So I know there are probably many posts on here with similar questions, but I figured I have done enough reading and wanted to actually ask a question instead of searching for mine to see if I could get a bit of feedback...
I am 21 and in relatively good health. I have had these random episodes since I was a teenager where I would be doing different things but suddenly my heart would start pounding and when I felt my pulse it was around 180-200 bpm. There are no similiarities with the activities that I do around the times of these episodes... for instance:
Once I was jumping up to reach something and it set it off, another time I was standing up talking on my cell phone and most recently I was walking out of an eating establishment and it happened.
The only way I have found to get these episodes to quit has been to lay down and rest and they go away. It is very frustrating because when they occur while I am at work I have no where to lay down so I have had to leave work early in order to go home and lay down.
I have seen a physician about this recently and they did a full blood work up and everything was normal. They then gave me a holter monitor for a week and of course not ONE episode like this occurred but there were times my heart felt like it stuttered or skipped a beat and the LPN who called me with my lab results informed me I had a few times where my heart was over 100bpm, which my resting is usually 86-92 depending on how I am feeling so that is normal for me, and I had three iscolated PVC's. However overall he interpreted the study as normal.
However, this is NOT normal. It drives me crazy because I cannot go out without worrying about one of these things occurring. The episodes used to happen once every six months and now they have started occurring once a week! To make it worse, my insurance has lapsed and I am in the process of getting coverage which will probably take 2-3 weeks to take effect.
Has anyone had issues similar to this? I am thinking from research it could be SVT, but I really just don't know.
If, in fact, your heart rate was that high...it could very well be some kind of SVT. Unfortunately, since it was not picked up by the monitor, it can't be confirmed.
For cases like yours, where the symptoms are so random, an event monitor would be a better diagnostic tool. These can be given to you in 30 day intervals.
Believe me, I know how frustrating it is to feel these symptoms, waiting for it to hit you again, altering your daily way of living in fear of it occuring somewhere other than the confine of your home....only to be told that everything is normal "you're fine, get on with your life" Deep down, you know that there is something definitely not right.
It is up to you, the patient, to be your very best advocate! Be persistant with the Dr's, do not let them brush you off without further evaluation of your symptoms. You said that the LPN from the Dr's office called you with results? First of all, it should have been a Dr to call you with all your results. Were you asked to come back for a followup? Lastly, is this a cardiologists office?
This was all at a medical hospital and I basically had to call them to get my results. My insurance with them is no good anymore so I had to fight with them to even get them to give me my results over the phone. Apparently they do not have a cardiologist on staff that sees patients at the hospital... they only have one who interprets test results and should a patient need to see a cardiologist, they are referred out to an outside physician off post.
What I don't understand is why mine seems to be getting worse lately. I have eliminated all caffinee, i do not do drugs, etc so I am a bit frustrated that I have done everything and nothing seems to be helping.
Once I get this insurance I plan to be very persistant. What makes this even more frustrating is that they gave me the heart monitor for a week and I have had two attacks within the week AFTER I wore the monitor.
My main concern like you said is that it will happen somewhere outside of my home where I am not able to just lay down and control it. The vagal maneuvers that I have found online do not seem to work for me so I dont know what to do except lay down and relax in order to get my heart to revert back to normal rhythm.
Is SVT something that can be life threatening? I am so young and really worried about having a heart condition at such a young age. I think that is what prolongs my attacks when they happen, I panic and get really freaked out by them. What happens most of the time is my heart will feel like it stutters, beat irregularly and then beat really hard, really fast. So hard I can count my pulse by it because I can feel it beating. Then I usually lie down and it the way it stops is it RANDOMLY goes back to normal rhythm... is that usual of some kind of SVT?
It seems to me that you are struggling with realizing that you may suffer from panic attacks, which sometimes can mimic the symptoms of life threatening heart conditions. I suffer experiences you feel for may years, and the sensations of a very fast heart rate, pounding heart, and just plain feels like a heart attack. I even have episodes of PVCs where the heart "pauses" or "resets" then comes back with a large thump to overcompensate for the extra blood that is in the chamber from the previous premature beat., i.e. premature ventricular contractions. It is extremely scary, and sometimes when one first experiences them along with tachycardia (fast heart rate), its sets of a never ending loop of fear, in which after the first episode, u are constantly aware of your heart beating, and wait for the situation to occur again. This is very traumatic to someone that really has not felt this before. Trust in yourself and this forum and "in my opinion" you don't have a life threatening condition. But, please make sure if you have sincere doubt about your heart that you get it checked out by your doctor to rule out the ever so slight possibility that you have a -threatening heart condition, which I sincerely doubt.
There are many avenues on the internet to research what you're experiencing. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. :) I've had these since I was 19 years old, and I'll be 32 this January. You may want to ask family members about this, as these types of things do run in the family, and you may have someone to talk to that your close to, to regain your confidence and trust that this is a 'normal' experience. I had talked to my Uncle, Mother and Brother about my situation, and they all have had some sort of similar occurances in their lives, and assured me that it's not life-threatening. Anxiety, Stress, ad Depression are all triggers, and may intensify the bodily sensations that we experience for a lifetime. We just have to find ways to cope with them, assure and trust ourselves to let our bodies work the way their supposed to. I fought and continue to fight this for all these years, just making it extremely worse than what it really is. Trust me, I still have bad days where I feel that I've failed in overcoming these overwhelming bodily sensations where I felt that I was going to die, or completely out of control. Just hang in there, and keep up the research, as self research is very soothing to the mind and soul. Zach
I really appreciate you taking the time to respond to my post. It has been overwhelming the past few months as these have seemed to pick up and just having you and the other kind woman respond to my post made me realize that I should have written on one of these a long time ago.
In response to your post, I have spoken to a family member (a cousin) and she claims that she has had these issues and been tested only to find out that they could not pinpoint anything in her testing.
My event monitor which I kept for a week showed episodes of PVC's... around three out of the eight times I pressed the button to record my heart rate.
Now the episodes I have where my heart will start RACING and POUNDING, i am usually completely calm when they occur. Don't panic attacks only occur in stressful situations??? I am kind of confused with the whole idea of panic attacks. I have a mother and sister with depression and my father is also on anti depressants but none of them complain of the issues that I have with my heart....
I am just worried because they have been increasing the past couple of months. I usually had one or two episodes where my heart was pounding fast and really really hard per every six months and I have had one each month since august and this month I have had two. all of them last 15-25 minutes, and go away if i lay down and relax... weird.
what are your episodes like? have you seen a doctor about them?
I'm glad we crossed paths seeking similar goals. You out of many others are the closest in symptoms that I experience. But somewhat different. As of course everyone experiences and perceives situations quite differently. I've been to the ER a few times over the course of 5 years. These sensations do come and go for me, sometimes months, weeks, and sometimes years.. There was one situation were I was awakened by weird chest pains and my heart skipping like crazy, which landed me in the ER only to find out that it was acid reflux. I went to the ER about a month ago and was diagnosed with PVCs. They checked my blood for possible electrolyte abnormality, and of course the standard potassium/magnesium levels, and a EKG which all came back normal. No PVC's during the ER visit because I had calmed down. I do sometimes experience tachycardia after a PVC, but I'm usually calm when a PVC hits, and it sends me into panic which is the culprit of increasing heart rate, which makes the situation worse.
Now since I tend to worry more than I should, I tend to bring on the episodes of tachycardia (high heart rate) which leads me to an unpleasant 30-40 minutes. I basically scare the **** out of myself because I do have anxiety issues which, trust me, doesn't help my PVC situation either. Some days I'll experience a about a dozen PVC's that I can feel while working, other days I won't feel any until I get home and relax, and out of the blue one will hit me. If I'm already feeling anxious, then a PVC can really spin me into a frenzy of fear. Some of which are very close landing me in the ER again.
I haven't seen a cardiologist about my symptoms as of yet, but I has been wearing on my mind these past weeks. I really don't want to get diagnosed wrong with what specific arrhythmia I may have and have to take a maintainance medication the rest of my life. I feel that my symptoms as of right now are not life threatening, and I've taken some lifestyle change measures to possibly try to rectify the problem first, and if my symptoms become worse and more frequent or evolve into other arrhythmias I will at that time take a different approach. Since I've talked to several others in the family that have dealt with the same problems their whole lives, and are much older now, 50s-60s, I can't help but think that my chances are good to live a longer life than what I tend to worry myself about. Fear of dying..
You ask "do panic attacks only occur in stressful situations?", the answer is yes... But you don't find your PVC episodes not stressful or worrisome? Zach
See, I think the episodes are very worrysome, however I am slightly inclined to believe mine might be an arrhythmia because I will be totally calm and then BAM! I feel my heart start to stutter and then it starts RACING. I dont panic when I feel the PVC because I know that I have those all the time... it is just that one out of every few causes this crazy onset of a RAPID POUNDING heart rate well over 150 bpm. So I dont know. I am working on getting some insurance so I can go get this investigated. I have had clean blood work and EKG's but then again I have never been able to record my heart issues on a heart monitor where someone could read what exactly was going on. Maybe you should see a cardiologist and get a holter monitor so they can see what causes the PVC...?
Hey, I just thought I'd write You in particular b/c You are the first person Iv noticed with the same Very high like 200 bpm heart rate!! I am 22 yrs old in a few hours that is ...and here I am searching this stuff! So if that gives you an idea how frusturating and upsetting this is to me awswell...You are not alone!
I too have some of the same symptoms you two are feeling. My heart rate does not get that high, but does climb to about 160 during sleep. They have never found PVC's, but PAC's. The dr. told me mine was not high enough to be considered SVT. Everything you two decribed is what I feel when I have a PAC or tachycardic episode. I have been awakened by a panic attack as well, and suffer them quite frequently throughout the day. I do have a fear of dying..not death..but dying. Not proud of it, but I always have. I do believe my panic/anxiety are direct results of my PAC's. I have had them for 15 years (started at 22 after the birth of my second child and I'm now 37). I was adopted at birth so no one else in my family could relate. I have recently found my birth family and my birthmother suffers from extreme anxiety, my sister suffers from panic attacks, and my grandmother (who just passed away at the age of 84) complained her entire life of her "heart fluttering." She died from heart failure after heart surgery where they actually found a hole in her heart. They said it was so small, it was not hard to understand why a dr. never detected it. All of that information made me see that heredity has a huge impact on physical and mental health. Good luck to you both.
I think you are smart to keep trying to get to the bottom of things. I suffer from svt and it took me a long time to get a diagnosis of atrial flutter. I wore a 30 day event monitor on two different occasions plus numerous holter monitors over the years. My doctor did say they got some interesting things on the monitor once but they never got any svt. I tried everything to bring one on while I was wearing the monitors. Never happened. It was only until I had an ep study that my doctor could really tell what was going on. He actually told me he thought I had a different problem and was surprised to find the atrial flutter.
I totally relate to your feelings of frustration and fear. I'm a total chicken when it comes to anything medical. I don't even like the dentist. I had to really push myself to keep trying to figure out what was wrong. And I still worry about getting an svt. The feeling of not having control over your own body is really awful.
Good luck! Keep investigating. Hope you get some answers soon and feel better.
I suffer from SVT as well and I was for the longest time misdiagnosed with panic attacks. But being in the psychology field myself, I knew my situation and knew that what I was experincing wasn't just anxiety. I would ask you this...do you notice that the episodes come on suddenly and end suddenly? I ask because panic attacks will increase your heart rate but you'll stay in a normal sinus rhythym. Normal sinus rhyhtyms typically start gradually going faster and faster and they end gradually by slowling down. If you start and stop suddenly then I would be more suspicious of PSVT. Of course, there are arrythmias that warm up and slow down gradually that aren't panic attacks as well so really the best thing to do is get to a cardiologist, not a gp, and have them run all the necessary tests ie. echocardiogram, ekg, 30 day event monitor, etc.
The good news is that there are treatment options for SVT and PSVT. One thing that makes me consider and SVT over a panic attack with you is that you say laying down helps. I've heard of this with other people and it works sort of like a vagal maneuver. The nice thing is that if you are diagnosed with PSVT then you and your doctor may be able to find a vagal maneuver that would work for you that wouldn't require you laying down. Such as coughing and holding your breath. Then you could take care of the problem at work and not have to leave early.
Your symptoms sound like what i was experiencing when i was finally diagnosed with SVT. For yeras i was told that it was panic attacks until one day i had an episode and it was caught on a monitor! My heart rate during an episode is 180-200 bpm. The episodes are very infrequent. Usually once or maybe twice a year. I have aslo suffered from panic attacks but my heart rate only ever goes up to 160ish when in svt it is higher. After numerous heart tests and an ep study i have been told by many eps and cardiologists that the condition is benign and not life threatening but i know how you feel because when it is happening it is diffucult to believe that!
Hi ! I also have infrequent episodes of very rapid heart beats; but I'm different in so far as I cannot feel them. I became aware of the situation through the use of a blood pressure monitor, and I'm having the condition checked in the hospital at the moment. So I wish you the best and will keep checking up to see if your problem is the same as mine. Its a problem and I agree its very frustrating. All my holter monitor results have been normal so far but I have given a copy of the original bp report I got myself to the hospital so they have to believe me. Good luck for now.
This sounds like symptoms I have had in the past. Here is my simple question: Do you find that you often hold your breath? Would you even know if you are holding your breath? Go to www.anxietycoach.com/breathingexercise.html and see if this helps. There are many others that can be found if you google "anxiety breathing". I had these attacks often when driving and I feel cured! I can practice breathing techniques, and can calm an attack when I feel it coming on. Good luck!
WOW! I am literally going through the same thing right now. I've had these racing/pounding heart episodes for years (I'm 21 right now) and I never thought much about them. It's only recently that they happen more often (where they used to happen once every few months to once a month to now 2-3 a week) and have gotten worse (dizzy, shortness of breath, really hot, etc instead of just a racing heart). I havn't had anyone mention to me about panic attacks, I'm quite content with my senior year in college and my blood work came back fine. My doctor is having me "stop taking" my Adderall thinking it might be causing heart palpitations (but truthfully I really haven't been taking it at all although I still fill the prescriptions) He gave me a heart event monitor and I've worn it for 5 days now and got an event 2 days ago. I just got called that they sent an urgent referral to a cardiologist because my heart rate was measured above 200 2 days ago... and the one recorded on my monitor wasn't even the worst one I had!...I see a lot of people saying the same things about different sinus rhythms of the heart and that they are just having to "live with it". What did they tell you? Were there options to fix it? Were any of you sent to a specialist. And if this is something I do have to deal with has any of your guys' gotten worse over the years and how to you manage it?
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