For about three years now I’ve been experiencing issues with my heart, but I haven’t yet been able to get a diagnosis. I’m hoping that if I describe my symptoms here I may be able to get some suggestions. It’s quite a long story but hopefully you’ll stick with me, and If you’ve experienced anything similar I’d be really grateful if you could post a reply.
The first palpitations occurred when I was 17; they were rapid, quite forceful, beats which came on suddenly. They normally lasted for at most around 10 minutes or so and could usually be cleared with vagal manoeuvres (after which they would stop suddenly). I spent some time online and read about SVT, which I assumed was what I was experiencing – since the condition was largely harmless and common in young people I decided to just ignore it (I did also visit the GP, and he pretty much suggested I do the same).
Anyway, when these first started I wasn’t exercising and was perhaps 6kg or so overweight, so wasn’t in the best of shape. However, I was young and my diet was good so the heart problems were a little surprising. As time has gone on, my fitness has improved, I’m 6”1’ and at an ideal weight. My diet is very good, and I make sure to exercise regularly. My symptoms however have expanded, and are becoming progressively worse as the situation with my heart develops. I started having ectopic beats in addition to the SVT like symptoms, and a little later also started to have another kind of arrhythmia. This new type was rapid, but also irregular, and was very difficult to clear. It would also last much longer, sometimes as long 4-5 hours. From what I’ve read, it could probably be compared closest to what those with paroxysmal a fib experience.
The final and most recent symptom (I think starting around 6 months or so ago) is periods of Bradycardia. My resting Hr is around 56, perhaps already a little slow to begin with, but I have periods when this can drop to around 45 bpm (when awake and usually, but not always, when at rest).
In general I feel extremely tired, from the moment I wake up to when I go sleep. I’m also experiencing angina which comes and goes and is often triggered by exercise, along with muscle fatigue, and issues with memory and occasional periods of near syncope or mild confusion.
Blood tests came back very good and no thyroid issues have showed up on the basic blood tests. I’ve also had an Echocardiography, which showed that structurally the heart was normal. I’ve had a 24hr ECG, but didn’t experience any symptoms during that time (when I’m not experiencing palpitations the heart is in a normal sinus rhythm), other than ectopic beats, which were considered harmless. Anyway, where I’m at now is trying very hard to cope with the tiredness, which is by far the most difficult symptom to deal with (often just getting out of bed is a challenge), as well trying to catch some of the other symptoms on the ECG. Anyway, if these symptoms sound similar to anything you’ve experienced (particularly the tiredness!) I would really appreciate it if you could give me something to bring up with the cardiologist.
Also I’ve been reading at bit about sick sinus syndrome. I know it’s very uncommon in my age group, particularly given that the Echocardiography came back clear, but to those suffering from SSS: does this sound similar to what you’ve experienced?