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Heart palpitations/skipping beats, had a normal EKG, further tests necessary?

I am a 25 year old female. 188lbs, 5'6". Normal blood pressure, normal heart rate. Have been experiencing heart palpitations/skipping beats for a week. Saw my GP and had an EKG done. It came back normal. Doctor was able to feel the skipping beats so she referred me to a cardiologist.

He asked questions about sleep, caffeine, activity level, alcohol consumption and stress factors as well as family history of cardiac health issues. I don't usually get enough sleep, I am a coffee drinker, I have been consuming on average about 5 alcoholic beverages per week, I don't smoke, I do suffer from moderate anxiety but it's been manageable lately. Sometimes because of the anxiety I am highly stressed. I don't manage stress well.

As far as family history, my grandmother died from a heart attack in her 50's (she did have diabetes which may have been a contributing factor) and my grandfather had an irregular heart beat, had a pace maker put in and died from complications of stroke in his late 70's. Neither of my parents have heart disease. Only high blood pressure.

I have had palpitations in the past. They really started earlier this year when I went through a bad breakup and my GP diagnosed me with anxiety which she attributed the palpitations to. I decided to eat healthier and exercise regularly and they went away for many months.

Lately I have not been exercising, not eating right, consuming alcohol and not sleeping well. Thus my palpitations have returned.

So, my question is should I go through with the echo cardiogram and the holter monitor or should I make lifestyle changes and see if my heart palpitations go away? I am a little worried because I had them so frequently. Several every 5 minutes or so for a whole afternoon and they continued the next day. They've gotten progressively better as I've cut back on caffeine consumption. I just don't want to do these tests and get saddled with big medical bills, even though I have insurance. Any advice on my situation would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
1 Responses
1807132 tn?1318747197
Honestly no one on this site can tell you what you should do about your health.  In all good consciousness we can't make the decision for you on whether or not to seek medical attention.  I always err on the side of recommending seeing a doctor and letting them rule out anything for concern.  Having at least an echo if you haven't had one is probably a good idea given some of the health history of your family but it sounds like you are only having run of the mill extra beats called ectopics.  In the atria they are called pacs and when them come from the ventricles they are called pvcs.  The big triggers for them are caffeine, stress/anxiety and stomach issues.  Not much is done for them except trying beta blockers.  Sometimes a person may need an ablation to correct the issue but that is only when someone is having around 20,000 or more a day which you are not having so you will likely be told to manage your triggers and work on stress/anxiety.  So I do think lifestyle changes may help your cause but also think it is best to let a doctor deem your heart healthy. If it is generally structurally fine then the extra beats are of no consequence but no one can say that for sure without the tests to verify it.  In any event, trust your gut and what you feel is right for you.  Take care.
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