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Please Help

I went to the doctor the other day and left with the possibility of a heart problem. I'm a 31 year old female. 2 small children. Don't drink, don't smoke, never done drugs or anything like that. Heck, I don't even drink caffeine. Let me back up to about 6 years ago. I saw the doctor for heart palpitations. My heart rate was in the 110s and 120s and they told me it was anxiety. I got pregnant, had children. My heart rate stayed like that but I just ignored it because anxiety....
A few days ago I went to the doctor for a neck problem. My heart rate was 137. She thought she heard a murmur. She made me get an EKG. Told me it wasn't a big deal, and it would probably just show it's fast, but she wanted to be sure. Well, it was fast and I had "flipped P waves." She put a holter on me which I get the results of today. And is scheduling a stress echo. She said the flipped p waves don't really tell them much other than something funky is going on. And the murmur.... I'm psyching myself out over this. I assumed it was just anxiety. My heart constantly pounds and feels funny in my chest and it's always fast. I thought that was just normal for me :(. Any insight or advice????
5 Responses
15439126 tn?1444443163
You're getting the right tests done, I urge patience.  If you don't have a followup visit to your doctor scheduled for when the test results will have been processed, perhaps now's not too early to book that.

It sounds like anxiety's a big part of your life, I hope you've given thought to find and use ways of reducing your stress and handling it better.
Avatar universal
I'm being patient. I won't have the stress echo until sometime next month. My follow up isn't for another couple weeks. I still don't have the holter results, but she did say that someone would call me when they got them read.
See, the thing is. I'm not generally an anxious person nor am I typically under high amounts of stress. I just have a high heart rate and always have. Of course now, that's magnified because I AM stressed and worried about this.  I'm not a doctor person. They told me 6 years ago it was anxiety and I haven't seen a doctor (other than my OB) since. I just don't go to the doctor. I assumed they knew what they were talking about and went on with life just dealing with it. I told her my heart rate is always high and that's just normal for me and she insisted it isn't normal. Then, she heard a murmur. No idea what or where, but she said I had one. Then she made me do the EKG and I'm thinking the whole time she's just going to say it's high. But it had the weird P wave. She did check my thyroid electrolytes etc and all that is normal....
I know that none of this will be helpful to anyone until I have the stress echo and get the results to see if my heart looks normal. It's just nerve racking to think there might be something wrong with my heart, of all things, at 31. And heart disease runs in my family.... My grandpa died at 48 from an SCA.  And it's incredibly hard to just sit and wait and not think about it while I try to be patient....
15439126 tn?1444443163
The stress echocardiogram was with a treadmill, right?  I think a useful result to help reassure you would be your heart recovery rate (just after high exertion, what was your pulse rate, and, what was it at the one and two minute points?).  I ask for this after my own treadmill stress tests (but, usually don't remember it so end up having to inquire later).

The difference between your highest heart rate on completion of high exertion (70-80% of your maximum heart rate for your age), and your resting rate at two minutes is seen as a good indicator of your risk of sudden cardiac death.  Similarly, the difference between the measure at one minute and at two minutes, is a further measure.  [This is a simple statistical measure, based on innumerable patients and how they fared later -- there are exceptions of course, but it's the way average populations behave.]

I agree that a high heart rate is not likely to be normal, and there would seem to be some underlying cause (metabolic, hormonal, physical defect, or whatever), and it's something worthy of their investigating, particularly since you've a family history.  Did your grandpa live a healthy life, or was he under unusual stress (emotional or environnmental toxins), sedentary, obese, severely ill, or a smoker?  How have your other three grandparents fared?
Avatar universal
I haven't had the stress echo, but yes it will be a treadmill test. My problem with the whole thing if they are wanting my heart rate 70-80% of max, I'm there at rest. My max heart rate is 189. 70% is 132 if they had me go to 80% I'd have a whopping 16 or so beats to go. My heart rate is in the 130s ALL the time. If I check it when I get up before I get out of bed, it's usually in the 100-115 range. I still haven't got my holter results but I'm going to say it probably has a low of maybe 105ish, and a high in the 200s. When I'm active, my heart rate really gets up there....
I'm not overweight. I eat healthy foods, no processed stuff, my thyroid and electrolytes were normal. My cholesterol and all that were Normal. They told me years ago it was anxiety and I just needed to calm down. I'm not uptight.... I don't know what's causing my heart to beat so fast, but it has done it for years. It's my normal, know what I mean?
I'm assuming since they haven't called my holter results must not be that concerning. Although I go to an extremely busy doctors office. I dropped it Monday afternoon. I would think they'd have at least processed it by now and if anything red flagged they would've called.... Right?
As for my grandpa. He was healthy. Non smoker. Didn't drink. He just dropped one day. My grandmother on my dads side had CHF at a young age but she controlled it with meds. My grandma on my moms side has lung disease of some sort, but she's alive. My grandpa on my dads side died of a heart attack in his 60s but he was a heavy smoker....
15439126 tn?1444443163
I'd never assume, but would be the squeaky wheel and just come out and ask about the test results.  Paperwork can slip between the cracks, test results misfiled, etc.
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