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Old 11-18-2004, 01:24 AM   #1
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im concerned

for the past few days, i've been having these occasional "strange" sensations in my chest. they are towards the left right below my pectoral muscle. it would only happen a few times a day and i have a hard time describing it. it's sort of feels like my heart skips a beat and almost this airy feeling. then i feel like i haven't been breathing deep enough and have been taking too shallow of breaths. so i take a few deep ones and my chest feels a little better.

well last night, the weird feeling came but this time it didn't go away and i grew really agitated. i couldn't stop fiddling with things or sitting still because when i did, i could really feel my heart beating, not fast, but just beat. and every so often it felt like a really pronounceed beat. i just kept walking back and forth trying to keep my mind off of it. i've never felt this anxiety before.

im 19, very active, and not overwight at all. heart problems run in my family. i know when my dad has some heart flare ups he complains of not being able to concentrate and being anxious. i went to the ER that night and they did an ekg and monitored my pulse, but everything was normal. they told me to come back if i still has the symptoms. tonight, just a few minutes ago i had a moderate sharp pain below my pec. i know thats normal to happen sometimes and have had these before, and its almost like heart burn or something, bu given the circumstances it troubles me.

ive also noticed that when i get this weird feelings, if i start thinking about my heart and the idea of a heart attack it makes me more and more anxious. is this something psychological because the days before any of these symptoms came upon, i had been thinking alot about the heart problems in my family and how i inevitably will have them. they really disturb me.

anyways, ive rambled on, so anyone who reads this and can provide some feedback, id really appreciate it. i dont know what i should do, wait a few days or find a specialist right now. im 2000 miles from home visiting my sister so this makes the situation worse

 
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Old 11-19-2004, 08:02 PM   #2
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Re: im concerned

What you're describing sounds like palpitations - the sensation of feeling your heartbeat. "Skipped beat" feelings are actually *extra* beats - what happens is the hear starts another beat before the first one finishes, and the 'pause' you feel is caused because the first two beats were too close together, so the third beat when it comes at the normal time seems like it was late. The technical terms are PVC (premature ventricular contractions) or PAC (premature atrial contractions) and most of the time they are not dangerous (however, in some cases they can be symptoms of underlying illness). In young people especially, anxiety is the primary cause of palpitations. Then if you get nervous about it, it makes it seem even worse. The fear that you expressed of having a heart attack also suggests anxiety and/or panic attacks as a possible cause. Get yourself checked out by your physician when you get home just to make sure, but chances are there's nothing seriously wrong. That being said, if you have another episode like the one you described, go to the local ER and get it checked out. I don't want to over-worry you but I also don't want to give the impression that heart-related issues should be taken lightly. Hope this makes sense.
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Old 11-19-2004, 08:06 PM   #3
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Re: im concerned

I just re-read your post and saw that you had gone to the ER. So I would say get a thorough exam by your physician when you get home, and S/he can help you determine what is causing your symptoms and what course of treatment you should seek. In the meantime, try not to worry too much about it. You've recognized that thinking about it brings on symptoms... this is common. On a random side note, I've had three episodes of "skipped beats" while typing this post, *because* I'm thinking about it. Deep breathing/relaxation techniques can help as well.
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Old 11-20-2004, 12:23 AM   #4
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blabla22428 HB User
Re: im concerned

thanks alot. ive really been trying not to think about it the past 2 days and its a ton better. i think it's simply a mind set thing related to the palpitations. the doc at the ER said the heart does skip a beat every once and a while and i think i was just dwelling on it. i guess my problem is the idea of a heart attack then. it really really bothers me not only because my dad is so prone to getting one, but also because i too will probaly have heart problems (both grandpa's died this way, and all my great uncles and such have had one). panic attack indeed

thanks for the help again, ill definitely get it checked out when i get home, regardless.

 
Old 11-20-2004, 10:57 AM   #5
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Re: im concerned

well with that history get colestrol checked at least once a year I know you are young but that is when troubles start!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 
Old 11-23-2004, 10:08 PM   #6
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Re: im concerned

Yes you should definately have regular yearly physicals (everyone should, for that matter). If your cholesterol is well within the normal range, then probably every three years will be sufficient until you are a bit older for checking that, but if it is above average I'd keep a closer eye on it.
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