This will probably be quite a long post so I can put as much detail as possible so please bear with me!
Back around August time I had really bad palpitations. I was eating spicy lamb and my heart just started racing (or so it felt)... so much so that I had to go outside and sit down in the cool air for a while. It was very scary as I've never had that sort of experience before. After that I had no problems, although every now and then I'd feel a skipped beat in my chest (maybe once a week if that).
Skipping forward a couple of months, I went on a holiday in early october and had a horrible flight back (I dont fly well!!)... I am a typically nervous person anyway and I felt very anxious before the flight.
I went straight back to work in a very busy and stressful period, coming back into the unusually cold british weather for october time, and started to feel very run down. The palpitations became a bit more noticable and more frequent (maybe 3 times a week).
I was sitting at my desk at work one day, feeling particularly tired, when I got a palpitation and felt a little dizzy. I was worried by this and went to the doctor. The doc did my blood pressure (normal) and checked the heart with her stethoscope (also normal). However, the anxiety I felt from that didn't wear off, and I went back to the doctor for a more thorough check up. At this point I also stopped playing football (usually on a Monday & Tuesday night - I thought being run down and cold all the time was one of the causes).
The doctor did the same blood pressure & stethoscope tests (again normal) and also took a blood test for possible thyroid problems. All came back negative. The doctor said I shouldn't worry about it as there's nothing wrong that she can find. Being 21 years old there's no heart disease. Having said that I am a smoker and drank a lot of caffeinated drinks. I therefore cut out the caffeine completely although I still smoke around 12 a day.
I started to feel slightly better, but went back to football one night... when I came home I got into bed and felt like my heart was racing. I checked my pulse and it was around 75-80. Normal resting rate is around 60bpm. I sat downstairs for a while and it eventually seemed to settle down so I went to bed and had a good nights sleep.
After that night, I still couldn't shake this feeling that something was wrong, and eventually went to A&E on a particularly bad day where I felt very sick, anxious, having palpitations and dizzy spells. They did an ECG which returned nothing (although that was probably because I didnt have palpitations at that time!). The cardiologist also did a thorough check with his stethoscope, asking me to hold my breath in certain positions.
He told me that he didn't find anything and that there was nothing to worry about. He explained that what I was feeling was probably just ectopic beats, very common and often caused by stress or anxiety.
That was back in late october. Since then I've gradually begun to feel better. A couple of weeks ago I went for a heavy night out (christmas work do!) and the next morning felt very hung over. However, I had to work. I had about 5-6 palpitations that day, which made me think it was alcohol-fulled (although I hardly ever drink), or indeed just due to tiredness and stress.
Since then, I've only had one night where I had a couple of palpitations, tried to sit myself down and relax, and they went away. I still get the odd beat here and there but it seems to be back to around once a week which was where I started.
Having said that, when I eat I seem to get this feeling (not a pain - just like a bubble or something) in my chest, on the left side around the heart area. I also feel the need to burp, as though that will relieve the pressure, but am unable to without having a sick burp... which sounds like GERD or acid reflux. I've always had digestive problems, especially when it comes to nervousness before a big day or something which causes diarrhea.
I havent been back to football since because I'm worried that the cold, tiredness and stress will cause me to sink back to the low of october.
The trouble is the doctors say it's nothing, when I know for a fact SOMETHING is happening. It sounds benign, but it's the matter of trying to get over it and start to believe its benign.
I'd be interested to hear other people's opinions on this.
Thanks for taking the time to read.