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Avatar universal

How worried should I be?

To start with, I am 17, my blood pressure has always been on the low end of normal, and I have no family history of heart problems.  Anyway, lately I will go through periods where my heart goes very fast, (90-110), and my heartbeat is sometimes irregular or skips beats.  These are often accompanied by dizziness, lightheadedness, shortness of breath, or the sensation that even though I am breathing, I'm not getting enough oxygen.  Sometimes I will get dizzy even when my heart rate is normal.  Caffeine can sometimes trigger these issues, but that does not always happen, and they can occur without it.  I also often get dizzy when standing up, and my heart rate takes a long time to return to normal after climbing stairs.  
So my question is, how serious is this, how worried do I need to be, and -what- might it be?  I am seeing my doctor on Friday for unrelated reasons and am trying to decide whether to mention this to her,  
3 Responses
446896 tn?1237802742
Good morning,

I am by no means an expert, but your symptoms sound very similar to others on both this forum AND the ANXIETY forum.  I would put your keywords in the search bar and see how many similar postings you come up with.  You will be surprised.  Here are some quick things I can tell you, though, based on my own experiences and what I  have learned from others on here.  Yes....you should mention this to your doctor.  Do I think you have some terrible heart problem going on...by no means.  However, if there is something, then you will want to start treating it right away.  Do not be surprised if and when you do have some tests (which will probably include an EKG, Holter Monitor, and some other non-invasive and not-painful tests), that the doctor may tell you that (a) there is nothing wrong with your heart, and it is just stress or anxiety or (b) you have a slight arrythmia, which you may just have to learn to live with or get medication for.  There may also be some blood work, to make sure your thyroid is ok, or that you aren't diabetic, etc.  Honestly, however, when I read over your post, a lot of what you say sounds like classic anxiety attacks (shortness of breath, palpitations, dizziness, etc).  And...this should make you feel better...unless your HR is abnormally low usually...like in the 50-60 range...jumping to 110 isn't that bad at all.  I have episodes where mine goes to 130-150, and others on here have clocked in at 200 or more!  Also, I have very low blood pressure usually, but my HR is always a bit on the higher side of normal...like BP of 90/50 with a HR of 70-80.  I have been thoroughly checked by a doctor, and my symptoms are just anxiety.  I also get the shortness of breath, dizziness, and slower recovery after exercise...which could be related to anxiety AND the fact that I am out of shape (not overweight or anything...simply out of shape).  

So...my point...get yourself checked out when you see the Dr...but don't stress too much in the meantime because there is a chance that the problem may be very benign and simple :)  Also...definitely check out the anxiety forum.  Hope this helps!
Avatar universal
Thanks, yeah...I did talk to my doctor and she wants me to do the thing with the monitor.  It might be stress but I -really- don't think it's anxiety... I would just ignore the whole thing but I used to use amphetamines (not like meth, just Adderall and Dexedrine), which I have read can cause heart damage.  Also I didn't mention this but I start getting dizzy and feeling like I'm having trouble breathing if I stand up for more than a minute or two without moving around.  And I'm not at all out of shape, I mean, I'm hardly athletic but I get enough exercise.  
Avatar universal
If you are concerned about blood pressure and heart rate, you might consider looking into a condition called POTS, which stands for Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome.  Stairs are typically bad for us POTsies, which you mentioned and made me think to share this with you.  Of course, it does not mean that you have POTS becauser of this, but since many doctors are not familiar with it, it usually goes undiagnosed and written off as anxiety.

Good luck.

Dr Blair Grubb is very knowledgeable on the subject and written several books and many journals on this.  You can Goolgle him.
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