly a beat will feel like a "misfire" not like a normal
beat, it's hard to explain, it's then followed by a strong heartbeat and then goes normal again.
Additionally I take my own blood pressure daily which appears normal (116/64...121/60...128/67)
This started predominantly before going to sleep but now I feel it In the day.

What do the proffesionals think? I am going to the GP tomorrow but any ideas of what it could be
to help them? They all seem to have dismissed it as "anxiety" stress related. I don't drink stimulants, I exercise
daily (which helps I must say) and I don't smoke. But I used to since quit. I am 20years old.

Your helps is thanked profusely in advance.

Thank You.
8 Comments Post a Comment
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86819_tn?1378951092
Diagnosis is first. That needs to come from your doctor. Personally, I have been through this sort of things myself, twice now. It is easy to fret. Worry leads to more symptoms, which leads to more worry. The right thing to do is to break the cycle of worry.

Things that have worked for me in the past:
1. get plenty of rest and keep hydrated.
2. get regular exercise, stay active, and be with friends or family.
3. cut back on caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, and all of the other fun stuff.
4. target anxiety. Sometime taking a deep breath helps.
5. if you are religious, ask God for help.

You are very young. You are doing the right thing by seeing your doctor. Let them figure it out. If your risk factors are low (they are probably low), you have little to worry about. Work on keeping all of this in perspective. Sometimes its easy to narrow in on things to the point that they blow out of proportion.  If you are worrying yourself sick, remember, things will be OK.


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1423357_tn?1373023915
There are many cardiac events that can mimic an anxiety or panic attack.  the may occur and disappear quickly and are often mistaken, then treated as anxiety,  You need to use some logic when these occur and judge for yourself before reporting the symptoms to a physician.  You do not want to be treated for anxiety neurosis when you actually are having a cardiac problem.  While the anxiety medication may mellow you out and stifle some of the cardiac problems, they will continue to persist.  Note the events in detail and report them to a physician and let him judge what they might be.  As I've stated before here before, SSRI's and SNRI's are miracle drugs for the treatment of anxiety.  But you don't want to needlessly get on them as once they get into your system, removing yourself from them is a long, arduous, often painful process.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi. Many of us on here suffer from benign pvcs, but we will all agree that however many times the doctors say they are benign, it is terrifying when you get a bad spell. Ask your GP for a 24hr holtor monitor so that they can catch the funny beats. The next step after that would be an echocardiogram. I have read many times on here and other sites that pvcs are harmless if your heart is structurally normal and you don't have serious heart disease - which would be very rare at your age. I used to worry that my heart would stop because of the long gap before the next beat. However, a pvc or pac is actually a very slightly early beat. The next beat is a bit bigger to clear the bit of extra blood from the heart chamber - that is the thump or flip/flop feeling, the palpitation. At no point does your heart ever pause or stop. The heartbeats keep going, it's just that a cell decides to sneak an early beat in. I wish I had your blood pressure.
Claire Weekes 'Self Help for your Nerves' is a great book for anxiety and the Insight Timer app has free guided meditations.
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Avatar_m_tn
Thank You so much for the wise words everyone.
I postponed the GP until tomorrow. I often take mental note
of exact ways my body has been reacting.

I would ask one more question, and that was, what sort of conditions
mimic those of a panic attack? And could these conditions get past
three EKG's and several DR's listening to my heart unnoticed?

Thank you ever so much everyone. The response is truly amazing
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1423357_tn?1373023915
Ah!... good question.  There are a number of "concealed conditions".  I'll mention my favorite, and that's supraventricular tachycardia, aka. SVT.  With this condition, if you go and get an EKG, or echo, it usually shows a normal electrical waveform, as well as normal heart structure.  It's only when an event occurs that they can detect it.  When you're heart is beating normally, in most cases nothing can be detected except a normal waveform.

SVT comes on suddenly.  You may suddenly feel the racing beat in your chest.  It is often accompanied by a breathless feeling, and people often feel anxious. Heart rates are very high with SVT with 180 bpm on the low end, and 260 typically on the high end. at 260, the heart is beating over 4 times per second so it's quite hard to measure by palpating the pulse in you wrist of neck.  Think of running flat out, as fast as you can go, and that might approach 200bpm.  It is indeed very anxiety provoking, and people may confuse this with a panic attack; the racing heart, the breathless, even dizzy feeling.
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Avatar_m_tn
Differentiating between a true heart issue and anxiety is a tough thing to do.  Ultimately I believe it comes down to how much you trust your Docs and using sesible judgement.

If you are a person who is prone to anxiety and panic, you can severely decrease your quality of life if you convince yourself that you have some latent heart condition that Docs just haven't identified.  Therefore, at some point, if all the tests have been done, and the experts say your fine, you've got to trust them and just relax or you'll drive yourself crazy.

Don't forget that heart anxiety can be a self-fulfilling prophecy in that it truly can cause heart rhythm issues.  Thus, regardless of what you have going on in your chest, the best option is to relax, stay calm, and not worry.  Find Docs that you trust, listen to what they have to say, and let it go if they say you're fine.



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Avatar_n_tn
A pvc is easily identifiable on an ecg, but a 24hr holter monitor would be better because it will record your heart rhythm and catch everything, whether you are feeling it or not. If it helps to put your mind at rest, I often have thousands of early beats a day, and still my gp is not concerned. I even went to A and E with bigeminy that lasted hours - ie. Every 2nd beat was a pvc - and still the cardiologist said they were harmless and sent me home. Unfortunately, they don't feel harmless, as you know, but if they were then doctors would treat them much more aggressively instead of just reassuring us. I would ask for a 24hr monitor and if that comes back ok, then accept that they are benign and try to relax about them.
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Avatar_m_tn
Thank you everyone again,
the response and support has been over what I ever expected!  
I am not a person prone to anxiety, and if it is anxiety this is the first
time I've ever experienced it and it seems "out of the blue" so logically
I am discounting it for now whilst I am sufficiently checked over.

I will request to have a 24hour Holter Monitor. As I presume a GP
can set me one up in an appointment?? And hopefully this will pick up
anything the Drs may feel intrigued by.

I have one more question, is the Holter machine a bottom line.
As in does It rule out any other possible threats to the heart like disease?
Or will this not be picked up?

Thank
You!
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