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Avatar universal

Vasovagal Response or Heart Related?

Hi everyone. I'm posting here in hopes someone with some experience with this can help me out. I'll be as thorough as possible.

I'm a 31 y/o male, 6'3" and at the time this all started I was around 250 lbs. About a year ago, I started having what I would describe as skipped heartbeats out of the blue. I've never experienced them in my life before. I still experience them and they occur when I'm active, especially during recovery from exercise, and often when I take a hot shower.

Anyway, flash forward to September 2015 I experienced a fainting episode followed by what appeared to be a seizure. It was around 5:20 am and I got up to use the restroom. I had severe stomach pain. While in the bathroom I became very weak, and began to sweat profusely. I suddenly felt a strong tingling sensation crawl up my chest, back, arms, and neck, and my vision began to narrow. I stood up and called for my wife before falling into the shower. My wife came in and helped me out of the shower. I think I had blacked out but was beginning to recover because I remember pushing myself back up onto the toilet, then my wife feeling me for a fever, and after that I went out completely. My wife says my pupils became large, I began to growl, my hand curled up and I twitched for about 15 seconds. I was then out for 15 minutes. My mother in law had to hold my head up straight to keep me breathing she said. I awoke to the paramedics coming in and was dazed for a good 5 minutes after I recovered.

I've since had several blood tests, all seemingly normal but I have some heart concerns. My overall cholesterol was good, 168, but my HDL is low, 32. I had my C-Reactive protein checked and it was on the high side of the standard range. I have had several normal EKGs, a 30 day holter, an echocardiogram, and a tilt table test. 30 Day monitor showed PACs, echo showed mild left ventricular hypertrophy but an otherwise structurally sound heart with an ejection fraction of 53%. Tilt table they SAY was positive for orthostatic hypotension, but I only became symptomatic after they administered nitroglycerine to purposely try and recreate my fainting episode.

Since this began in September, I've fallen into a nasty depressed state. I've been staying in bed most days (I work from home), and struggle to do even normal daily things. I'm super aware of my heart's activity. The slightest physical exertion can make my heart rate increase to well over 100. My resting rate is in the 50s-60s, but standing can make it go to between 100-115. It will often sustain at that level. I have days where it will go back down into the 70s-80s but they seem to be few and far between. When I get the PACs they come in long scary runs, often irregular like one on top of the other then every 2nd beat or 3rd or 4th beat. They only come at increased heart rates and they stop when my heart rate recovers. I've become increasingly weak over the past few months. I've lost more than 50lbs since September and am around 198 from nearly 250. I can hardly eat. My body's weakened state could certainly be explained by the weight loss and prolonged inactivity but my mind is convinced my heart is at the root of everything, and this can all be rooted in the episode from September. I also have some pain in my chest, however it's quite localized. I've had it on both the left and right sides and it usually occurs at night while resting in bed. It can be sharp and throbbing at times, to just an ache. It doesn't appear to be cardiac related because it's local, occurs at rest, and I doesn't radiate to my arms, neck, back, or jaw.

I'm being seen by a cardiologist but I still don't feel like I have anymore knowledge as to what's really going on than I did when this started. I'm hoping someone here can possibly help shed some light on what's happening based on their own experience.  I know there's a lot to take in here. The post may come across as chaotic and I apologize. But I'm not convinced my episode was vasovagal. Between my symptoms and the fact that vasovagal syncope episodes usually only last seconds, a few minutes at most and aren't followed by confusion. I was out for 15 minutes and was dazed for several minutes after. Does this sound more heart related? Maybe due to an arrhythmia or maybe even developing heart disease?

Thanks to all in advance for replies.
2 Responses
995271 tn?1463927859
I know doctors who have experienced what you have and termed it vasovagal and moved on.  

I've had similar crap happen to me, starting about when I was 30.  When it first started I went through much anxiety and depression.  I get flare ups of PVCs here and there, some flares can be really bad.  But here I am 18 years later and I haven't died.  I even started running like a crazy man last year and was doing fantastic until I hurt my knee.  Now I'm into rowing. despite all that crap.

I had many many tests done to my heart.   I have family history of heart disease on top of all this so it was necessary.   Turns out my cardiac muscle was fine.  

I'm 48 now and still experience these once in a blue moon.    You have to accept this and move on.  Perhaps you were dehydrated too, I find that plays a role.  Hang in there and get yourself out of this funk.  
1 Comments
Thanks for the response. It's been a tough time, and I know that my anxiety over it makes it that much worse.
Avatar universal
I have had PVC's and PAC's for a very long time now. I am 37 and they started when I was 12. I really think mine are related to hormones. They have just recently gotten really bad. I probably have around 12,000 per day. Anyone else have them this often. I've also had every test in the book done. However, the CT scan did not product very clear pictures. I am very healthy and work out at least 6 days a week. I am going to have my  thyroid checked since I have heard this can cause palpitations. Thyroid issues do run in my family. I had a function test done a little over a year ago and my T4 was .9 which is on the low end. Not sure if this matters are not. Palps get way worse when I go to bed too. It's SO annoying!! I'm so glad there are others out there that share this misfortune. Makes me feel like I'm not crazy!!
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