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    Old 05-12-2006, 10:37 AM   #1
    thegreattailz
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    Heart Palpitations, cardiologist? Young guy, help

    I'm 29, relatively healthy, 130lbs, dont smoke, rarely drink, never used hardcore drugs and have a good lineage free of serious heart problems. 2 grandparents are dead on one side from heart conditions, (one was an alcoholic and smoker she died yound 50's) the oher in his late 70 and boh grandparents still walkin and living on their own on the other side both in their mid 80's.

    Now a year ago i had a SEVERE panic/anxiety attack that resulted in a 4 hour terror binge to the ER hell bent convinved I was having a heart attack and was going to die. I had heart palps normally, once every few months, or sometimes several in a wekk, but this increased them to many SEVERE a day. I went through a cat scan and a nuculear stress and and a 30 day cardionet that resulted in premature atrial contractions, perhaps a BS diagnosiss. But anyway, being so young most doctors said it was not detectable whatever it was I was/am feeling.

    Some said it was my high stress job, and life, and the fact I wasn't eating as well as I should. Also the fact I did the drug XTC several times in my life and 30 days before my panic attack.

    Now, almost a year later, the palps are fewer, and not as strong, but usually get them once or more a day. The panic attack may or may not have been caused by the x, and are rare, but are severe when i get them. The panic attacks were very strange and SEVERE, and extreme. I get one once every few months. For some unknown reason, seemingly without trigger or cause, it just comes on and i wont talk, i just clench my chest and pase quietly as friends look on scared knowing theres nothing they or I can do to help. The onlt thing that seems to work is the medication i take only when i get like that, and that was .5 mg of clonazepam and now .5 or lorazepam.

    It doesnt matter why it was caused as Ive stopped my x use completely, but the panic attacks still appear every so often and the heart palps continue almost a year later and can not be diagnosed by any doctor.

     
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    Old 05-12-2006, 10:46 AM   #2
    arlmon18
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    Re: Heart Palpitations, cardiologist? Young guy, help

    Is the drug XTC - hard core? I've never heard of it. I don't have any experience with panic attacks, but can any drug be good for you??

     
    Old 05-12-2006, 10:59 AM   #3
    Fathersson
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    Re: Heart Palpitations, cardiologist? Young guy, help

    I'd heard that the health effects of XTC are similar to those for cocaine and meth. It can indeed cause heart and respiratory issues, even with just one use, and these can persist, even be permanent. One thing about XTC, like cocaine, is that it often causes problems for people who have an underlying condition which would have never been an issue until exaccerbated by the drug use. And, for heart conditions at least, the problem may not go away just because you stop using the drug.

    Did you tell your cardiologist about the XTC use? It might make a big difference in how they interprete your symptoms.

     
    Old 05-12-2006, 11:00 AM   #4
    moesciphish
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    Re: Heart Palpitations, cardiologist? Young guy, help

    X will screw with your serotonin levels and it is not rare for people who chronically use it to develop psych problems...especially after recent use. This is coming from someone who is not a stranger to illegals... I don't anymore and haven't in awhile... but I would say stop... I'm not trying to be a hippocrit or tell you what to do... but this is coming from someone who has recently had panic/anxiety problems due to other health problems and wishes he now didn't do so much of what he did in the past...though fun at the time.. who knows really what toll they can have on your body later in life... btw.. I'm 28 and am going through heart tests to hopefully rule some things out... I wore a 24-hr Holter and they found isolated PVC's and rare PAC's... along with sinus arrhythmia and tachy... I wouldn't worry so much about the PAC's... with a 30-day cardionet? I'm assuming is an event monitor or something... I'm sure they would have picked up anything serious. I remember when I wore my Holter, places where I had in the diary that I was having palps would list my heart rate at 95... lol...

     
    Old 05-12-2006, 11:03 AM   #5
    thegreattailz
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    Re: Heart Palpitations, cardiologist? Young guy, help

    Honestly, it is hardcore, but ive only used it 4 times in my life. i kno ppl that have literally used it hundreds, i only took one and they have taken as many as 4. im active on the dancesafe msg board which helps on that end, but these r severe, the palps drain my energy making me weak and tired, and the panic attacks are 100% physical, something goes wrong where im seriously convinced something is wrong. but the real wuestion is the anxiety/panic there cuz its a false alarm? or is there something more serious thats causing the panic when it happens. i appear 2 not be in any immediate danger... but man once one of those 2 things happen... im a tough guy, but ive never been so scared or had any real reason to believe my life was in any danger, until now.

     
    Old 05-12-2006, 11:09 AM   #6
    moesciphish
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    Re: Heart Palpitations, cardiologist? Young guy, help

    Have you noticed anything that triggers the panic attacks? I used to get them because I'm obessed with my pulse rate and my trigger would be thinking that my pulse wasn't strong enough or even there.. of course this was probably because I was just feeling it wrong... and when you say "palps" do you mean skipped beats or just being able to feel your heart beating fast/strong? I've felt PVC palps where I can tell what it is because my heart kind of flops and my pulse skips... but its just a premature contraction... I've also felt "palps" when I've had a panic attack where my heart was racing and jumping out of my chest... with your panic do you have fear of dying or going crazy?

     
    Old 05-12-2006, 11:15 AM   #7
    Delia79
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    Re: Heart Palpitations, cardiologist? Young guy, help

    Maybe I am misunderstanding but are you questioning why you feel like there is something seriously wrong with you during your anxiety/panic attacks? Like your life is in danger? Not sure if that's what you meant or not, but I can tell you that my husband has suffered with them for over 12 years and has had exactly the same sypmtoms you describe every single time. From what I understand that is the essence of a panic attack. I could be misunderstanding though, so if so, sorry. Just thought I'd let you know that when experiencing panic attacks, it is quite normal to feel that way. So many people visit hospitals each year convinced they are having a heart attack and in reality they are only experiencing panic attacks. And although they may have been cause by the X, they are actually quite common. I think I read that everyone will expierience one in their lifetime, although they may not even recognize that is what is happening. Anyway, all I can say is after seeing my husband go through that, I wouldn't wish it on anyone, it seems quite scary. And he is a pretty tough guy himself.

     
    Old 05-12-2006, 11:39 AM   #8
    missy101
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    Re: Heart Palpitations, cardiologist? Young guy, help

    I will repost my story to you here and perhaps it can shed some light. I also want to say that I smoked pot regularly for about 10 years, tried cocaine about 5-7 times, took acid about 4 times, and mushrooms about 4 times. This was all AT LEAST 5-10 years BEFORE having any heart trouble. But I also think it may have something to do with my troubles. X didnt really come out until after I started having panic attacks, so luckily I never tried it...but have been told by friends that it is a TERRIBLE drug to take if you have anxiety issues. Anyway, here is my story...


    This is a story I had written a couple months ago...it basically tells my story of panic and heart trouble..

    EXHAUSTING VIGILANCE
    A Story About Dealing with Health Anxiety


    My pulse is about 73. Temperature is 97.6. I wonder if I am hyperventilating. The doctor still hasn’t called with my blood test results. What if something is abnormal? I am only 31 and am not ready to die. God, what if its cancer? Or heart disease, please don’t be heart disease. Imagine having these thought on a regular basis. Imagine having them daily, or even hourly! This is being in a state of constant awareness and extreme sensitivity. Is this what Health Anxiety causes or is this what caused the Anxiety? There is this line between sensible caution and hyper vigilance. One day I catapulted over that line and it’s been hell finding my way back to the other side.

    Since the age of 23 (about 9 years ago..probably even longer), I have had what was diagnosed as Anxiety and Panic Disorder. I battled through many different medications and several therapists. I would go into year long remissions with no symptoms what so ever. It would strike again for a while, and then leave. A very disruptive yoyo. When I would have these panic attacks, it would always start with a feeling that my heart was racing, though it never occurred to me to take my pulse. I would sweat, my throat would tighten, and I was certain I was dying. I even went to the ER several times only to be given a xanax, patted on the head, and sent out the door. I remember one ER visit quite clearly. I felt as though I was about to pass out. The RN was taking my pulse and she kept re-taking it as though something must have been wrong. She continually asked me if I was on any kind of drugs. I kept telling her no. I had even given up coffee at that point. I never even asked what my heart rate was. Never thought to ask. I just trusted them and waited for the xanax to kick in, as it eventually did.

    In Spring of 2003, I was preparing for my wedding when I began feeling these flutters in my chest, like a fish flopping around beneath my ribs. I could actually feel my heart skipping beats. I later found out that these were PVCs (premature ventricular contractions). I had been anxiety symptom free for years and feeling quite “normal” until then. These flutters did make me nervous, but I tried to pass them off as indigestion and just started popping Rolaids. However, it did create some anxiety and I went back into counseling. After about 7 months or so, I was doing so well that the counselor thought I didn’t need her services anymore at that time. I was really making strides dealing with the anxiety and doing so without a daily medication.

    It was a Friday in December of 2003, and I was home doing the dishes. I was looking forward to going out to dinner with my husband that night. I bent over to pick something up when it happened. I felt that familiar flutter and then what was about to occur was in no way familiar. My heart began to race. But much faster than anything I had felt before. I broke out into a cold sweat. And I had a feeling of sheer doom. I tried to take my pulse and it was too fast to count. I counted about 120 or so but I couldn’t be sure. Normal resting rate is about 60-90 beats per minute. I tried to calm down, but that was impossible. I decided to drive myself to the ER. I realized later that was a big mistake because I could likely have passed out and not only put my life in danger, but the lives of everyone else on the road. When I arrived my pulse was 155. They immediately hooked me up, gave me tests, and sat with me the full four hours this carried on. Finally I was given a beta blocker medication and my pulse went back to normal. My chest hurt. It felt the same way the muscles feel the day after a hard workout.

    The following Monday I visited a cardiologist. She diagnosed me with SVT (supraventricular tachycardia). She said I likely had it for many years and probably never had Anxiety and Panic Disorder. Apparently the symptoms are pretty much identical, and they are very often confused. Great. For the past several years I have been convincing myself my heart was fine. Was all that wasted energy? How could I ever trust anyone again? How could I even trust my own instincts? I spent over 8 years undiagnosed and untreated. In fact, many of the medications I had been prescribed for the anxiety (SSRIs and Tricyclic Antidepressants) were aggravating the heart condition. I was told that this is a benign arrhythmia and would not threaten my life. And I was told to continue taking the beta blocker medication indefinitely. But I couldn’t stop worrying.

    Regardless of whether or not I had anxiety disorder for all those prior years, I defiantly had it after this episode. I was panic stricken. Throughout the following months I struggled with this experience. I have doubted the words of physicians and their staff. I have made so many phone calls and asked so many questions. It was clear I became an extreme annoyance to everyone in my Cardiologist’s office. I had looked up every possible article on the internet and tried to read everything I could about this condition. What I have learned is that basically, there isn’t much to learn. I have learned that you can flood yourself with enough information to suffocate your mind and give wings to your fears.

    I became pregnant shortly after the diagnosis and continued to take the medication. I began feeling great. No anxiety, no panic, no flutters. I felt better than I had in years. After having my beautiful little girl, however, the anxieties returned, but things were different. I began obsessing about my health and mortality. I was so afraid I was somehow going to die suddenly and leave my baby behind. The very thought was so scary and depressing to me and yet I fully realized it was all so irrational. Nonetheless, I couldn’t make those thought, those ‘what ifs,’ disappear.

    I began realizing that I was overly sensitive to everything. I could feel my blood pressure drop one point. I could feel the food digesting in my abdomen. I could feel the slightest amount of adrenaline released from my brain and I hated it. With every discomfort, sensation, stimuli came the intense fear. A headache was an aneurysm. Reflux was a heart attack. Simple things that normal people feel everyday somehow became my signs of impending death. I became so vigilant about recognizing symptoms so I could avoid death that I was not living. I was unable to enjoy a wonderful life with my family. I was unable to live fully. As much as I wanted to stay alive, I was living a life that was anything but alive.

    I have decided that even if this is my last day on this earth, I needed to enjoy it to the best of my ability. I have realized that not one of us knows how long we have. We all, like it or not, will die. But the only way to fight that fear of dying is to live well. I needed to make some changes. I began therapy. I journal. I even take medication daily. I am defiantly on the path to returning to my life. The life I have been so vigilantly fighting for. The life I have always wanted. I refuse to miss out on each day I am given. Some days are harder than others. Some days I need to write a bit more in my journal. Some days I need to make a conscious effort not to give in to the fear. But other days, most days, I can live as though I truly am a normal person. I say that tongue in cheek because, truly, how many of us are really normal.

    I know there are many people out there with feelings similar to the ones I have experienced. I want those people to know that there is a way out. Whether it be through therapy, medication, meditation, distraction, journaling…there is a way out for you. It will not be easy. It will not be quick. But it will be. You are not alone. And right now, this very moment, you are alive. So now, start living.



    I can tell you that I am now on a beta blocker and klonopin (which is in the benzo family like ativan or xanax..but lasts MUCH longer and I take it daily as a maintenance drug). Both together seem to really do the trick. I also go to counseling, do journaling, and read and re-read my bible - not the actual Bible, but THe Anxisty and Phobia Workbook by Bourne. These are what have help change my life. You do not have to live this way, whether it was caused by the drug use or not. Chances are, this would have happened anyway. I think some of us are just born wired like this. It sucks...but it could be worse. Hope I have helped.

     
    Old 05-12-2006, 01:46 PM   #9
    Lenin
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    Re: Heart Palpitations, cardiologist? Young guy, help

    Anyone with any heart rhythm problems REALLY must stay away from amphetamines or any shape, size, or color.
    I speak from experience.

     
    Old 05-12-2006, 03:17 PM   #10
    Kimah5202
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    Re: Heart Palpitations, cardiologist? Young guy, help

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Lenin
    Anyone with any heart rhythm problems REALLY must stay away from amphetamines or any shape, size, or color.
    I speak from experience.
    this is what scares me...i was young and stupid once and used my share of hardcore drugs growing up in san diego. when me and my bf broke up i even went on a 2 month self destructive meth BINGE(this is AFTER i started getting pvc's...really stupid i know). it didnt make my pvc;s worse. still the same. but i worry about how it damaged my heart. i dont like to go into my drug past with docs because the only thing that helps me is anxiety meds and i dont want them to be reluctant to perscribe them to me. i heard they dont like to give em to people with a drug past...i hope this isnt why im so messed up...how depressing...
    kim

     
    Old 05-14-2006, 01:12 PM   #11
    thegreattailz
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    Re: Heart Palpitations, cardiologist? Young guy, help

    Alot of it is seriously random, but i have noticed like when lay in a weird position, it does trigger one. Or when i have breathing troubles like with my sinuses if my nose gets plugged. Im kind of addicted to nose drops, but it happens when my nose is stuffed or i do a double take with my breathing, or lif i do an agressive beathing move. Like i could be laying down, ill have one, then ill get up and run around or do something physical and it wont happen again. completely random, and never happened once during my stress test.

    My panic attacks are very rare, but when they happen yes im convinced im gonna die, i freak out to myself cuz no one can help me. i just clench my chest and pase, not talking to anyone convnced im gonna keel over at any moment. Sometimes ill have the palp and it will make me weak and it will trigger a light panic attack, if thats what it is. My panic attacks come on so slightly and subtly i cant feel them. It was so bad in the er, i was so dizzy and confused i said my goodbyes to my girlfriend. She was convinced that was the end was how she put it. The only thing that wasnt happening was the process of death, i was still conscious.

     
    Old 05-15-2006, 05:15 AM   #12
    Lenin
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    Re: Heart Palpitations, cardiologist? Young guy, help

    You know what helps?
    When the panic hits just say to yourself: "So I'm going to die now instead of several years from now, so what. That's how the cookie crumbles: goodbye."

    When you don't die, the next bout will seem much less serious...eventually you may even get a laugh out of yourself.

    Try it, it works.

     
    Old 05-15-2006, 06:53 AM   #13
    ediot
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    Re: Heart Palpitations, cardiologist? Young guy, help

    Good point Lenin. Something trivial like that does work. There is a website or two completely devoted to anxiety issues. When I would have an attack I would get online and read different testimonials and all the different symptoms of anxiety/panic disorders. Guess what? All those folks lived to write about there experiences. I would stop with the nose drops too. Are you using saline drops? Probably not. If your'e taking Afrin or some spray like that they all raise your bp and can cause tach episodes. HAve you seen a cardiologist? If not go. Good Luck and stay sane.

     
    Old 05-15-2006, 10:04 AM   #14
    mike&ryansmom
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    Re: Heart Palpitations, cardiologist? Young guy, help

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Lenin
    You know what helps?
    When the panic hits just say to yourself: "So I'm going to die now instead of several years from now, so what. That's how the cookie crumbles: goodbye."

    When you don't die, the next bout will seem much less serious...eventually you may even get a laugh out of yourself.

    Try it, it works.
    Lenin is right on with his Quote. I have had panic attacks so bad, it took months to leave my house and drive again. When Panic attacks are new to a person, you are convinced you are going to die, having a heart attack or the doctors really cant find what is wrong with you. Once you get into the cycle its hard to find a way out. But, like Lenin posted do the reverse, I use to say to myself when I would feel one coming on....I swear I would do this, COME ON PANIC ATTACK SHOW ME WHAT YOU GOT!, little by little your mind is directed on something other than getting a full blown panic attack. This took months for me to master, but I did and you can too. As for the issue of the heart, I also have SVT and PAC's, I get them everyday 10 plus a day. Some days they freak me out other days I can deal with it. You are doing the right things, getting tests done and if all else come back normal, try some paxil or something a long those lines to help with the panic...Good luck to you, I've been down that road and it aweful for people who do not understand.

     
    Old 05-15-2006, 10:05 AM   #15
    mike&ryansmom
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    Re: Heart Palpitations, cardiologist? Young guy, help

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Lenin
    You know what helps?
    When the panic hits just say to yourself: "So I'm going to die now instead of several years from now, so what. That's how the cookie crumbles: goodbye."

    When you don't die, the next bout will seem much less serious...eventually you may even get a laugh out of yourself.

    Try it, it works.
    Lenin is right on with his Quote. I have had panic attacks so bad, it took months to leave my house and drive again. When Panic attacks are new to a person, you are convinced you are going to die, having a heart attack or the doctors really cant find what is wrong with you. Once you get into the cycle its hard to find a way out. But, like Lenin posted do the reverse, I use to say to myself when I would feel one coming on....I swear I would do this, COME ON PANIC ATTACK SHOW ME WHAT YOU GOT!, little by little your mind is directed on something other than getting a full blown panic attack. This took months for me to master, but I did and you can too. As for the issue of the heart, I also have SVT and PAC's, I get them everyday 10 plus a day. Some days they freak me out other days I can deal with it. You are doing the right things, getting tests done and if all else come back normal, try some paxil or something a long those lines to help with the panic...Good luck to you, I've been down that road and it aweful for people who do not understand.

     
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