Avatar universal

Sudden onset of arrhythmia and bradycardia

I am a 32 year old female in good health. I eat well and exercise regularly, and have always had very low but healthy blood pressure. I have had a history of unusual chest and rib pains that started about 5 years ago, but they are fairly infrequent, and I have been able to live with them with only minor discomfort. There is a history of heart disease in my family.
Last week, I had been feeling a bit sick to my stomach ever since Tuesday night. On that night, I had a bad stomach ache, which I assumed was just gas. But then the pain shot up into my left shoulder, something I had never experienced before. My stomach felt a bit uneasy for the next few days, but nothing too terrible. I was feeling better by the end of the week. Then last Friday while walking home from work, I suddenly felt as if my heart skipped a beat, and then I became very lightheaded, as if I was on a lot of cold medicine. I felt weak,shaky, and nauseous. After sitting down for about 30 minutes I felt better. A few hours later, the same thing happened again, but this time it felt worse. I was shaking all over. Again, it lasted about 30 minutes. This was 6 nights ago and I have been feeling ill ever since. During the day, I will feel weak and light headed, and I will often feel like my heart skips a beat, which will cause me a lot of discomfort. At night, I feel worse. I have had episodes every night, where I suddenly feel light headed, I have to lie down, and I feel very weak. I shake all over and I feel the need to cough a weak, unproductive cough. These episodes last anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes, and I have had from 2 to 5 per night. When the "attacks" are finished, I have a burning sensation in my chest (concentrated in the left side) that radiates down my left arm. I also feel this burning sensation at other times throughout the day.
Last night, I thought I was starting to feel better. Two days ago, I was prescribed a medication to regulate my heart beat, and I assumed this med had finally started to make me feel better. But then I had the worse "attack" yet, where I felt as if my heart stopped for a few seconds. I went to the ER and was told that I have arrhythmia and bradycardia, but that everything else was normal. They kept me there all night to observe me. The question of whether this may be stress related came up, but I personally don't think so. I am completely rational and calm during the episodes, not panicky at all despite the fact that they are quite scary. They also seem to think that I have indigestion. This is completely baffling to me. I can't understand how indigestion could cause me to suddenly develop arrhythmia. Especially because the first time I experienced the heart skipping/ lightheaded episode, I hadn't eaten anything in about 8 hours. Anyway, over the next few weeks, I will have a bunch of appointments to see the cardiologist.
My question is: Has anyone had any experience with symptoms like the ones I'm having? I am very alarmed by the simple fact that I went from feeling like a healthy young woman to feeling very ill all the time in an instant. I am also a little in the dark, because I am living in a foreign country where my modest language skills don't yet cover terms like "electrocardiogram" and "Transient Ischemic Attack". So I am having a bit of trouble getting the full story from the doctors I have seen so far. Anyway, any help would be greatly appreciated!
5 Responses
Avatar universal
I had these episodes for so many years and I would be rushed to the hospital and everything came out negative. but 2007 I was 58 and I suffered a severe dizzy spell at home and severe pain and irregular heart beat by the time the paramedics arrived my heart was back to normal but I went to er and was addmitted for observation. Then while hooked to the monitor my heart suddenly stopped for 7-12 seconds. I had complete cardiac arrest. a quick desicion was made by the dr. to put in a dual chamber pace maker.
So my opinion is that unless they catch it on the monitor they will not respond to you.
Keep changing dr. until you find someone who can hear you.
They told me that if I don't have the pace maker put in my heart would stop and I will die at home.
I am sorry I don't mean to scare you because you are so young but find a dr. who will take your complaints seriously. God bless.
Avatar universal
Thank-you so much for your reply (scary as it may be.) You are right about the docs not being able to find anything. When I went to the ER the other night (after I felt my heart stop for a good 3 seconds) they decided that acid reflux or indigestion is causing the pain and anxiety about the pain is causing the attacks. (Despite the fact that they found the arrhythmia and the bradycardia.) They gave me meds for my stomach and an appointment 10 days from now to see the cardiologist. I may not have a medical degree, but I know my body, and I can tell when there is something seriously amiss. Time to find another doctor and fast! Thanks again, tired. God bless you, too!
Avatar universal
I hope everything will turn out ok with you . If you can find a good nurse practioner in your area they are more compassionate and understanding. Try that route.
Male Dr. don't pay too much attention to your complaint if you are a female and young. Trust me I have been around enough Dr. to tell you that.
I hope it is acid reflux which they said I had.
Don,t panic just keep searching and at least let them give u the 30 day monitor.
You are my child's age and I want you to live a healthy life.
God bless and heal you.
Avatar universal
I'm going to keep going to doctors (or nurse practitioners :) until I find one that listens. I have definitely had my fair share of experience with doctors who think my complaints are "all in my head". Thanks again for your support and encouragement!
Avatar universal
I am 35 yrs old and also had to have a pacer put in at the age of 27....i was totally healthy and got pregnant with my second child and started experiencing symptoms somewhat like panic attacks, tachycardia numbing of the arms legs, dizzy, felt like i wanted to faint, weak, shaky, throughout the pregnancy....at night when i was asleep i would feel like i was sinking into a deep hole and would wake up gasping for air. I took many trips to the ER with no answers cause by the time id get there my episode was over and OBGYN insisted that it was panic attacks, i never believed this cause it never happened to me before, well i had my baby in 2003 and it got worse after, they sent me to a neurologist and he put me on a 24 hour holter moniter and tells me "I bet you a million dollars its all in your head" i could have kicked him in the mouth but was to sick to at the time., and i recieved a call 2 days later telling me that i needed to see a cardiologist asap. During my sleep they found that my heart beat was dropping to 20 beats per minute, the norm is 60, it was (bradycardia with advanced heartblock type 2), there is no history in my family and i was young so many docs for a long time looked at me like i was crazy. After my pacer surgery, i was a mess for a long time, still deali with tachycardia, dizziness, feeling faint etc.throughout this,i had to have surgery for a benign tumor around my ovary, due to  that surgery i caught a middle ear infection that ruined my equalibrium, and now deal with a new host of problems like weird sensations in my brain etc.. but to make a long story not much longer, i tried all the meds doctors put me on and it all made matters worse, so i weaned myself off of everything betta blockers, meclizine, reglan etc and went to see a holistic doc and took the natural approach, its the only thing that helped me get from 5% to 85% better, i still have my off days but nothing like before, i was bedridden for 5 yrs and to anxious to go anywhere cause i was afraid about the episodes, I still feel uneasy to take trips far from home. After the natural doc, I still deal with "some" mild dizziness at times, weakness , mostly when im about to get my period. Do to the doctors not believing me for so long, i have the anxiety issue,  but all in all, i've been able to resume a pretty normal life with my hubby and kids, my hope is that time will heal the mental distress many doctors caused me and hope that i beat this fear-anxiety in the butt lol...something you said reminded me of exactly what i would tell doctors and thats ....i know my body and i know somethings wrong. Hope this helps!! Good Luck Hun
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