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Heart palpitations since 1994 - WHY?

I apologize for the long winded post, but I have 17 years of experiences to cover. I've been experiencing frequent heart palpitations and fluttering since 1994. Every heart test I've had over the years has been normal (EKG, ECG, stress tests, event monitors/holters, etc) aside from small preliminary beats and such that my doctors have deemed "insignificant". Other symptoms have been frequent belching "attacks" (not always related to eating) which I had a Barium study done for years back. My recollection of that study is that they were searching for signs of ulcer (which they found a small intestinal ulcer but did not seem concerned about it). Other heart symptoms have been tachycardia (sometimes after certain meals), and bradycardia (typically when hungry). I also started having panic attacks during the night in 2003 (anxiety runs in my family), and ended up being put on metoprolol (beta-blocker - still taking today). The panic attacks stopped, but the heart symptoms continued. I tried learning to live with it. In summer of 2011, panic attacks came back (life has been more stressful over the last 18 months...graduated from college, started new career, father passed away, etc). This time I also experienced more frequent and intense headaches (feels like tension headaches), weakness in legs (sometimes arms), joint stiffness (shoulders and back, etc) and tingling on left side of face (mostly during headaches, but not always). I generally feel crappy all the time (mild nausea, light-headedness, dizziness, low energy, weakness, etc). After reading up on nearly every ailment that mimics these symptoms (to no avail), I have been lead to GERD, hiatal hernia, and the vagus nerve as possible culprits. I have always believed that I did not have a heart problem, but that something else was causing my symptoms. While trying to assemble the puzzle pieces, I think back to the first day I began having heart flutters/skipped beats. I had been mountain biking earlier that day, and I remember carrying my bike up a hill and slipping. In doing so, I remember feeling a pain (but being 17 years ago I don't recall exactly where). I remember it being in my torso (like my chest or my back) as if I twisted and pulled something. I'm now wondering if I suffered a hiatal hernia that day, and have never had it diagnosed.If anyone has any insight into this possibility, I'd be thrilled to hear any news that I may be on to discovering the source of my long suffering.
4 Responses
1839422 tn?1319665309
I dont think it would be hiatal hernia ( i believe those are caused by other things)  but I am no doctor it may be some other sort of hernia though.  I would have it checked out.  I believe that my stomach causes my problems.  Mine started during a bad pregnancy that started badly and ended badly.  I never had any problems before mabye a skip hear or there.   The PVC and PAC make me anxious and crazy ..

I feel the same nauseated tired and pretty much like crap on a daily basis.  I think I may have some underlying depression going on also.  I have gained weight and thats made it worse.  I am in the process of trying to lose some of it.  I am also on a beta blocker   Acebutolol    I hate it
1807132 tn?1318747197
I also don' think it would be a herniated disc.  I would check the link to the right on Dysautonomia and see if that fits.    Do you typically have low bp?  Good luck, I hope you can figure this out.
967168 tn?1477588089
it could be GERD and Dys and a multitude of other things including the ANS connection  if you want more info def check the Dysautonomia (autonomic dysfunction) forum out here http://www.medhelp.org/health_pages/Neurological-Disorders/Autonomic-Dysfunction--Dysautonomia-Index-Page/show/857?cid=196

also for an easy to understand and read information go to the National Dysautonomia Research Foundation (ndrf.org); click learn more; then go The NDRF Patient Handbook click the PDF format online and the booklet will come up; there's some great information about our "inner" workings which could all be related.

sometimes, dr's dismiss the ANS connection but I don't know why - the ANS  is the regulatory part of the central nervous system (CNS) and can cause all kinds of things in our bodies  http://www.medhelp.org/health_pages/Neurological-Disorders/Autonomic-Dysfunction-FAQ/show/181?cid=196 5. What are some of the more common symptoms of an autonomic dysfunction? You'll find a lengthy list of symptoms so if your doctor can't find anything it may be a good idea to mention this to him/her.
Avatar universal
I share many of the same symptoms that you reported....for almost two years ...episodes of -

epigastric tightness/pressure
sensation on left side of face
feeling of light headedness
PVC's ( episodes of bi- and trigeminy)
crappy feeling during episodes
episodes correlate with eating and exercise
some days better than others.

All tests negative ECG, Echo, CT angio.  Just had endoscopy and small hiatal hernia was observed.  I am planning to revisit doctor to set up a consult with a neurologist since it seems like the pieces of the puzzle are almost together. Have no idea what can be done other than to cut the vagus which seems a bit drastic at the moment.  At least there seems to be a reason for the way I feel.
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