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Avatar universal

pre syncope(lightheadedness) during workout

Hello I am a 19 year old male. I have had arrhythmia's for years now and mine ONLY occur during exercise when the heart rate is elevated. Mine are also not described as what most people call "skipped beats", instead they are like mini episodes of tachycardias or "extra beats" although they don't last for more than a second and is only about 1-2 extra beats following a normal beat. I had a holter monitor done about a month ago and apparently all my results came back normal and I even exercised while wearing it which was directed by my PCP. everything normal. I then had an echo/ultrasound done about a week and a half ago and the results came back over the phone as "nothing abnormal" was found. Today I was weightlifting at the gym and between sets I noticed myself becoming slightly light headed and feeling a bit faint. I do have anxiety so I possibly could have been worrying about it already I suppose. I then did one more set and immediately after I stopped, I stood up to go walk around and felt a little faint again so I started to freak out like crazy and all of the sudden I felt as if I was about to faint at any minute and became very shaky and experienced palpitations during my episode of feeling faint at the same time I was freaking out so I can't quite tell If I caused this upon myself by freaking out from the feeling of being faint or if it came directly from an underlying issue. I am very nervous and skeptical of having a more deeper underlying issue. Is it possible this could still be heart related? Or does it seem to be related to an episode of anxiety? Thank you!
4 Responses
Avatar universal
my biggest fear is having an HCM Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy which is considered the leading cause of sudden cardiac death upon young individuals. They say the Echo is used to capture this condition but I just don't know what to think. I still don't have an exact explanation for my arrhythmia's although they do run in the family but not specifically during exercise like mine are. The biggest thing I fear is sudden cardiac death. I feel that if I were to suspect any problem, it wouldn't be a common abnormality within the heart, instead possibly something more rare such as HCM/
1807132 tn?1318747197
if your echo came back fine then you likely have no need to worry about HCM or even just an arrhythmia turning deadly.  most of them are pretty harmless however what you are feeling cant be diagnosed until captured.  it could be something as simple as dehydration so make sure you drink lots of water when you exercise.  it could just be fear as well or a simple fixable arrhythmia but the fact that it reverts quickly is a good sign.  try not to stress and see your doctor if your issues persist.  take care and keep us posted on how you are doing
Avatar universal
Between sets, your blood pressure and pulse naturally drop a bit.  During this interval, there is a tendency for ectopic beats to 'sneak in,' and the sensations these cause can be frightening. Fright can cause more palpitations, making things feel even worse.  As if that were not enough, fear affects the Vagus nerve, which, when it is stimulated, can lower blood pressure even more and cause what's called 'Vasovagal faintness.'

I have experienced this myself, and although not dangerous, it certainly is not pleasant!

Frankly, since you are young and your heart has recently been checked out very thoroughly, it sounds as though you are dealing with something benign that is worsened by anxiety.  You are almost certainly not in any danger of sudden death--the kind of thing that sometimes happens to competitive athletes on the field, who often are found afterward to have had a hereditary condition that your tests would have revealed.

I would recommend that you report your experience to your doctor, just to be a good patient, and that you ask him/her for a recommendation of a therapist who can help you deal with anxiety about your heart.

In the meantime, there is a cheap and very helpful little book out there called 'Hope and Help for Your Nerves,' by Dr. Claire Weekes.  Quite a few people here have benefitted from it.

Avatar universal
Thank you so much for your response you have greatly helped me ease my mind. Thanks for sharing your similar experience as well, it feels great to know someone's gone through this too. Have a good one!
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