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Avatar universal

Heart problem or just anxiety?

Hi all,

First of all thank you for taking time to read this and offer your advice!

I am a 25 year old male, 6'1" 180lbs. Very active and generally good diet (exception being weekend drinking).  My only "real" illnesses are my hypochondria (hence the post) and anxiety With that said, I have a growing concern over some heart palpitations and I'm wondering if someone can help explain them and see if I need to take further medical action. Let me give you the background:

At 18, I first had this feeling as if my heart was "skipping a beat." It felt tingly and I could feel butterflies in my chest and throat. My natural instinct was to try and cough and click the heart back into a regular rhythm. After an episode, I went to the ER and had a chest xray, EKG test and blood test done, all came back normal. Did a follow up stress test and another EKG with my primary doctor, again normal.

Fast forward to 23 years old, begin having palpitations again after a long time with no episodes and again went to primary doctor. Had another blood test done and also wore a holter monitor for 24 hours. Again all normal (though I didn't experience any palpitation sensations while wearing the monitor.)

Now here we are at 25, again almost 2 year gap with no palpitations but suddenly they are back, and almost predictably at the same time... I play hockey on a rec team and for the past few weeks, every time I come back to the bench to rest after my first shift on the ice I get the palpitations. After a minute or so they are gone and they dont return the rest of the game. It's as if as soon as I elevate my heart rate and then take a breather, they kick in, but then poof, they are gone.

In the past doctors have suggested anxiety being a factor and that irregularity in the heart is sometimes normal... While that may be true, it still drives me nuts and my hypocondria begins to set in... what if I collapse and die on the ice? What if my heart truly is failing? What if it's all in my head and I'm mentally making it worse? all these questions are eating away at me.

Could someone please provide some feedback? Why is this happening?

Thank you so much!
6 Responses
995271 tn?1463924259
These are probably "recovery PVCs".  They happen during recovery from elevated heart rate.  Once your heart is warmed up and running you don't get them right?  Same with me.  

There's been some study on them and the result are completely all over the place. Each study contradicts the other.   The bottom line is that they don't predict anything, a.k.a. there's no prognostic value, in my stupid opinion :-).

I've had the same exact thing since I was your age.  I'm going on 47, no issues.  I love hockey, keep playing!!  I'd like to get back to it.  raising kids these days so I don't have the time.  
Avatar universal
Hi, I have similar situation with the skipped beats. Are yours mainly when u start exercising? It sounded like it happens to you when you initially start exercising. This could be from the initial adrenaline rush your body gets with exercise, especially if they are PACs. I'm the same way, initially working out I would get PACs then once in the groove of exercise they would go away. I wore a 30 day heart monitor to find these. Unfortunately for me I was found to also have SVT that was set off by my PACs and required an ablation, which I got last week. You don't have that so don't worry, that's a whole seperate issue. These are benign and like I said are usually stirred up with adrenaline when happening with exercise. This could be your case as well but I'm not a dr, just seems similar to mine. If you don't have any other symptoms like shortness or breath or light headedness when these occur they aren't anything to worry about. Best thing to do is try to think or worry about them because that does make them worse. Hope this helps!
Avatar universal
Thank you itdood!

Exactly like you said... as soon as I am "warmed up" everything feels normal. It's such a scary uncomfortable feeling at first though. I think stress definitely plays a factor and I wish I could find better ways to control it.

I learned today about a disease called Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome that my friend has and it sounds similar to all of this... not sure if it is something to worry about considering all the tests I have already done with positive results.

Avatar universal
Thank you kcolly32! I appreciate the feedback.

Do you think it's safe to rule out SVT based on all the tests I have already done?
Avatar universal
WPW and SVT are treated the same way with ablations, which is why I had one last week. Both my PACs and SVT were brought on with exercise. IF you have SVT you would know, my HR was shooting up to 260bpm. It was a little scary and definitely not healthy to be that high. I don't think you have SVT or WPW, just sounds like more of PACs/PVCs deal and those are benign just not pleasant. Most of the time WPW shows up on resting EKGs, so that should be something a cardiologist should be able to see if you had it. I hate when i have these skipped beats but they come and go. I'll go months without them then they show up out of no where. I have found that stress does make them come on more. Its hard to ignore, I still have a hard time doing it but it's the best thing to do. Like I said if you don't have any SOB, lightheadedness or pain with them they are considered benign.
Avatar universal
Gotcha, yeah that sounds like no fun, I hope your procedure went well! And thanks again for all the feedack
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