I am a 33 year old male. For a few days I wasn't feeling well. I had tingling in my arms and hands but I put I ignored it. Then about three days later I was feeling really bad. The symptoms were worse. I have a heart rate monitor that they gave out at work so I decided to check my pulse with it. My heart rate at first was normal; in the high 60's low 70's. Suddenly it shot up to 155. I could feel the surge through me. My heart rate slowly went to 115 and stayed there. It never dropped below 100. I went to urgent care. They checked my blood pressure which was high normal and did an ekg. The ekg was fine except for the resting heart rate which was still 115. The bloodwork came back normal except for a high white blood cell count. The doctor said I may have svt. He gave me a prescription for toprol and told me to take 25mg every day and if I wasn't improved to go to the hospital. Three days later I wasn't better and I had other symptoms like chest pain so I went to the er where they ran the same tests with the same results except for high blood pressure now. The cardiologist said my heart was fine. I wasn't convinced so they performed a resting echo on me which showed nothing wrong. He told me to take 50mg of toprol a day. My heart rate has gone down with toprol but I still have chest pains and tingling, etc. I'm convinced I have a blockage. I used to be overweight (250 lbs) and have never watched what I eat, don't exercise, etc. My grandparents died of heart disease and I am scared. Why has my heart rate not returned to normal naturally? What about the early symptoms I had?
Increased heart rates like you describe are sometimes very difficult, if not impossible to give an exact cause. If you have normal heart function as suggested by your echocardiogram, SVT is a very unlikely presenting symptoms for coronary blockages. I do not think blockages are the cause your fast heart rates.
"My heart rate has gone down with toprol but I still have chest pains and tingling, etc"
When people describe tingling in their hands and feet, it is usually related to hyperventilation. This is a common component in anxiety related problems. I am not saying anxiety is the cause of your problem, but I would guess that it is playing a role. There are other neurologic causes for tingling hands, but it sounds like your concerns are mostly heart related at this time.
Why has my heart rate not returned to normal naturally?
This is a difficult question to answer. First, do you know that your nornally always in the 60-70's? It is possible that you have a high baseline heart rate or an inappropriate sinus tachycardia like syndrome. I would order a holter monitor to observe changes in your heart rate as well as average heart rates during different levels of activity/rest. SVTs typically do not shoot up to 150 and slowly come down to 115 -- they are usually all or nothing events (from a rate of 70 to 150 and then back to 70). I suspect this is a sinus tachycardia and your doctor should make sure your thyroid is ok. If your thyroid is ok and it does not look like an SVT on holter or other monitor, treatment with rate slowing agents like beta blockers or calcium channel blockers is reasonable for now.
I hope this answers your questions. Thanks for posting.
i went swimming today and got a ton of pvcs while at it, i'm only 23 and i hope to God i don't have any blockages and etc. that usually cause pvcs at high rates (well, i was told that pvcs at high rates indicate or can indicate ischemia). So anywho i do get pvcs at rest but alot more on swimming or walking .. basically any activity. Whats up with that? they freak me out, and here i am trying to be good and more active...geeze, any comment would be GREATLY appreciated!!
Thank you for your response. I was doubtful about it being svt because my heart rate never went back to normal on its own although it would shoot up to even much higher levels in an instant and then come back down to over 100. I have always known what my average resting pulse is and it was usually in the 60's or 70's. I guess the thing that bothers me the most right now is the chest pain. Sometimes it goes away but it is usually there. I didn't have that before either. Sometimes I have a pain in my jaw too. The doctors seem to not pay attention to that aspect of my condition. I will admit that I have been anxious since this started but I wasn't anxious about anything before all of this. Anyway, I just needed to vent. Sometimes that helps. Thank you.
Hi, I had the same thing happen last year for the very first time. It started with rapid heart around 140. I had chest pains, numbness in my left arm and jaw. I went to the emergency room and had all the tests. Everything was fine. I wore a holter and all it came up with was sinus tach. I was put on toprol 25mg. The chest pains lasted about 3 months-after many doctor visits, they gave me Ativan for anxiety(which didn't work). They increased the toprol to 50 mg. That did work and now I have cut down to 12mg a day. I have to say the toprol does do wonders. I did gain weight on it though. Like you I wasn't anxious before this happened, but became very anxious afterward. It took me a good 6 months to get used to this. Give the toprol a chance to work and good luck.
Hey, it's good to hear from someone with a similar experience. Did your heart rate stay high before the toprol or did it go down on its own. I just can't get it out of my mind that if its some form of tachycardia that there really shouldn't be chest pain; especially when the heart rate is more in the noraml range with the toprol. Oh, and even with the toprol, my heart rate isn't always normal. Sometimes it's higher than usual (90+) and it is never as low as it used to be naturally. I've tried ativan for anxiety and that didn't do much. Will make an appointment with a cardiologist. I just wish I could put this all behind me. Thanks alot.
My heart rate stayed up for a while. I went to 3 different cardiologists because I couldn't believe there was nothing wrong. My rate would be fine and then out of nowhere it would go up to 120+. It would stay there for a few hours and then go back down to around 85. When this first happened my blood pressure went up also-it was 150/110. I did keep having the chest pain for a while. After 3 months my doctor increased the toprol to 50 mg. A few months later I started to cut it down on my own. Like I said, it was a good 6 months of feeling pretty horrible before I started to feel better. It does take some getting used to. One day you are fine and the next you have no idea what's going on. I felt like I was going crazy. It's been a little over 1 year and I still don't feel comfortable going off the toprol yet. I was going to try on the new year.
"...geeze, any comment would be GREATLY appreciated!!
I WANNA EXERCISE!!!....and maintain sanity"
Kiddo, you've gotten reassurance about your heart from the forum doc here, and good advice about your anxiety re pvcs from a number of people, especially fearfactor and collegegirl.
I guess there are a couple of approaches you can take regarding your symptoms: One is to keep on posting about your pvcs and trying to convince yourself--against all evidence--that these odd beats mean you have heart disease and are in imminent danger of dying. It's a lifestyle, to be sure; not much fun, but a lifestyle.
The other approach is to accept that you are being crippled by anxiety, and then get into some major therapy.
hey there...I do have anxiety and I am in councilling (which is wonderful) but I still feel bad and like something is messed up when I get a ton of pvcs swimming. I can't help it, it just doesn't feel right. I love to exercise, but as I do it and feel the hard thuds and pauses I sit back and think geeze this is weird (without panic) and just wonder could there be more to it. Its hard not to wonder about it, when your rate is high usually they ease off (usual response) but mine pick up, so it's odd. That is what I am wondering about and what bothers me. If they eased off with exercise I would consider them a normal irregualarity. With exercise, I find them worrisom, as does my cardiologist. But on the stress test I did, I was not symptomatic (go fig!) hehe.
Go back and ask for another stress test. Tell your doc you continue to be worried about the increase in pvcs during exercise. That's a reasonable request. Then, whether the pvcs do or do not increase during the test, ask him the best approach re exercise in your daily life. This is a more pro-active approach than being in limbo.
Second: If you're not symptomatic during these bouts of pvcs, why are you stopping your exercise? At the time, you're not faint or nauseous or clinically short of breath, are you? If not, then FEAR of the odd sensations is what's stopping you--and that's what your counselor should be concentrating on in your therapy. If that's not what's going on, then a different counselor (and probably some anti-anxiety medicaton) is in order, because you need someone to help you get your regular life back. Living like a cardiac cripple when your heart is basically functional is counterproductive.
well, i am focusing on it in my coucelling, and it's going ok. i feel dizzy during those spells but otherwise ok, that i use as a reasurrance that i am doing ok. i am a believer in councelling but personally not interested in anti-anxiety meds regarding my situation. i know that medicating myself would only be avoiding and tring to cover up my real issues. i need to face my anxiety, meds are good for others, just not for my particular situation.
as to the other stress test...maybe, i have only seen the cardiologist 3 times in the past 8yrs or so. i would love to have a monitor on while swimming that would be kick a** but obveously not possible. i dunno, i mean, i am at the point now where i am starting to not care about it all due to the fact i am just tired of worring now. hopefully i will stop worring about it all together soon :)
"...i am starting to not care about it all due to the fact i am just tired of worring now. hopefully i will stop worring about it all together soon "
I think getting bored with it all is a healthy sign, because it means you are starting to feel (not just understand--but feel) that you aren't going to drop dead all of a sudden. If you're like me, you may find that this attitude actually seems to make the frequency of pvcs drop off a bit.
If you are determined not to use meds, may I suggest a couple of excellent self-help books? These two slim volumes are rather old but very well-known, and should be useful to both men and women who struggle with anxiety. The author is Claire Weekes, and these are the titles:
can u pick those up anywhere? like in canada or the usa? there are some great bookstores around here called chapters, can u buy them there? maybe i will look into them they sound good! :) thanks for your suggestions. can i ask why you visit the forum? and what is your history with this subject? thanks.
I visit the forum because I have pvcs, occasional panic attacks, and mild aortic incompetence, in no particular order. Fortunately, I have taken classes in human anatomy and physiology, so I know a bit about what's going on with my ticker.
I had afib back in April and TRUST ME, there is no doubt about it if you are in afib. Your heart will feel like you just ran a marathon, it will be beating as hard as it has ever beaten and as fast as it has ever beaten. Amost like it is going to gallup right out of your chest and your pulse will be all over the place and almost too fast to even count. If your pulse is normal, you are not in afib.
Thankyou. i have tried calling my cardiologist and apparently he's on hol! I have had the buzzing tingling sensation all over my body for 2 days. is it possible to really have a panic attack for that long? my pulse is nice and relaxed though?
Sorry to just but in.Hope you don't mind. Just want to ask a quick qs.
about 5 days ago i had a really bad flu and a bad fever, my resting heart rate (which is normally 55-60bpm) that day and night was 100-120bpm. it went back to normal the next day. is it possible that the flu caused my pulse to increase?
Also how would someone know if they are in AFIB? i keep thinking i am in AFIB. I have svt (AVNRT i think) i have never had AFIB but i'm worried because for the past 2 days i have been feeling weird symptoms other than the PVCs. I have a tingling/buzzing feeling all over my body and occassionally get dizzy spells too. my pulse seems absolutely fine and i've even had my hubby (who is not a doc or nurse!!) listen to my heart and he says it all seems fine. Thank you
Yes, I have a lot of pvcs. Not as many as sometimes (how do an occasional Holter-counted 4800 per day sound to you?), but pvcs are part of my life. I have had several stress echos and a number of ekgs, and my cardiologist's opinion is that, apart from the very minor leak of my aortic valve, my heart is in pretty good shape, and that the pvcs are inconsequential and need no treatment. I believe him, because I have actually taken human anatomy and physiology, and because I go to the gym and work out nice and hard at least five days a week. I have noticed that I can do this just fine, pvcs or no. Believe me, it's important to be able to observe that you can work out hard in spite of pvcs; you don't turn blue or barf or actually faint or die, as you would with real heart disease.
Now, there are times, which I cannot explain, when an unusually intense burst of pvcs will come at me out of the blue and be associated simultaneously with panic attacks. This happens every couple of years (often in the spring or fall), and when it does, the pvcs are much more noticeable and more frequent--and it freaks me out. Untreated, these episodes tend to last quite a few months (once it was a full year), and they are very uncomfortable, as you know. This is how I made the acquaintance of my very nice shrink, with whom I have a good relationship.
After the cardiologist pronounced my heart OK, it became one of those situations where, if your tests are good, you have to ACCEPT that a trained medical person knows more than you do--and that your biggest problem is fear. This I could do. So, I went to this shrink to discuss my panic and my worry, and he, bless his heart, talked to me about basically having my personal alarm system turned up too high in response to the physical sensations I was experiencing. Since these episodes can last so long for me, he suggested a trial of an SSRI to, as he put it, give the alarm system time to cool off. Celexa and Zoloft work really, really well for me when these episodes occur--I "hear" the pvcs less, and they become less frequent, as well. I take the drug for two to four months, then taper off, and things are back to normal for another few years.
So, I'd say that if your heart tests are good, and you don't have a medical degree that allows you to argue intelligently with your doctor, it's only reasonable to believe him when he says that your odd beats are not dangerous. All the medical literature points in this direction. People live very long and normal lives with these things. Psychiatry is a great help for those who have trouble accepting them.
I see so many people haunting the board, suffering the same kind of anxiety I once did, over symptoms their docs have repeatedly pronounced benign. That's one of the reasons I watch this forum.
To sb786: Illness and fever do increase the heart rate. It's normal.
It's interesting that you have seized upon AFIB as a cause for your symptoms, particularly since you've never had it. But if you remain concerned, why not contact your cardiologist for a re-eval?
I can tell you that your tingling and buzzing and dizziness are all classic signs of panic attacks. You might find it helpful to google "panic attack" or "cardiac neurosis," and see if you see any other matching signs.
the thing i don't like is that i have only ever caught a few funny flip sensations on a monitor (though i tried many a time) so the ones that freak me out the most, never caught or read by a cardio, i would be like 299% PLEASED and happier way more confident if i have had them caught and read. i'd feel great. so anywho i am looking into getting a monitor for 30 days...hopefully i will get one and in not too much of a wait.
fever does increase heart rate, thats completely normal. with the body's temp rising your heart rate increases, same as if you were sat in a hot room, one of the best ways to decrease your temp (that your body does by itself) is through the blood. by rushing the blood to the surface (flushed face, sweating etc.) via increased hr your body is tring to cool itself. cool huh? its really amazing. my resting rate is always around 90 myself.
In panic or anxiety, the buzzy or tingling feeling is often associated with hyperventilation, which anxious people do, usually without realizing it.
Is it possible to have a panic attack that lasts two days? No, technically, an attack lasts a few minutes--however, they can be repeated often throughout the day (and night). And you may not be having panic per se; you might just be in a constant state of high anxiety right now.
There are other things, not heart related, that cause buzzing and tingling sensations. It sounds as though you may have an anxiety problem, but I still think you should talk with your GP about your symptoms (cardiologists, though often nice people, may not have a lot of time for explanation or hand-holding). Just be prepared, if he says you're otherwise healthy, to talk with a counselor about anxiety and panic.
Woodruff, sorry about your valve. My sis-in-law has the same exact thing! I appreciate you always giving me advice and I know its annoying to have me fret about the same things but I feel lost. I was doing better for a while. My baby got all better and is crawling now! I can't believe I missed so much and I don't want to anymore. I am going to a new psychiatrist that specializes in anxiety. Hopefully that will help although I still in the back of my mind think...ouch, pain...must be my heart. Mostly it would stay on the lower side of my left breastbone but yesterday the pain was like a squeezing sensation that would come every nine minutes. I freaked out. My blood pressure was only 99/60 so I figured I was ok. Today it has been moving around/mainly on the lower side but its this deep twisting feeling I never got before and I'm more than concerned now. I am also burping so much that I gave up eating most everything. Anything I eat, even bananas make me burp up a storm. I can't stand to wear anything remotely tight and I'm bloated and exhausted and not sleeping well. I also have neck and shoulder pain. My questions are...
1. Could this be prinzmetal's angina? I read it was common in young women and the only way to dignose it is to cause the spasms during an angiogram
2. Why all the belching, gas, pain all of a sudden?
3. Could it be gastritis or GERD?
4. I've now been on 40 mg nexium and a strict non-acidic diet for 30 days now and it hasn't helped...if it were gastrointestinal, wouldn't this have stopped by now? Doesn't that sound cardiac?
5. Do you think I can ask for calcium channel blockers?
I understand I have no risk factors, but I have ALL the symptoms and I'm just afraid they are missing something. I mean look at Al, it took him a while before they finally diagnosed CAD for him. I don't know what else to do. I've started an aspirin regimen just so there is something I can do about my fears. Would a 24 hour holter show anything? Please help.
Any suggestions would be more than appreciated.
C16 woodruff/everyone Here is a post I had found from a while back....sounds just like me only no MI yet...see I told you this could happen even with clean tests...does this not worry you????????
If your instincts are telling you there is something wrong, you should push to have it checked into further. That's what a nurse at a large hospital told me while I was in the cardiac care unit having atypical angina investigated. Although most of the doctors were nice, I do not believe that they actually thought there was anything seriously wrong...when I was handed maalox and sent home, it confirmed my feelings that the doctors did not feel there was anything wrong with my heart. If it weren't for the nurse, and my family doctor, who reassured me that it was "not in my head", I'd probably be in bad shape right now.
In fairness to the doctors, I have been told that my case was a little unusual and did not fall into some of the typical patterns.
I will "try" to summarize my history as you really don't need to be reading a novel haha, although it may be difficult.
June 2003 (female, age 39), no risk factors (with the exception of being a smoker), had tingling and numbness in both arms, shortness of breath, a feeling of bad gas, and an "uneasy feeling" while I was washing my car. I dismissed the symptoms. They continued off and on all day and evening and the pressure in my chest felt like a balloon inflating from below my breasts to my neck, and from shoulder to shoulder...I still dismissed it as gas.
The next day, numbness in left arm only, a feeling of indigestion (which I had only ever experienced when pregnant), extreme fatigue, shortness of breath. It continued off and on most of the day , and after dinner, while cleaning up, I tried to ignore what my body was telling me, but ended up slumped over the counter and it felt like there was an elephant on my chest. I was rushed to e.r. I had had a heart attack with a blockage in mid- LAD cleared and stented (the funny thing is that no one could tell me how I got a blockage when I do not have high cholesterol).
I was sent home and told to go into the cardiac rehab program for 3 months and strongly advised to reduce stress in my life.
I continued to have symptoms off and on,passed all tests, including a thallium stress test, given maalox and sent home.
Jan. 2004-my family doctor pushed to have an angiogram done (I was quite willing to go on with my life and hoped the symptoms went away, luckily he was not comfortable with my symptoms).
Angio showed restenosis in stent, had 2 more stents (drug coated). Felt great afterwards.
April 2004-symptoms started again, choking feeling, pressure, feeling of food stuck in my chest, extreme fatigue. I passed ecg, echo, stress test.
Family doc added tiazac (cardizam?)to the rest of the meds I was taking. It helped, but not a lot. I gave up on going to specialists, despite the fact that symptoms were getting worse or more frequent. instead, I started seeing a psychologist because I wanted to be objective to the fact that these symptoms may be in my head (she did not feel they were).
May 2005 another heart attack. I had been tired of having to rest off and on during the day or take nitro to relieve symptoms. So, this day, I decided instead of resting, I would go grocery shopping. The chest discomfort got worse in the store, I still shopped, came home and tried nitro. The nitro helped, but did not get rid of it completely. My husband wanted to take me to the er, and although I knew it was my heart, I did not want to go until I knew it was bad enough that it would show up on an ecg. I just couldn't stand the thought of having another doctor look at me like it was in my head, but I knew if I pushed myself a little more physically that day, I could make it worse and then they'd believe me(I know, I know, that was really stupid). I guess I left it a little too long. The good thing was that it was captured on an ecg and the proof was also in my elevated cardiac enzymes. Angio showed that the stents were clear and there were no new blockages , which really surprised the cardiologist. He was very good and said to me "you women humble me every day. I learn more and more each time I deal with a woman as your symptoms can be so unusual".
It sounds strange, but finally I felt validated. I actually was beginning to think the symptoms were in my head.
They still do not know for sure what is causing the problems, but think it is Prinzmetal or Variant Angina. But, I agreed to be part of a research study. It made me feel good that I may be able to help prevent this from happening to other women.
I live on a lot of medications, but life is good now...except when my medications are wearing off in the morning and at night. Although sometimes I have a few moments of feeling sorry for myself (a pity party, I call it haha), because of the major changes this condition has caused in my life. Then I give myself a kick and try to be grateful for the fact I'm still on the planet and I have learned a great deal in these past few years. I live my life differently, and I'm enjoying it to the fullest.
Good luck with everything. My purpose of "telling my story" so to speak, is not to scare you, but to give you some moral support if you truly are feeling there is something wrong inside and no one seems to be listening. You know yourself best. Go with that.
Take care, Janne
p.s. sorry about the long post.
Pain that moves about is not heart pain. Yours moves around.
Neck and shoulder pain accompany anxiety and tension. Boy, do they ever.
You're diagnosing yourself with Prinzmetal's angina?? And wanting calcium channel blockers? Oh, dear. You've been reading the Merck. Don't do that. By the way, your aspirin regime could worsen your gastric symptoms. Unless you have been TOLD you are at risk for vessel blockage, I'd lose the aspirin pronto.
Bloating, belching, and gut discomfort are the companions of anxiety. They are unpleasant, but--in the absence of anything that turns up on scoping--not medically dangerous. I forget: Have you been scoped? If you haven't talked to a gastroenterologist, you probably should. But nothing about your gut symptoms says "cardiac" to me.
Have you taken a physiology class? If not, I recommend it. It might feed your some of your worries, but it will certainly disarm others!
"I understand I have no risk factors, but I have ALL the symptoms"
No, you don't have any of the relevant symptoms. The lady whose history you quote describes a non-migratory, peculiarly evil chest pain, mostly central, but with some classic radiation to the left arm. She uses a frequently-used and classic term to describe what she feels: "Elephant on the chest". You have not experienced that.
She also describes a feeling of being seriously unwell, of being short of breath and incapacitated by fatigue. By contrast, you are uncomfortable and tired (entirely reasonable, as the parent of a baby), but you are capable of doing your daily stuff. You have not yet said anything indicating that you have to sit down because you are in fact too ill, tired, and short of breath to go on.
In short, this lady was truly sick, actually disabled, but chose to try to deny or ignore it. Your situation is somewhat the opposite: You are perfectly able to do ordinary physical activities, but you are obsessed by non-disabling symptoms.
I want to emphasize, once again, that both she and Al, though too young to be cardiac patients (Al especially), were physically ill. I'm not talking uncomfortable and worried--I'm talking too sick to do the usual daily stuff. Can you carry the baby, go up stairs, run if needed, and do it without puking or fainting? If so, your heart is doing its job just fine.
This is not to completely minimize your experience. Clearly, you are unhappy, uncomfortable, and worried. For your gut symptoms, I recommend a visit to a gut specialist. For your head, the new psychiatrist. Your thinking shows some pretty obessive qualities, and I do think it would be good to consider one of the SSRIs to help break up a very unwholesome pattern of thought.
Hi and thank you for taking so much time to give me advice. I really do appreciate it and take it to heart. I am going to ask for new meds...obviously the prozac is not doing its job although the ativan seems to help some. As for gastritis...wouldn't this be cured by nexium, I've been on it for 34 days now. This worries me a little although these days I'm sleeping better, almost too good. You said that if I can do "daily things" ok then I'm well. I don't know what you would classify as daily tasks, but lately its been harder. I don't know if its cause I have a baby and a job but lately I require so much more sleep. I dont know if I'm out of shape or its my health but even walkign up the stairs gets me out of breath. I admit I have not been exercising like I should but I'm only well, almost 26. I know it must get annoying for someone like me to get on this forum and complain about a somewhat invisible heart problem when so many have a real one but I just keep thinking, what if we're missing something! I am going to see the new therapist but I also want to know something...isn't it true that women are more misdiagnosed when it comes to cardiac issues? I've read so much about women having stress tests, etc and then finding out they do have a real heart problem. I realize I have virtually none of the risk factors but there has to be a reason why all of a sudden I developed these symptoms and this idea of heart problem, especially all this unnatural burping. I do take asprin every day cause thats what they've given me in the ER everytime and I'm scared without it but can that hurt me? I just want answers and thanks for your time!
Happy New Year!
I won't get into my year long battle of heart-anxiety, anxiety-heart issues. But I do want to tell you that in Dec. 05, one month after my symptoms started I had the WORST heartburn. My chest ached and ached. For days and days it was sooo sore. Then in Jan. 06 the burning continued and the burping started. I burped all day long and even once woke myself up with a burp! I didn't try any medication for it and when I finally started to (a least a little) give the anxiety diagnosis some merit-it got less and less.
I truly believe that the mind is a powerful, powerful thing. Anxiety/stress can manifest itself in different ways to different people. That is why, I think, it is so hard to accept it as a diagnosis because no one has EXACTLY the same symptoms, therefore we allow ourselves to believe that we "are the ONE exception" and that the docs are missing something. I would say, get the testing done, whereever you need to go. Feel comfortable with the results and then work on getting better.
I forgot to tell you that the burning pain in my chest for a time was in the "same" spot on my back. I described it once to my brother-in-law it was like a log (don't know why I used that analogy!!) was entering my sternum and exiting out my back. As gross and graphic as that sounds, it was funny when he knew EXACTLY what I meant. He had had burping, burning chest issues for about four months and had lots of tests --- his diagnosis: STRESS.
Also, my husband (about 8 years ago) had violent dry-heaving in the morning that after me nagging him enough he went to the doc and had again, lots of tests done. His diagnosis: STRESS!! It happens once in a while now but very infrequently.
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