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Need Advice

I'm a 21 yr old male, i smoke regularly and drink sometimes on the weekend. I'm in pretty good shape thanks to work and i probably don't eat as good as i should. I haven't posted anything on here before but i figured i'd share that information incase it helps with my question. My question is about my heart. Every now and then my heart starts to beat rapidly. It lasts anywhere from a minute to a couple minutes. Now when i say it happens every now and then i mean maybe once a month but sometimes it won't happen for months at a time. It happened to me today for the first time in awhile from what i remember. I haven't gone to see anyone yet because I'm scared. I've only talked to a select few about it but I've never gone to see a doctor.

If anyone has any suggestions on what it may be I'd greatly appreciate it. I plan on going to the doctor this month, but i figured maybe there's someone else who has had this or knows anything about it and could help me learn more about it.

Thanks
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1807132_tn?1318747197
Do you know how fast your heart is beating when it goes fast?  Does it start and stop suddenly or is it a gradual rise and fall in beat?  Are you short of breath, dizzy or light headed when you have the rapid pulse?  It sounds like you have some sort of SVT Supraventricular Tachycardia.  That is a fast beat the is coming from the Atria.  There are a number of different types but you need to get yours captured to know exactly what it is.  This can be done with what is called an event monitor.  You wear it for a month and you hit a button to trigger a recording when an episode comes on though there are some models that will self trigger.  So go see your doctor and tell them what you are feeling and you will most likely get a referral to a cardiologist.  Most svts can be cured through a procedure called an ablation.  It is a fairly simple procedure for the patient, I had one last year and had 2 surgeries prior and the ablation was nothing compared to the surgeries however, in the states it is very expensive so you will need good insurance if you are a candidate to get your possible svt fixed but you really need to get it diagnosed first before you even have to spend any time thinking about an ablation.  

As a frame of reference I had an svt called avnrt, it was svt that was caused by an extra pathway into the avnode.  My heart would start beating super fast at rates of around 230bpm.  The beat would start and stop suddenly and generally would only last a minute or so though as I aged I was getting longer episodes.  But just to ease your mind a bit, in a healthy heart, svts are generally not a threat to your overall health.  If you are stuck in a rapid beat for a long extended period of time you would want to go to the ER to get help to get it to stop but in general even with a diagnoses the patient is generally given the option of whether or not to get the svt corrected so the medical community does not see svt as a major threat to a person's health.  The heart is very resilient and can handle a lot and keep ticking away.  Most find over time the svt starts to get in the way so they opt for an ablation but in general it isn't anything you need to be afraid of.  

That said, I might suggest that you think about quitting smoking.  Smoking isn't the cause of most svts but it will make any heart issues you have worse.  I smoked for 25 years and I have to say I really did love it but once I quit I found it was really awesome to be free of the control it had over me.  I tried a number of ways to quit but what worked the best was Chantrix.  It is not recommended for people who are prone to depression but if you are not you might want to consider giving it a try.  It really would be worth your while.  In any event, go see your doctor about your rapid pulse and keep us posted on how it is going.  Take care.  
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Avatar_m_tn
I'm 26 years old and had similar episodes about 5 years ago. My heart would just start going crazy out of nowhere, usually about 220 beats a minute, lasting about 3 minutes or so each time. When it stopped, i would be really light headed as well. This happened like you, every so often it would occur. So one nite, it didn't stop, so i went to the er and they injected me with i think adeeseen, or something to that effect, which took my pulse instantly back to normal *which was also a whole other feeling in it's own to have a fast pulse just instantly return to normal*. Eventually i went to the cardiologist and they said i would need an ablation to laser out a small tissue that was the cause of this problem. If you do have to have this procedure, it is not that bad and im a major spaz who up until then, had never had to go to the hospital for anything other than a broken arm. During the procedure, they will speed your heart up (at least they did mine, and then instantly as i felt the heart rate increase i was out of it). Before i knew it, it was 4 hours later, which felt like a second, and i was done. Never had an episode again. I would also suggest quitting smoking. I gave up cigarettes a year ago, and i feel so much better. I quit cold turkey, which is not always as easy for everyone as it was for me. I also gave up drinking, at least beer. I noticed beer would act as a stimulant for me. Liquor, though i rarely ever drink it, doesn't seem to have the same effect.
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Avatar_m_tn
thanks for the help. i don't know exactly how fast my heart beats but it is fast.   It does start out of no where and just stops beating rapidly like it never happened. Usually when it stops i feel somewhat light headed but nothing major. I guess i will go see the doctor then due to your posts. I do appreciate the information. It definitely took some weight off my shoulders. As for the smoking i do believe i will quit now. I've been thinking about it for awhile but this kinda made me open my eyes and realize i need to stop now.
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612551_tn?1247839157
Sounds like a good plan, and stopping smoking is the best thing to do regardless of you heart symptoms. You are young enough that you should be able to quit and after a few years you system will completely recover, just like you never smoked.

I smoked until I was about 45, and I quit when I still had no known health problems.  I did develop atrial fibrillation in my late 50s, but I don't know what affect my smoking had on that, but I know the smoking did some damage.  Still, I have been smoke free long enough that I believe my lungs have completely recovered.  I don't mean to take you post off subject, but I just had to say something to help you go forward with stopping smoking.  Hope it helps.
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