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Ongoing heart problem?
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Ongoing heart problem?

About 6/7 years ago I started to have episodes where my heart would go really fast at random for about an hour and then all of a sudden return to normal pace. This happened about 2/3 times a year, but never really caused me a problem. It didnt really interfere with my life and the episodes were so rare somehow they never really worried me. Every time it happened I would get the usual symptoms, such as a very sudden onset of a 200bpm+ heartrate slightly dizzy, sluggish i guess cause of the rush of blood, but every time it happened I knew that I was having the WPW palpitations and they always last up to an hour 2/3 a year.

Last August after I finished my first year at uni I had a night where I went out and I felt what I thought was skipped beats. This worried me a lot and I began to feel nervous and pace up and down but I wasn't alone and I didn't want to act weird. Eventually I started to get the heart skips more and more and as such more and more and eventually I went off by myself to try and find my way home. As I went on I could feel my heartbeat, my stomach felt like it was tightening, I was getting like discomfot in my armpit, pretty intense discomfort like my shirt sleeve was wrapped too tight and eventually my heartrate started to increase. I felt like I couldnt catch my breath at first and it felt worse and worse until I felt like I almost couldnt breathe. It wasnt like a WPW episode because that happenes instantly and there are no prior symptoms, this took a couple of seconds like I broke into a jog but nonetheless my heartrate went up by itself and I thought I was having a heart attack for sure. I phoned an ambulance and when I was waiting I just couldnt sit still I had to move or something and my heart was still going crazy and when the ambulance came and put me on an ecg I saw that my heartrate was 160 bpm even though I was just sitting still. When I got to the hospital I couldnt stop shaking and although my heartrate was high everything else was apparently normal. Basically ever since then I went back to uni and although theres only ever been one time when my heartrate went up and I didnt think it was WPW, I get the other symptoms all the time, especially feeling like i cant quite catch my breath, shortness of breath, rush of blood to the head? dizzyness armpit tightness and especially bloating/stomach tignthness. This has been going on for 9 months and happenes everywhere at lectures on coaches when im going somwhere etc.. so it is stopping me from living my life and a lot of the times forces me to be at home although it can happen just at random and often does. Can someone suggest what this could be or maybe explain whats happening to me? Is it all down to WPW or could I have another problem, maybe a stomach problem due to the stomach tightening, I have had a stomach infection when I was little and I recently started having stomach pains sometimes. I am currently set to have an ablation soon and im on beta blockers right now. I still have WPW episodes and they have no prior symptoms and always last an hour or less. I went for ecg's holter monitors and scans and they all showed up normal. I also recently have been having very slight heart pains maybe twice for like 10 seconds every time i feel my heart beat, but this has only happened like twice. Sorry for the long read.
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Avatar_dr_m_tn
Hello. It is not possible to diagnose through internet but from the symptoms that you describe, you probably were having PVCs (premature ventricular complexes). PVCs are a very common type of arrhythmia that is usually benign when occurs in structurally normal hearts. A high percentage of the population has at least a couple of them during the day, but is hard to define why only some of the patients can feel their PVCs. This is most likely related to an increased awareness and stress. Usually the PVCs come from spot in the heart's ventricle that acts as an extra pacemaker and that can cause a change in the sequence of our normal pacemaker (sinus node). The activity of the extra pacemaker may be increased by different factors like stress, hormones and medications. Now why can we feel these extra beats? Just because the strength of every heart beat depends on the amount of blood that fill the heart before the next contraction. Every time that you have an extra beat, the normal pacemaker makes a normal pause to regain its normal rhythm, and that's when the chambers get filled with more blood. So the beat that you feel is not the PVC, is the beat that come after that one that is usually stronger. Symptoms that are red flags w/ PVCs are passing out w/ no reason or persistent palpitations.
The fact that you were getting symptoms and the ECG Holter was negative suggest that there is a strong psychological component involved in your case
WPW and PVCs may be related as PVCs can trigger a WPW tachycardia.
Good luck.
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks for your reply and I think you might be right, for the last half of 2011 I was under an enormous amount of stress and found it very difficult to calm down, but my condition has been getting better. Recently ive stopped having palpitations and was only worried by the extra hard beats but i was put on beta blockers by my cardio a couple of months age and since then my heart has been incredibly calm to the point where I dont even think about it any more. I have been having other problems like pins and needles in my chest trouble catching my breath sometimes, stomach bloating etc, but im starting to think that there may be several problems at play and since they mostly happen when im outside especially when im in a moving vehicle there might be other factors at play that I need to investigate
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