I am 48 years old, and in generally excellent health with no heart disease or family history of heart attacks or disorders. I've also been fairly active my whole life, and for the past twelve years I've been running at least 3 miles every other day, sometimes 4 miles, 9-12 miles a week, nothing outrageous. It's harder to maintain your fitness as you get older, whereas occasional exercise like sports, hiking, biking, swimming etc used to work in the past, I took up regular running when exercising on occasion wasn't enough any more. Running doesn't get any easier as you age either - foot pain is becoming more of an issue these days. I don't really like running but I've found nothing better that conveys its health benefits, and with age I'm no longer trying to improve my times every day.
Blood pressure and weight are both normal, I could stand to lose five to eight pounds or so, but my physicians deem me in good health every six months. I do not smoke and am on no medication, but I take a multivitamin every day. I don't drink alcohol, except for a single 12 oz beer or one glass of wine on occasion, never more than one, perhaps once or twice a month. I drink no more than two cups of tea a day, usually just one. NO coffee, a little sugar, a little red meat, no junk food, absolutely no soft drinks. Pizza once in a while. I don't pay excessive attention to my diet, I'm as far from a vegetarian as you can get but I think I eat OK.
In other words, I think my health is excessively average.
The only factor I haven't mentioned is STRESS. I think it's fair to say I've been pretty stressed recently, job and money-related STRESS thanks to this awful economy, you all know what I mean. Stress is part of life, you can't avoid it, but I've tried to mitigate its effects by running regularly and trying to remain optimistic about our economic future.
The palpitations started suddenly last December. I found myself in a life-threatening work situation, in which I felt my heart was in my throat for a period of several hours (sorry I can't get into details). I knew it had been stressful, and kept talking about it with my coworkers for a few days, sort of a PTSD kind of reaction, though PTSD sufferers have much more severe reactions and I don't want to minimize that. I don't believe I had PTSD, I know those who have and I don't have it.
That's when the palpitations started. They'd occur at night without fail, when I'm trying to fall asleep and thinking about all the stressful things in my life. It's hard to fall asleep when it feels like someone is punching your chest at irregular intervals. This made the problem worse, I was already worried about the palpitations and now I had insomnia to deal with. I could not fall asleep until I was really exhausted, and due to my general fitness, getting exhausted is difficult. I shoveled snow all day once and still I couldn't get tired. I began to suspect a thyroid disorder or some other imbalance, but in any event I completely stopped all caffeine and nutritional supplements.
Nothing helped. The only thing that made me feel a little better was running, so I stepped that up a notch, running a bit further every other day - not easy when your feet already hurt. I added regular biking on non-running days, when the weather got better.
At no time did I feel lightheaded, short of breath, pain, or anything else. Just the irregular heartbeat. Otherwise I felt great. I kept up my exercise regimen and actually increased it, since physically I felt better than I've ever been. Really! But the palpitations at night were horrible.
The palpitations would sometimes occur during the day, especially when facing a stressful situation. The problem is my tolerance for a "stressful situation" became absurdly low. Asking me for anything beyond the time of day would bring on the palpitations. My tolerance for STRESS became zero.
On one particularly bad night, I swore I was having a heart attack because my damn heart was beating completely irregularly and driving me up a wall. Sleep became impossible. It started affecting my job. I was being driven insane from days of sleep deprivation. I woke up my wife and asked her to drive me to the hospital. On the way there, she asked about my other symptoms and as I've explained, I had absolutely none - no crushing pain or anything else associated with a heart attack, just panicky since I was alternately afraid my heart would stop completely, and partly hoping it would since it was driving me nuts. My wife patiently talked me down, God bless her, I gradually felt better, so we turned around and went home.
After researching my symptoms and reaching the same conclusions as everyone else, I got an off-schedule appointment with my physician who not surprisingly declared me in excellent health again. Nothing wrong with the blood, nothing wrong with the heart, normal EKG etc. Totally boring exam. He recommended keeping up the exercise, eat less fat, less than I already eat, etc. More of the same everyone already hears. The only recommendation was to start an active stress-reduction regimen. Ironic, but it seems stress reduction requires active intervention and techniques - there are many. He recommended a book. He said there are some medications that could be prescribed, but he wasn't in favor of any of them. I really wasn't feeling particularly stressed, no more than I have been, like I said I felt in the best physical health of my life, but I got the book and started reading anyway.
Certainly running is a good stress-reduction technique, but it wasn't enough. I took a week off of work, took the family on vacation, thought that would help get my mind off of things but it only make matters worse. Bottom line: Vacations are stressful. I was miserable.
Last week I had the worst palpitations ever. I was up all night, no sleep and at the end of my rope.
Then, as quickly as the palpitations started, they stopped. The night following my all-nighter I had NO palpitations. None. Once or twice in the past several months, I may have experienced only a few fleeting palpitations, but never none at all.
The next night, no palpitations again. None. It was blissful.
I lived with palpitations every day for months, but it's been a week now, no palpitations. I think they're gone for good, but if they ever come back, I'll know they're not permanent.
What did I do? I don't really feel much has changed, the economy is still awful thanks to the idiots in charge of it, but I did put the stress-reduction techniques into practice. Since I gave up caffeine and alcohol as potential factors, I had gradually brought them back, one cup of tea, a glass of beer with dinner. They weren't helping, but they didn't make things worse and may actually help. The beer helps me feel relaxed and I just like my tea in the morning.
Summary? My palpitations came on suddenly and made me miserable. Without sleep, life became intolerable. They left just as suddenly. Clearly, STRESS was a causal factor. My observations lead me to conclude its effects creep up on you gradually. Its physical manifestation isn't gradual... like a machine your body absorbs stress without complaint right up to the point that something breaks, and it tends to break in a dramatic fashion. The body is a mysterious thing, and heart palpitations appear to be a phenomenon that's poorly understood and has many potential causes. There is no lab test for stress.
You can't eliminate stress. If you're alive, you'll have it. Stress REQUIRES active intervention and management. Just add it to your growing list of responsibilities.
I hope this helps others who may have experienced these symptoms. I was miserable, but my palpitations disappeared IMMEDIATELY, the day immediately after they were at their worst. Yours could too. Keep up the stress reduction techniques, even when you think they're not working.
I'd be interested to hear any professional opinions regarding my experience.
Last edited by Robert Lindeman; 05-14-2010 at 11:45 AM.
Hi Robert. I was very interested to read your message. I have exactly the same symptoms as you. Ive had them on and off for years, but they have been worse just lately. Heart missing and bumping . Sometimes all night, and not getting any sleep. I dont get it when im exercising, and I think its a vicious circle because you keep working about just to keep them off. Its horrible. I too suffer from stress. Ive left off caffeine, but I dont know if it helps. Mine do go, sometimes for a month or two, but they invariably come back. Its most strange. Do you have a fast or slow heart rate. Mine is slow.
This is very common. If your heart rate is low, you will feel them more. I have a HB of 60 and the skips drive me crazy. My wife also has them but she has a HB of 80, so she cannot feel them.
1 in 3 have this.
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My pulse rate isn't excessively low, probably about 60 - 75 at rest. Riding a Lifecycle or equivalent gets it up to 150 or so. I don't think it gets that high while running though.
I don't pay particular attention to pulse rate. I can't measure it exactly since I don't have a watch with a second hand - why? I feel less stressed without one! I know this seems over the top but I'm not going to give myself any reason for more STRESS. Refuse delivery. Just say no. Whatever it takes.
Physicians routinely say you have to minimize the stress in your life as if it's easy. It's not. You have to work at it, and if that means not wearing a watch so be it. I asked if I should take up smoking, but that didn't go over well with him.
Vicious cycle, yes, I found breathing exercises helped while getting to sleep, not sure if they resulted in minimizing the palpitations or just helped me fall asleep, but clearly the "vicious cycle" has to be broken one way or another. One thing I did was not go to bed until I literally couldn't keep my eyes open any more, but then I'd wind up sleeping late or tired during the day so that's less than ideal.
Over two weeks now, not a single palpitation. Physician said it my stress might even have been seasonally related, could be lack of vitamin D. Winter is my least favorite time of year, but clearly palpitations have more potential causes than headaches.
Who knows, maybe it was lack of beer.
Last edited by Robert Lindeman; 05-21-2010 at 10:30 AM.
After Robert's post, I have "Googled" Palpitations and read all day on this subject and came to the conclusion that;
1. Drinkers and non drinkers get palps.
2. Fit, healthy people and unfit overweight also get it.
3. People as young as 20 to as old as 80 have it.
4. Smokers and non smokers get it.
5. Vegetarians and meat eaters have this.
So, I must agree with Robert. "STRESS"
I don't feel stressed but perhaps I am stressed out without feeling it.
Started a year ago when the stock market plunged and is now worse after the past week. My pension is declining.
Hello robert i am 33 year old male i have the same symptoms i am extremely fit 6'2 " tall 171 lbs i have extreme anxiety disorder , agoraphobia , and panic attacks which cause heart palpitations have you noticed when you get the palpitations you get dizzy? I have dizziness with mine cause i hyper ventilate myself try this next time u get palpitations if they haven't already told u to try hold your breath clinch your stomach muscles kinda like your trying to have a bowel movement for 5 seconds ( i know that sounds gross but that's how they told me ) and then just take slow 5 seconds breaths in through your nose and then exhale slow out through your mouth for 10 min the palpitation should go away if not try the clinching your stomach for the 5 seconds again. if anyone has the extreme dizziness with their palpitations please let me know my heart tests came back fine thank you Richard
No, no other symptoms, other than the lack of sleep. My tolerance for STRESS plummeted from normal (whatever that is) all the way to zero around the beginnings of their onset though. It's fair to call that another symptom rather than irritability caused by the palpitations themselves, and without active stress-reduction they might have continued. Doubtless this can become a vicious cycle, and a vicious cycle will continue until you intervene and break it.
Sico, good news your palpitations are gone. Just like that, right? It's pretty clear they can happen to anyone, in my case I think it was a confluence of stress-inducing events. There are probably hundreds of potential causes.
I'd continue the stress reduction techniques, whatever works for you. Declining investments and threatened pensions certainly qualify as stress-inducing events. You're in good company The socialists in Washington like it that way so learn to roll with it - some things are beyond your control. I think active stress-reduction techniques are as much a requirement as regular exercise, and like regular exercise you simply won't see any benefits except from the perspective of hindsight. If you do that there's no reason to expect your palpitations will return.
Solution:" MY BED IS SHAKING AT NIGHT". Please keep reading I have been feeling these symptoms for the past six to twelve months and have taken two and half months to research why this could be happening to so many people. I almost lost my life and my sanity in the process. I'm not a doctor, just a very observant person that wanted to know the truth and help be able to help all the other posts i see regarding this weird phenomena.
Problem : Yes I know whats causing it, its coming up: Please read the following first then the problem. I will explain why later and it will be clear why i waited to tell you. I know its hard to believe what people tell you in the state of mind that your in,lonely, scared and thinking just what in the heck that could be shaking your bed. Let me guess, you are having a host of other problems with no clear medical conclusion, no doctors really knows whats wrong with you. I just came out of it and now clearly see what the problem was.
Other related conditions that can be caused by this problem
--BED SHAKING AT NIGHT, usually left to right, or at the bottom of the bed preceeding the onset of deep sleep (right before your about to be fully asleep, not awake and not asleep) then the bed starts shaking or the bed gently rocks with no explanation.
- heart beats abnormal heart palpitations/weird heart twitching or tugging sensations
-heart racing from time to time
-unexplainable nerve twitching
- lethargic feeling/no energy or inability to accomplish once easily accomplishable tasks
- confusion and as much as you try you can't figure out why
- fast onsets of panic or anxiety, rapid breath
- headaches - head feels like its caving in
- light or severe memory loss
-stomach issues similar to gastroentiritis, upset stomach from time to time, diarrhea, indigestion feeling
-- friends express concern about you but you feel like your fine
- feel like someone is pressing on your shoulders or holding you down
- constant weekness, fatigue, and tiredness even when well rested
- intermittent chest pain
- sleep apnea or unconciously stop breathing
- unexplainable loss of appettite
- paranoia, irrational fears, changes in conciousness
- itchiness, dry skin, pale complexion, biting feeling on legs, skin leasions
- frequent nightime urination, usually right before sleep
- depression and confusion with no source, combined with unexplainable bouts of long lasting euphoria
- sleep disturbances, insomnia
- ears ringing
-tingling in arms and legs especially before sleep or upon waking
- hallucinations, seeing devils, ghosts, demons, aliens or reptiles (IF U ARE HERE GET TO THE DOCTOR IMMEDIATELY AND TELL THEM YOU SUSPECT CARBON MONOXIDE POISONING
PROBLEM: YES ITS EITHER CARBON MONOXIDE AND OR CARBON DIOXIDE TOXICITY, The bed shakes because you are shaking it - from abnormal heartbeats that usually starts prior to rem sleep. That is why many of us are awaken right as we are about to get to sleep, as aggravating as this is, it is compounded by the confusion, fear and the gas toxicity. Quote from Wikipedia
"Shunts in the pulmonary circulation or a right-to-left shunt in the heart. Shunts can be caused by collapsed alveoli that are still perfused or a block in ventilation to an area of the lung. Whatever the mechanism, blood meant for the pulmonary system is not ventilated and so no gas exchange occurs (the ventilation/perfusion ratio is zero). Normal anatomical shunt occurs in everyone, because of the Thebesian vessels which empty into the left ventricle and the bronchial circulation which supplies the bronchi with oxygen."
You cannot feel THAT YOUR ARE BEING AFFECTED because of the alteration to your consciousness that CO causes(research this if you don't believe me) , that is why it is called the silent killer. While you are under the influence of it, YOU TRULY BELIEVE THAT YOUR ARE THINKING RATIONALLY, BUT TRUST ME, COMING FROM A NOW DETOXIFYING MIND AND BODY _ IT IS A VERY DANGEROUS STATE OF MIND. You can't see it, smell it, taste it, or sense it in any way and so you think that you are truly thinking rationally but you really are not. The combination of factors leads to irrational, illogical thoughts which get deeper and deeper in deliriousness and confusion about things that could be possibly be shaking your bed . The only reason i left my house was because i became so delirious that i thought i was being attacked by a psyhic and was having a heart attack so i drove to hospital 20 miles away when there is one two miles away (i have no idea how, that is part of the irrational thought), by the time i was there i was almost losing conciousness and they didn't have a clue.
I have been to many doctors in the last six months and had many tests come back , the only conclusive thing i have been diagnosed with is fibromyalgia, i have been suffering with sking conditions for a long time and what i could only diagnose as ALS, because of the similiarity in all the types of symptoms. Of the best doctors around the world - No doctor could help, in my exploration of the subject and my trip to the emergency room where they relieved me at my request because i was so acutely toxified that i was delirious, confused, had tunnel vision, paranoia, hallucinations, and was under the impression the doctors were trying to hurt me. Relieving me was gross malpractice, they were more interested in determining if i had a psychiatric history, which i don't and doesn't really matter anyway, then determining whether it was co posioning, which even in that state i suggested to them. On a side note for thought, everyone who drives has had the feeling of arriving somewhere to only remember the vague memory of having driven there. I'm pretty sure that is low dose carbon monoxide poisoining.
YES, I really strongly feel that you have been chronically inhaling toxic fumes in low doses, probably between 50 or 200 parts per million. At 30 parts per million it will affect the those in the elder years and weak immune systems. It is coming from you stove, gas heater, gas appliances and mainly, usually your gas water heater output vent and it will pool toward the ceiling or floor without proper ventilation. Most of us don't think about properly ventilating our living spaces and this compounds the problem. If you can eliminate gas appliances as a cause, becuase you have no gas appliances, and there are no factories eminating fumes nearbly(carbon monoxide is created when burning any fossil fuels), then it is most likely the stagnant exhaled air you and your family/roomates are exhaling and not venting properly. Once or twice of inhaling stagnant air and you would be okay but if you chronically don't get enough fresh air(oxygen), you will suffer many continuous health effects. You always need to keep the air moving in your house and replacing it, if you are worried about outside pollution or contaminants outside then install a hepa purifier, ionizer or other filtration methods to clean the air before the air enters your living quarters.
As soon as I had the gas service turned off I felt immediately better. I still am recovering because i have had no oxygen treatment thanks to our great emergency room services, but i will be making an appt for some type of natural oxygen treatment(research these if new to these). This is as brief as i could be right now to get the messsage out, i will be composing a website shortly with all the saftey warning guidelines, scientific research and some reading suggestions. I can only hope I can help some of the scared, lonely people out there at night that are wondering why the heck their beds keep shaking when it is completely obvious to the individual that they are not the one doing it. Trust me I know, it took me two months to finally come to this conclusion, I research some of the most craziest reasons why this could be happening very obviously because i was being chronically gassed in low doses, i believe it took 3-12 months of constant inhalation at low doses for me to form a toxic body to the point where it was like what i can only describe as a "five day bad acid trip" and i have never done acid in my life. The thing that is really bad is that even after the gas was turned off because of the environmental recognition of the place where i was literally dying(my house), i immediately started to have a panic attic . I had to assure myself after a call to the gas company and thorough inspection, to calm down and not start the bad cycle of panics again. The effects on the consciousness are the most severe, if you do not catch this before damage occurs, it can cause irreversible brain and nerve damage. I'm still healing so i'm sorry if some of the sentences are long or cut off. I'm not saying everybody that has these symptoms has this problem, but please investigate this first because it is the most severe out of the suggestions i provide.
If you have rulled out the possibility of an earthquake(use the internet for this), your roomate or neighbor having some fun on their own or with their significant other(mostly in apartment dwellings), or any other physical cause of why this is happening then please call the gas company have them come with a CARBON MONOXIDE METER AND SNIFFING EQUIPMENT and have them thoroughly do a inside to outside search. It is odorless, you need a meter to detect it. You will need to supervise the gas company technician to make sure they do a thorough inspection because they scoff when you mention a leak i'm guessing because of liability purposes. Don't be paranoid of afraid when reading this, i don't think its a conspiracy or anything like that, just not enough knowledge about this toxic element Carbon monoxide that kills approximately 15,000 people every year. On a side note, if you determine this to be the case , professionals can fix this problem for you easily, it is identifying this as aproblem that is so difficult. Please consult your doctor for test regarding CO or CO2 toxicity, anemia, and hypoxia. I have turned off the gas to my entire house, and feel better than any cure or doctor has ever been able to make me feel. The brilliance of OXYGEN, without it you will become anemic and/or hypoxic[hypoxia or hypoxemia](research these terms-google it). YOu should at least do a normal & arterial blood test, and urine tests, the male abnormal values in my tests are as follows, urine - low specific gravity = 1.000L, glucose = .5 G/DL@, urobilinogen < 2.0, and gran absolute was close to the high limit = 8.0 and normal blood tests abnormalities, white blood count high =12.2, mean platelet value low = 7.0, did not get to finish aterial blood test due to my confused uncooperative state. Metabolic panel showed high glucose = 218mg/dl. If you are reading this and thinking that there is no possible way that any gas is leaking, just check it. Please, it doesn't cost anything, just call them and tell them you suspect CO leak and have them come with sniffers. If there is still no leak just please do a couple of routine tests at your doctors office. At least this will help to eliminate this as your problem. Since breathing fresh air for just 3 days 80% of the above symptoms have gone away. I am writing this at 2 am in hopes that it can help someone get over "one of the worst most memories of my life." Everyone i talk to notices an immediate difference in my personality and appearance, color in my face, no slurred or mumbled speech, liveliness and awareness. I can't stress enough the importance of a fresh air supply. Also leaving your house for a few hours if you have been chronically poisoned will only reduce symptoms not eliminate them. You need medical treatment, natural medicine preferably but if you like the normal way is fine.
Also these factors amplify (make worse) Co poisining: cigarettes, car engine fumes on freeway, alcohol, cannabis and few others, do your research!
I love you all and hope i can at least have helped one person save themselves from an early departure. There is too much good for all of us to do to be taken out early. Best wishes and success in a new life of clarity, thanx to fresh air.
Hi, Sorry to post the long post without a proper explanation but the bed shaking part was a reply to similar problem that you were encountering. I was just recently admitted to er for the same thing, thought i was having a heart attack, got progressively worse every night for months until i went to the er almost dead, got blood work and urine samples done, and went home myself and went to work on the internet. I think I figured out the solution, everyones, different but if you have any of the above symptoms it is very easy to eliminate this as the issue by simply regulary getting fresh non polluted or rebreathed air for about a week or two. Also do you work with any combustible fossil fuels in which the ambient carbon dioxide levels remain above the level found in the normal atmosphere. Keep in mind this can happen in the office, small space + 10-100 employees breathing all day = no air, no oxygen = sickness.
Wow. thanks for that story, as long as it was it's an eye-opener.
I know from experience CO poisoning affects different people in radically different ways. It's basically oxygen deprivation which can be very insidious. Victims can feel awful or euphoric or angry or dizzy or any combination of symptoms.
Glad you found out, it could have been misdiagnosed and mistreated for years.