Pediatric Heart Expert Forum
Heartbeat Acceleration
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Questions in this forum are answered by pediatric cardiologists, cardiothoracic surgeons and anesthesiologists from The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. This forum is for questions and support about pediatric heart problems, symptoms and topics such as heart murmurs, palpitations, fainting, chest pain, congenital heart defects (including management and intervention), fetal cardiology, adult congenital cardiology, arrhythmias and pre-participation athletic screening.

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Heartbeat Acceleration

My heartbeat have been irregular for the last year or so, at times it accelerates for no reason and can last for about an hour at times, whenever this happens my chest hurts and I feel weak. Even when my heartbeat does not increase, my heart beats at a slightly higher then average. My heart beats increase are for no reasons since sometimes when i'm just lying down or reading a book it occurs, and even at times when I am listening in class. I'll be 18 this year and had already been having this problem since 16 years of age. I am not sure why I am getting this pain and I used to think that it might have been because of a kick I receive while in martial arts class since It started shortly after that. But since it has been so long I am begining to think that it is impossible.

Please inform me of what I am having and if possible a cure for it.  thank you.
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773637_tn?1327450515
Dear Lucy,

Although I can’t be sure without examining you, this sounds like a common problem that many adolescents have.  The heart beating fast may be caused by not having enough fluid in your tank.  Even if you are not thirsty, you are may be running yourself a bit dry.  What I recommend is that you have four 8-12 ounce glasses of fluid a day and a salty snack (pretzels, saltines, pickles).  Also, you should not skip meals and you should totally eliminate caffeine.  This tends to help the large majority of patients whom I see with these problems.  If this does not go away despite these interventions, or you have other symptoms, you should see your primary care provider for more evaluation.  They may want to perform an electrocardiogram as a baseline test, and consider longer ECG monitoring.  As well, you may want to count how many heartbeats you are having in one minute’s time; if it is 180, or more, at rest, this may be indicative of an arrhythmia.
2 Comments
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I normally drink alot of water each day since its a habit my mother taught me when i was younger. although I do not always take salty snacks so i'll start with that. I usually make sure I eat whenever i'm hungry. I do not take caffeine since I don't like thing like coffee and etc. So I will try this out and then if its not working out I would seek primary care. Thanks you for helping me out.

~ Lucy
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773637_tn?1327450515
Jeffrey R Boris, M.D.Blank
The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Philadelphia, PA
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