I am a 46 year old (female) who is overweight and extremely out of shape (yet I have normal cholesterol and blood pressure). I have recently joined a gym and started eating a mainly vegetarian diet, hoping to get back on track.
Anyhoo... I have had heart palpatations for the past 10 years, but have never given them much thought. Over the past six months, I have been getting a painful heartbeat or painful heart "thump" (that's the only way I can describe it) after light exertion. By exertion, I mean walking to my car, walking up the stairs, carrying something heavy, etc. I don't believe it's angina, it's just ONE, STRONG, PAINFUL "THUMP" that lasts about 2 seconds and then stops. This happens several times per week and it's come to the point where I am trying to avoid exertion, for fear of the painful "thump."
I've scoured the Internet, but haven't found anything that sounds similar to what has been happening to me. Can anyone give me input as to what could be causing this?
Hi i read your post...the best guess i could give you is that after or during exertion your body is trying to adapt to the physical and your heart may attempting to go into a fib and the electrical activity of your heart is re setting itself which would explain the duration and the feeling...but to be sure especially in lite of your physical condition and trying to do something about it you definately should talk to at least your family doc about a program that works for you in cleaning up your life a little. He/she will do a physical exam on your including your heart and tell you which direction to go in. Congrats on taking this major step forward in changing your life...i think that is awesome and just in time for summer....next who knows you'll be strutting down the beach with your head held high and a huge smile on your face...make the call to the doc...it'll be the best 50.00 you have ever spent to get peace of mind...do not back off yet...get the green lite...and congrats again!!!!!
Thank you for your input and your encouragement. The thought of being healthy and walking on the beach would be WONDERFUL!!! It's been a loooooong time. :)
Could you quickly explain what you meant by my heart attempting to go into "a fib." Is that something dangerous? Also, have you heard of anyone having a painful "thump?" I can't seem to find anything on that.
A fib means atrial fibrillation....which means that your heart is getting just a little over taxed and not used to what is happening and is attempting to go into a faster pulse rate which is pretty common with people who do lifestyle changes like you are. Basically what it means is that the electrical pattern on your heart is mis firing a little....usually no biggie and the thump that you may feel is simply your electrical pathway of current which is what pumps our heart is adjusting to the newness and recoginizes a difference in the way that your heart is beating from exertion and compensates accordingly. Once is tries to go into atrial fib your own very healthy heart re sets the electrical current naturally thus the thump feeling. I seriously don't believe it sounds dangerous why have posted...it sounds to me like your heart is doing its job.....your own system is basically blocking the artrial fib from starting up...i could be wrong but it rings right w. me...just to be sure make sure you talk to your family doc tho.....we can't know your whole medical history and they know you best.....and you're welcome my friend....
I wanted you to know that I also get the painful thumps. They happen rarely but they're very disconcerting to me when I feel them. I feel a big, strong thump in conjunction with a feeling of squeeze, ending with pain. This is a one second event for me. I've had it lifting weights, once doing the elliptical, another time just walking to my car after eating, another time, just sitting at my computer. Last time I had it two days in a row with one incident each day, so I called the cardiologist and received the usual "don't worry about it". So that was comforting yet I'm still apprehensive about getting such a thing again. Anyway, what helps best is doing exercises that slowly build your heart rate and then maintain it in a consistent manner. Up and down effort can trigger pvc's in me. So, I think even forms of exercise, like walking, stationary biking are good cardiac conditioners.
Thank you for the explanation... What concerns me, is this never happened in the past when I did basic things like walking, going up a flight of stairs, carrying heavy objects, etc. It just started suddenly when doing very minor physical activities that I've always done in the past. I could see if I were jogging or doing cardio, but I'm not. Ugh. =(
Lastly, what you said makes sense. The painful "thump" almost feels like a quick shock to my heart. I think I even described it to my family as a "shock" feeling at one time. Interesting...
Well, thank you again for your help. I can't really afford it, but I will make a doctor's appointment.
Thank you again for your help and your kindness,
My cardio during a visit yesterday described these painful pvc's as follows: If I get a couplet or a triplet, the heart fills up with more blood which is then released. Due to more volume being released, we get the feeling of squeeze and quick pain, just as if you had something stuck in your throat and prior to swallowing, you feel a slight pain due to the pressure. So again, it was described as a benign pvc with no worry. If the pain is quick and short-lived, it's not an issue.
I have already understood this phenomenon before, but when it happens to me, I tend to forget the rational explanations and fall into the trap of thinking something new and awful is now taking place. Therefore, to all the posters on this site who are well educated in arrhythmia, you serve us well by constantly repeating and re-explaining, even though it may get mundane for you.
Thank you (and your cardiologist) for the explanation. That does make me feel better, but I'm still wondering/curious why light exertion causes couplet or triplet PVC's when it never has in the past. I've had PVC's for over 10 years and this painful "thump" is relatively new. It is making me afraid to do basic things (walking, stairs, etc.) that I've never had a problem with in the past.
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