Heart Rhythm Community
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sustained rapid heart beat

ive written in before but im really starting to panic about my situation. Towards the end of the semester i started to feel really lethargic that was then followed by a rapid heart beat and shortness of breath. My parents took me to a doctor who suggested an multivitamin and gave me xanax for "supposed" panic attacks. But that was 2 months ago since then it hasnt let up my heart is still beating rapidly and im starting to have some tinges in my chest and pain in my arm. My heart beat has been consistently fast and doesnt really slow unless im asleep. Any time i exert myself it gets worse until i can actually see my chest moving. My doc sent me to the ER where i had an ECG, chest x ray and numerous blood tests, which all cameback normal and ruled out heart failure, but now i have an appointment with a cardiologist in 2 wks. Personally i dont think its anxietyafterall can i be anxious everyday for 2 mnths? And what efefct is this having on my heart im still pretty young 18 but can a sustained rapid heart beat result in a heart attack. Thanx for any replies
6 Responses
Avatar universal
In my case anxiety, stress, or any adrenaline rush causes  my PVC's. It dosn't have to be "scared" adrenaline it can be any kind of excitement. I have a predisposition for PVC's, otherwise all the anxiety in the world wouldn't give me palpitations. You need to see what the cardiologist says,he(or she) can diagnose you and help you to control your symptoms. It would be a good idea to ask the cardiologist for an event monitor.
528530 tn?1212766130
you state fast, but do you know your heartrate per minute? the doctor will most likely have you wear a heart monitor, or holter monitor, to record your heartbeat for 24 or 48 hours.  That will give them a good picture of what your heart is done.  You'll get a journal where you write down what you're doing at different times...like eating, walking to class, sleeping, or exertion.  they can match that up with your heartrate and see how it's affecting you. my 15-year-old daughter wore one just today...she has a sustained rapid heartbeat that they're trying a new medication for.  her resting heartbeat used to be from 160 to 200 beats per minute, now it's down to normal. just hang in there and trust the doctor...he'll take care of you!
Avatar universal
How fast is your rate?  I imagine it IS pretty fast if the one doc sent you to the ER.  A high heart rate can be due to many different things, but will not cause a heart attack.  A heart attack is due to clogged arteries in the heart, not an elevated rate.  At your age it would be extremely unlikely for  you to have coronary artery disease.  Make sure they have checked your thyroid levels.  It doesn't sound like anxiety to me but it could be.
Avatar universal
Thanx for the replies ill try to stay positive :)
Avatar universal
Did you have an echocardiogram (ultrasound)?  If not, request one to rule out heart disease. I suffered from almost the exact thing you're describing when I was your age and doctors told me it was nothing, anxiety, etc. Even after an echo, they said nothing was wrong except for a mild benign condition (mitral valve prolapse). Well, years later (5 months ago to be exact), at the age of 34, I fainted. With different doctors and new tests, it turns out I have a potentially life-threatening arrhythmia, for which they implanted a defibrillator that can save my life. The answer to your question is that a fast heart rate can lead to cardiac arrest (different from heart attack, but still deadly). Perhaps your condition is nothing to worry about and your fast heart rate is due to anxiety or something non life threatening. I hope so, but you are smart to get checked out. You should definitely request an echocardiogram and an event monitor or halter monitor. Don't be put off by this anxiety diagnosis unless you really believe you do suffer from anxiety. I do suffer from anxiety and know the difference between anxiety and arrhythmia. I also know that one does not exclude the other.    
Avatar universal
i just had  a visit to my cardiologist and found out that my blood pressure is 124/60 but my resting heart rate is 100 beats per minute. While he assured me my situation wasnt life threatening he order more blood tests and scheduled an echocardiogram in a few wks time.
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