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11226342 tn?1416358098

Heart problems, or something else?

I'm 25, female, no allergies, no diagnosed illnesses, normal weight, and aside my symptoms, regular, good health.

For almost 2 years, I've had occasional palpitations (the feeling of skipped / extra beats, or then simply a few beats significantly stronger than others, usually in a very regular fashion, I mean that there is a regular rhythm to these when it happens - most of the time). It started as occasional, then daily, and would come and go in periods of weeks or even months.

Last spring it got worse: I got chest pains (all sorts, sharp and stabbing and in specific areas, as well as tingling / burning in larger, not entirely specific areas, as well as intense squeezing pain in the middle). I could move, go about my daily life etc, but it was seriously present, affected my sleep, my mood, got me scared etc. Every EKG turned out normal, bloodwork normal, and just this fall I had a stresstest and echo, both normal. The skipped beats were never present in EKG, but they're there - sometimes even every 5th beat or so, and can last several minutes, even hours. Then, sometimes weeks with nothing at all.

I feel fairly confident in saying I generally eat healthy. I exercise, although I do sit a lot. I do stretches and small exercises especially for the thoracic spine every day. Since then, most of the chest pains have gone away - but they come and go, mostly the ones associated with breathing, postures, and on specific spots on the chest, the pain being sharp or dull.

But now, since Oct, twice I've woken up with tachycardia. My heart felt pounding, it woke me from sleep. Bpm was first, I'd say, 140-150. It dropped to about 120 in a couple of minutes, stayed there for a while. Once the ambulance came (10-15 min), it was only 110 or so. It stayed around there for over an hour. EKG normal (sinus tachycardia). On the second time, the episode lasted a bit less, and bpm was lower, and it felt less pounding (I had been exercising more regularly ever since the 1st episode), yet it woke me from sleep and was still over 120 when waking up. It clearly felt like my heart had some "malfunction", by that I mean it wasn't the same sensation as when your HR elevates because of exercise, getting scared / angry etc. And my rest HR is usually 50-60, even below 50 when lying down.

Sometimes I also feel vibration in my chest, numbness in left index finger / big toe, or tingling in armpits.

Generally, pulse feels normal, but there is both normal variation (e.g. with breathing) as well as a skipped or extra beat (or two) every now and then - I don't know if it's still regular enough to be considered normal. My HR monitor sometimes gives the icon for arrhytmia.

I also often feel numbness right above my left breast, or slight pain / tingling / numbness in my jaw or left side of my neck. Sometimes my sense of touch feels heightened, e.g. just the blanket touching my neck while lying in bed may feel as if something's wrapped more tightly around it, or a part of clothing touching my chest feels like something's pushing. It's not painful, but it feels unusually "strong".

Sometimes I feel as if I am unable to inhale enough air, but only slightly, and this does not happen to often anymore. Also, often I feel as if my heart is beating fast or very erratically, but when feeling the pulse from my wrist, it seems slower and steady.

This is really disturbing my life. It has been going on for months, and I still don't know what it is. I've come a long way in not freaking about it, but it still does unnerve me, and happens even when I'm calm, thinking about something else etc. and I find it extremely difficult to just believe "it's normal" - I do not feel normal.

Please, is there anything concrete to explain this, can I do something about it?
Is it heart, is it sleep apnea, MS, my imagination?
Anyone else having all this?

Sorry for the lengthy post...
4 Responses
612551 tn?1450022175
From what I understand you have been tested sufficiently to assure you have a normal healthy heart, but there are some electrical/timing problems,  Perhaps Premature Ventricle Contractions (PVCs) have you heard of that, read about it?  May be helpful in developing a better understanding.

Heart Rhythm (you may benefit from doing a search here, and in posting in that community) issues are difficult or just a matter of luck to catch on an EKG, one needs to wear a heart monitor, sometimes wearing one for 24 hours is enough. This will give a doctor a chance to give a diagnosis.

The unhappy truth may be that you have PVCs that you just have to live with, not fix possible, but the good news is with an otherwise healthy heart PVCs are benign.

Some of your other symptoms are concerning, but I can't diagnose, further discussion with a cardiologist should lead to a fuller understanding and hopefully a cure.
Avatar universal
Hi! I am a 26 yr old female, and I've been through exactly what you have. I have extra beats daily that scare me to death. I've been to a cardiologist and an electro physiologist who both say my heart is very healthy. So what's the problem??? Anxiety! I wake up in the middle of the night with my heart racing at 160bpm. I have gone by ambulance to the er and its always sinus tach caused by anxiety/panic attacks. I would have never thought I was having a panic attack- it is not mental. I can't say this is what you have for sure, but it sounds just like what I've been dealing with for the past 6 months. I know how terrifying and horrible it is to live in fear, but rest assured that the one who knot you together in your mother's womb will take perfect care of you!
11226342 tn?1416358098
Thanks you for the replies!

I did now get assigned a Holter, which hopefully will confirm once and for all that it's not the heart, and what sort of palps I am having - assuming I actually get any while wearing it...

But I've been trying to find information on anxiety / panic, and that does seem to fit. It's just been very difficult to accept it because of the way the symptoms have presented themselves, how it sometimes appears out of nowhere etc. but I understand that is indeed possible. I do worry and stress a lot in general, even if I don't feel awfully stressed all the time, necessarily.

I was able to find some advise / techniques to battle with anxiety, and after a very short while, that seems to have alleviated my problems, further supporting that anxiety is the likely reason behind it - at least it's definitely a contributor. I think one of the most difficult things was believing that it's not serious, such as the heart.
Avatar universal
I still struggle with accepting that anxiety can cause such horrible physical symptoms!
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