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Is this normal?
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Is this normal?

Hi I'm a 20yr old female, I have been getting a sort of fluttering or twitch sensation in my heart.  I often feel a pulse down my left arm which I only notice when I lying down on that side and I feel aware that my heart is beating quite hard which I don't notice when I lie on my right side.  Another strange symptom I have is when I get a sudden fright my heart doesn't just beat fast like it used to, instead it does very slow hard beats that can be a little painful and often makes me cough.  I sometimes feel like my chest feels tight and I  have been to the doctor who listend to my heart and she said that my heart sounded perfectly normal and at my age it is unlikely to be anything to worry about.   I would like the opinion of the Doctor on this website as to what these strange symptoms could be.
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230125_tn?1193369457
It is common for people to feel their heart beat (palpitations) when they lay on their left side.  On your left side your heart is close to your chest wall and you can feel the extra beats, especially if you heart is beating  hard from stress, caffeine, tea, chocolate, etc.


It is also common for some peoples hearts to slow down when they get scared.  This is a manifestation of increased vagal tone, sometimes these symptoms are referred to as simply  "vagal" symptoms.  In general, this is not considered dangerous.  The most common cause of symptoms like this in someone year age is anxiety or an anxiety disorder.  It is important to discuss these symptoms with your doctor, as  you have it sounds like.  

I hope this helps.  Thanks for posting.
3 Comments
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196595_tn?1213844912
Hi.  When I was 25 I started having skipped beats, moderate chest pains, and a faster heart rate periodically.  I went to my reg. doctor several times who kept dismissing me wanting to refer me to a psychiatrist for anxiety.  2 weeks later I ended up in ICU for 3 days with my heart.  Come to find out I had an atrial flutter, AV Node Re-entrant tach., and a sinus node tach.  I have since had 2 ablations and still have horrible PVC's/PAC's and sinus tach on a regular basis.  I say all of this to say, please listen to Dr. McWilliams and follow up.  If you don't feel like you are being heard press harder or get a second opinion.  I have never been so scared in my life as I was that night in the ER and as young as I was the after effects of that trauma still lingers with me.  This might just be anxiety but I would want to make sure. Hope you feel better soon.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi thanks for the comment.  I would not say that I have a fast heart rate like you said you did although I do get the odd skipped heartbeat.   My doctor did listen to my heart and said that it sounds absolutely fine, did the doctor listen to your heartbeat before your syptoms (symptoms) got worse?  It sounds really scary what happend to you, I hope you are better now :)

I was told that heart trouble only normally occurs if other family members have had it, which none of mine have.

Thanks to the Doctor for the comment also, I feel a bit better knowing it could be stress related, I do suffer badly with anxiety which I think may be the cause of my problems.  
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