i'm hoping that maybe someone can help me.
(before anyone asks, i don't smoke, drink, do drugs, ETC.)
i was always a healthy female and i'm 16 now, but about 2 weeks ago i started having these REALLY annoying and frightening HEART PALPITATIONS. they seemed to come overnight. i can feel my heart beating extremely hard and heavy, and when i look at my chest, it looks as if my heart is about to jump out! i'm not sure what's causing this, but i'm just hoping it's not life-threatening or extremely dangerous. everyone keeps telling me it's ANXIETY, but i am absolutely sure that is NOT what is causing my incredibly annoying symptoms. it's really affecting my life - in a negative way of course. i don't know what to do. i can literally FEEL my heart beating really hard inside my chest. it really bothers me. i would give ANYTHING to feel normal again.
had 2 blood tests done. all normal. i had an EKG done by one doctor, but i was INCREDIBLY nervous, and the results were abnormal. so she prescribed ATENOLOL for me, but i don't think it really helps me at all. i'm still having my awful heart palpitations. the next day, i went to a cardiologist. had an EKG test done, this time the results were normal. also had a breathing test done, and an ECHOCARDIOGRAM or ULTRASOUND. he said everything looked fine. i DO have a small deficiency in my heart, he said, but that i can live up to 100 years old with it. my parents think i'm a hypochondriac, but i KNOW this isn't all in my head. my symptoms are always worse after i wake up from sleeping, and it's really hard to sleep at all, with my heart pounding so hard. i shake a little because my heart beats so hard. i feel it even when i'm not thinking about it.
i have to wait two weeks to see the heart doctor again, and it's really stressing me out. next time i'm going to have a stress test done and i have to wear a HOLTOR MONITOR for 24 hours. something tells me those results are going to turn out normal as well. until then i'm trying to relax. but it's really hard. i'm only 16 and sometimes feel like i'm wasting my life away like this! it really *****. even if my problem is all mental, which i REALLY doubt that it is, that doesn't make what i'm feeling any less REAL. i am sure that there is something wrong with my heart, or a valve or artery, or something. but no one around me is helping me.
i also experienced an episode of flu-like symptoms for a couple hours a few days ago. my throat felt REALLY swollen and i asked my dad to look at my throat, and he said it looked 'larger than usual and swollen". i'm not sure if that means anything or has any irrelavance to what i'm going through. just thought i'd mention it. sometimes i also get mild chest pain and discomfort. i think i might have MITRAL VALVE PROLAPSE or something like that. i just wish i could know for sure. my pulse is usually around 72 BPM, and my blood pressure is usually good. so i have no idea.
any one have any advice that could maybe help me? anything at all is really APPRECIATED!! thanks, guys.
If you read through (yeah, it's long), you can see that I'm experiencing some pretty similar symptoms. And as with me, I have no idea what's going on (neither does anyone else, apparently). I'm INCREDIBLY frustrated about this - I just want to be normal again. You've had this going for two weeks - well, I've been having it for about 8 months.
I've had a stress test done, two holter monitors (48 hours), four blood tests, two echos, and a multiple number of EKGs (...and more) - and nothing showed a negative defect. I have a feeling yours will have a similar result.
Sadly, because I'm in a similar situation, I cannot offer any advice to you. If you find anything helps you, I'd love to know (I'm desperate). I'll be sure to let you know if I come across anything.
It sounds like you could both have SVT or something similar. I have lived with SVT for about 20 years now and have been assured by my cardiologist that this isn't going to kill me. My heart rate can spike up to 240 bpm and I have sometimes had it reverted with a quick pitstop to the ER and a shot of Adenosine.
It has been suggested to me that a catheter ablation can be performed on me to fix this but until it becomes too much of a bother (I only get about 1-2 episodes a year) I have decided against it.
Quitting caffeine for about a year has also helped the frequency of my episodes (I was drinking about 3 cups a day). I have read that caffeine and alcohol can be triggers but I haven't quit on the alcohol just yet, I enjoy a drink too much...
I also have had 3 full stress tests and each one was perfectly normal. I have been running for about 10 years now and consider myself in great shape.
something else to keep in mind is that anytime you have the flu or some other illness, the heart rate and beat is going to change to compensate for the stress on the body. also, anytime you take new medicines or go off a medicine, the heart is going to beat funny for a few days. Another thing to consider is that if you have just had a stress event or crisis, after the crisis is over, the following week, your heart will beat funny to again compensate for the stress. Its while you go through the "let down"period. sound strange that it would do it after the crisis is over but it is almost guaranteed.
One other thing to know about is that if there is a history of sudden death from heart attacks in your family, know that the there is a rare but very deadly condition called LQTS (Long QT Interval Syndrome). It kills people under 50 years old. Yes, a young persons syndrome. A lot of athletes who drop dead on the basket ball court for no reason most problably have a history of this in there family or they are taking something they shouldn't be.
BUT, if you have no history of this in your family, don't worry.
If you do hve this history in your family, you need to see a cardiologist immediatly. It is completely treatable with a beta blocker like Toprol. Very treatable. But again, don't panic unless it runs in the family. 9 out of 34 members of my family and relatives tested positive. Mine was the only one that came out borderline or inconclusive. However, because I am 50 years old, they said I was probably past the danger point. My dad was the carrier. Never knew until he was 81 yers old. A miracle he is alive. His dad died at 48 and his dad's brother died at 42. My brother died at 42. The only symptoms is that your heart rate bumps up high or you might have a feeling of fainting. Otherwise, It will drop you dead in your tracks. The specialist said if your going to die of a heart attack this is the way to go. No pain or suffering. Your just drop and thats it. But, again, if it doenst run in your family, don't worry about it. An EKG will show it but you need a specialist to read it. Most doctors don't know wht they are lookng for. We worked the one of the top 10 specialists in the world on this so our family knows quite a bit about it.
Try not to worry to much. If all the tests are normal. Just get busy living your life, have fun, enjoy and stop worrying about it. It will probably go away in a few days, weeks. etc. I have them for sometimes months. I have learned to quit worrying about it. just follow up with a cardiologist once a year or as often as they recommend it. You'll be fine.
alot of us have irregular heartbeats and my cardiologist has also assured me I an fine. We have done all the tests.
SVT, eh? Sounds interesting, I'll have to research it. And yes, I've been to two cardiologists, both running various tests and the answer was unanimous - the heart was fine. Plus, I've done 100 other tests (stress test, blood, EKG, holter, echos, you name it...) all bringing a similar result. I find it completely baffling that out of no where these things are just showing up for us.
Unfortunately, my family does have a strong list of heart disease and diabetes on both sides. In fact, both of my Grandpa's died (one both being around 50, I believe) of heart attacks. I hope this isn't something hereditary...
I realize this isn't my thread, but, I appreciate all the responses. Thanks so much, everyone. Me 'n Sarah will hopefully get over this obstacle in life..
First of all, let me say how well your post described the feelings of EVERY person EVER to experience arrhythmia, especially one that is benign. The total feeling of aloneness and that no-one is taking your situation seriously etc. is COMPLETELY NORMAL and even stereotypical of the situation.
Second of all, let me express my sincerest sympathy and empathy for what you are dealing with. I've been there. As I've said, 98% of the people who visit this forum have been there and we really do understand how you are feeling.
Third, let me offer some comments/advice/discussion from someone who has already been through the stage that you are going through. Hopefully some of what I say can help you calm down and take this one step at a time.
It is so typical for someone experiencing palpitations to be told that it is anxiety, and it is even more typical for the person experiencing them to dismiss this idea immediately! The initial trigger of the type of palpitations you are describing could be any one of a million things and you may never figure out what it was, but your anxiety over the palpitations themselves is now FEEDING the situation and causing them to be worse. Most arrhythmias are triggered by an increase in adrenaline. When you feel a palp, you get frightened. The fright response triggers an adrenaline rush, which increases heart beat and increases the liklihood of palpitations. Then you feel more palps and get more frightened, causing more adrenaline release, causing more palps, and the cycle continues. Have you ever noticed a time when you realize that you are feeling pretty normal and then shortly after that notice that you are having palps? That is because your FEAR of having palps has caused a release of adrenaline hormones that caused the palps to occur. Now....does that mean it is all in your head?? NO NO NO NO NO!!! Your heart has to be sensitive to the adrenaline release for the palpitations to be so consistent. EVERYONE experiences palps at some point, but some of us have heart cells that are so sensitive that they happen A LOT MORE THAN NORMAL.
Here is the great news...your tests show that everything seems physiologically fine. While this is a frustrating discovery, it really is a positive one. If your heart is structurally normal and there are no existing cardiac abnormalities (which seems to be the case so far for you) then these palpitations that you are experiencing are NOT DANGEROUS. Scary, abnormal, disturbing and frustrating YES (HECK YES) but dangerous--no.
Your doctor is going to give you a stress test to further investigate the health of your heart muscle. Based on your age, your current test results and the symptoms you describe I have a feeling that your stress test will come back normal. This is not a bad thing!!! It will be frustrating to feel like the healthiest sick person in the world, but the news is good......your heart is healthy and you aren't going to die from this!!!! The holter monitor will be used to "catch" the palpitations on tape so that the doctor can determine the exact nature of your palpitations. Again, this is not because you are going to die, but because the doctor needs to know the most likely triggers, duration and TYPE of palpitations you are experiencing so that he can help you deal with them in the most effective way.
Beta blockers are often used to help reduce the severity or sensation of the palpitations. However, sometimes doctors will prescribe a low dose of an SSRI like Prozac, Zoloft or Paxil. This is because the SSRI helps reduce your stress/fear level and allows you to return to a less intense level of adrenaline so that your palpitations can become less intense. Again, this does not mean that you have a "mental problem." The "problem" (albeit benign) is truly in your heart, but your brain has a tendency to help push it along.
Be well. Let us know how the tests go, and come ask us as many questions as you need to to help you through this rough patch.
This 'condition' is extremely tough to deal with. Especially since Aaron and I don't really know what's wrong with us or what's causing our symptoms. Whether it be physical or mental, or both. You guys have been alot of help! Thank you SOOO much for the support and all the advice! I've taken alot of it into consideration!
LQTS can be checked by just starting with and EKG. The problem is getting someone who knows what to look for. Most doctors don't know what to look for. do and EKG and have a cardiolgist look at it first. IF it looks like you have it you need to do a 12 lead stress EKG test. THose places are hard to find but you can do it. May have to travel to another state but worth it. But start with a basic EKG. Tell your doctor you are looking for LQTS. If there is a history of sudden death in family under 50 years old, you definitly need to check this out. But only if a big history of it in your family. It is rare but very deadly if not treated but easily treated. Try not to panick, that will no help anything. Just start with a basic EKG. Lt me know what you find. If you have run all other tests and they are normal, don't sweat it. We all hve funky PVC's
I just noticed that you are from Colorado. Just so happens our family was all tested in SLC, Utah. The Primary Childrens Hospital/Cardiology, Dr. Li She is one of the top ten specialists in the world. There was some politics and she may have been dropped from the program but call the cardiology dept. and mention LQTS testing. They will be able to assist you.
Hang in there with this, it is usually a bumpy road until they can figure out what is going on. I had the 24 hour holter and of course nothing was seen on it. Then I had a 30 day monitor (you should do if the 24 hour doesn't have any episodes) and of course nothing happened on that. So I had to live with the what is going on with me question for months and months before I finally had an episode and forced myself to go to the ER to get it on a monitor. Once they did that I discovered I had SVT. Just the diagnosis in itself was a relief so that I knew it wasn't life threatening. Just hang in there so you can figure out what it is. I'm so sorry that your parent's aren't more understanding of your situation. Don't let them tell you its in your head because no one deserves to live with the anxiety of unexpected palpitations. Just be patient and go through all the testing to cover off on all of your bases...
I dont think bread has anything to do with it because I hve the same problem no matter what I eat. I just always after I eat. One of the things you are experiencing is that after you eat, your stomach is fuller and therefore pushes against the heart and You just feel your heart beat more. also the esphagus will spasm giving you the same or similar feeling. Most likely the vegus nerve is playing a part in it. If you are a nervous eater like I am, you may also be getting a bit of an adrenalin rush that will trigger the heart to beat irregular. When my daughter was born, she always seemed to have a knack for saving her crying until I sat down to eat. It is 14 years later, she still interrupts my eating and I get this lump in my throat and my heart starts to pump crazy and then here comes the irregular heart beat. I think she has permanently scarred me that way :0( I still love her but I have not enjoyed a meal without symptoms since she was born.
Our bodies are very strange.
Yes, I hear my heartbeat in my ear also. I don't think it is a concern but its just painfully annoying. It's not uncommon to hear your heartbeat in your hear. Especially if you lay on your arm. I hear my hartbeat in my ear when I have sinus proplems and plugged ears. But remember, the doctor will put the stethoscope up on your neck to make sure blood is flowing to your brain or if you have a blockage. IF he can hear it in you neck, it is understandable you can hear it in your ear. Our ears are also connected to things. I can push on my eyeballs and get vertigo and my body balance swayes back and forth until I open them. Try it and see if it happens to you. I would be interested to know if its just me or everyone else does itl Please let me know for fun.
Anyway, our bodies are an amazing pile of nreves and tissue and parts that all play on eachother. :o)
I so understand what you are going thru. I just posted a question very simular to yours. I have the same feelings... heart beats hard and feels like it is trying to break my sternum. It also feels like my heart is beating backwards. I can actually feel to bottom half beat first then the top. I feel like I have been kicked in the chest and it takes my breath away when it happens. I have heart disease so I end up in the hospital alot. When I was admitted one time I had this feeling again and I was hooked to a moniter (I was in CCU) and I was able to see the moniter and it began alarming stating I had a run of PVC's. These are premature ventricular contractions where the lower half of of the heart actually beats first ( the top half the atria are supposed to go first) since all your tests seem to be normal I would not worry. Just about everyone has PVC's at some point in thier life and for the most part they are not dangerous. The only time Dr's worry is if you are having runs of 4-5 in a row some even have a higher number say 10 in a row. That kind of suggests there is something wrong with the "electrical circut" in your heart. PVC's may cause your heart to beat harder after you have one or two. If this is the problem it may show on the Holter moniter. However when wearing the holter don't change any thing in your life. Don't try to stay relaxed but live like you normally do, that will give you the accurate reading. Good luck I know it is frustrating but hopefully your Dr's will come up with something. On the off chance that it is stress which it could be because you are having these strange things going on in your body, find someone to talk to, journal put all your frustrations on paper, pray do whatever. If they suggest you see a therapist don't feel that they think you are crazy, the Dr's are just trying to cover all the bases. God bless Jen
Sara, I too have the same symptons that you have and I have had them for two years. mine started when a nurse practioner increased my thyroid medication from 50mg. to 150mg. It was like floor boarding a car. My family doctor told me this should not have been done. This medication is only supposed to be increased in 25mg. increments. I have had all the test and they are all normal. One doctor put me on Cartia and it has helped, but no one can say specificaly what started this, but I didn'thave it before my medication was increased so high all at once. Are you on any medicaine or has any medication you take changed? I agree it seems people think it is all in your head. Mine is worse at night, I can feel my heartbeat any place I touch. At one time it sounded as if I could hear blood gushing in my ears. It has been horrible. I am 61 and my symptons are nearly the same as yours. I am type 2 diabetic but this has noting to do with the problem.
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