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spurs279 07-28-2007 11:34 PM

Irregular heart beat and anxiety (have you had this? help!)
About 3 or 4 months ago I had an anxiety attack of of nowhere and have been dealing with it since. Initially I didn't have physical side effects but now that the anxiety is progressively getting better, I have chest pain, dizziness, lightheadedness, and an irregular heartbeat. I know all are symptoms of anxiety, but the irregular heartbeat has been worrying me.

It's a bit hard to explain but what happens is I get a strange sensation (like a fluttering) in my upper/center chest and bottom neck area. This sensation doesn't hurt so it's hard to explain. When this happens I can pretty much feel my heart skipping beats. What I do is put my finger on my pulse and I can literally feel the heart skipping. It will usually do this about 3 times in a 10 second or less period, then go back to normal. The thing that makes me think it might not be anxiety is that 3/4 times it happens when I do something like bend over or move suddenly in an odd position. It's much more rare for it to occur when I'm sitting/standing still. I've also been getting lightheaded a lot when I stand up (don't know if it's related.) I also get dizzy whenever I do any physical fitness.

I've been to the ER twice and a general practitioner multiple times. Since this isn't constant, the doctor couldn't hear anything abnormal from listening to my heart. I asked the doctor to fit me with a 24 hr Holter Monitor because I wanted the doctor to be able to see exactly what was happening. I felt the irregular heartbeats (for sure) with the monitor on, but when they called me back about the results, they said there was nothing abnormal and my heart was fine. This is very weird because I can literally feel skipping when I feel my pulse.

The thing that worries me the most is that it mainly happens when I bend over or make a sudden strange movement. That makes me think it might not be anxiety. On top of that, I get dizzy when I do physical fitness (even something like lifting boxes.)

Has anyone had this or know anything about it? Thanks for any help.

Radman525 07-29-2007 05:03 AM

Re: Irregular heart beat and anxiety (have you had this? help!)
I have had some experience with anxiety attacks. I have a friend who used to have them frequently. It used to remind me of an epileptic attack.

I would recommend that you visit your Community Mental Health Clinic.

They have medicines that can control the reoccurance of these episodes.

You know that something is wrong with your body, it seems to me. I have a physical every year. It seems to make sense to do this and have the physician do an EKG test on your heart. Be sure to discuss your symptoms with your physician. God Bless you. ;)

thaliak 07-29-2007 05:29 AM

Re: Irregular heart beat and anxiety (have you had this? help!)
Hi there!
My reply to your question is : YES. I have had almost identical symptoms and had identical worries. Let me go over them and I will tell you what I have done.
After a severe shock, I noticed that my heart was beating with funny rythm, and was missing beats, which were very noticeable, just like you. It would happen out of the blue, but usually after an argument or during a stressfull situation, mental or physical.
I visited a cardiologist, who could not find anything wrong after a cardiogram, but fitted me with this 24 hour monitor. He told me to record everyting I was saying or doing when I would feel the beats missing. When he checked this long record I have kept, we found out that it was happening every time I was raising my voice, feeling sad, had stressfull thoughts or was in a difficult situation. Right now I do not remember whether it was also happening when I was doing something physical, but rather that regular exercise was alleviating the problem by relieving my anxiety. After giving me a thorough heart examination including effort test and echo test, he decided it was pure anxiety, in my case. So he gave me some antianxiety medication ( LEXOTANIL) for about 9 months and my situation gratually got better until it DISAPPEARED.
Since then, 8-9 years ago, I sometimes get these flutterings when I go through a stressfull period and I have come to recognize that my stress level is going up when these heart irregularities happen. So I try to defuse the situation by exercise etc.
However, I know that this is causing you more stress by fearing the worst and hence, it is creating a vicious circle. So, I would recommend that you see a specialist and have all the appropriate tests to put your mind at ease. Apparently it is something quite normal. In my case it also happens when I am expecting my period. But then ... I am a woman!!!!
Good luck:)

hopesprings2 07-29-2007 11:36 AM

Re: Irregular heart beat and anxiety (have you had this? help!)
Ive had it off and on for years.comes and goes.I have the understanding most irrg beats are not danger( however i am no doctor) does your heart speed up? i would ask for them to do it again and run a ecg to make sure your heart valves are okay also.i usally have mine speed up some when i eat.
dont drink coffee or any caffine or chocolate for awhile and see if that helps any.ask the doctor if a cardiogist read your montor or a reg MD.

spurs279 07-29-2007 01:07 PM

Re: Irregular heart beat and anxiety (have you had this? help!)
Thanks for the info. I've gotten multiple EKG (or ECG...don't know the difference) and had a bunch of tests which all turned out fine. It just worries me because I get dizzy almost every time I stand up or do any sort of physical fitness.

Maybe it's the blood flow to my heart. Is there a way to test this besides a cardiac stress test? I certainly don't want to push my heart if light labor makes me dizzy. Then again, it's most likely just anxiety.

hopesprings2 07-29-2007 01:13 PM

Re: Irregular heart beat and anxiety (have you had this? help!)
i think they have a tilt test or something like that.where they check your blodd presure standing.laying and sitting to see if there is change.

flowergirl2day 07-29-2007 02:34 PM

Re: Irregular heart beat and anxiety (have you had this? help!)
[QUOTE]Maybe it's the blood flow to my heart. Is there a way to test this besides a cardiac stress test?[/QUOTE]

Of course there is. :)
A Doppler echo would be a good one to check the blood flow in your heart & arteries. However, they are somewhat costly. (compared to ECGs/EKGs- which, by the way, are both the same test) . Your physician might be reluctant to send you for one without any evidence of a problem.


spurs279 07-29-2007 04:04 PM

Re: Irregular heart beat and anxiety (have you had this? help!)
Thanks for the help. It still concerns me that I get so dizzy while doing something strenuous. Has anyone else experienced that?

flowergirl2day 07-29-2007 09:35 PM

Re: Irregular heart beat and anxiety (have you had this? help!)
How is your blood pressure? Another condition worth checking out is postural hypertension. It causes lightheadedness (dizzinness) and/or fainting.


spurs279 07-29-2007 10:43 PM

Re: Irregular heart beat and anxiety (have you had this? help!)
My blood pressure was fine the last time it was checked...which was before the dizziness got this bad. I happen to have a doctors appointment on Friday so I'll get it checked out.

sue46 08-04-2007 01:56 PM

Re: Irregular heart beat and anxiety (have you had this? help!)
Hi Spurs

I also used to get palpitations when bending over or lying in a funny position - at one time could not lie on my right side, that would be GUARANTEED to start palps, last thing you want as you try to get to sleep!

About palps being related to stress - mine never used to be, but, it changed this year and I used to fear what would happen to me if I got REALLY bad news :confused: - I had an ablation in May, which appears to have got rid of them, having said that, when I get stressed now, instead of getting the palps I just get, maybe, a missed beat or just a 'feeling' across my chest - now that I can live with :)

I also used to get them just prior to a period, my Consultant says that that is very common..

TWA1022 08-07-2007 12:25 PM

Re: Irregular heart beat and anxiety (have you had this? help!)

I have been experiencing the EXACT same symptoms as you....I was even in the hospital for the dizziness for 3 days and they ran numerous tests on me, inclluding a nuclear stress test and a tilt table test. Both of the tests came back fine, so now I am on Zoloft, propranolol, and klonopin for anxiety. I also just found out today that I have a hiatal hernia with GERD. Life is great:( . If you need someone to talk to you just post on here. I am trying to deal with the palps and is just going to take some time before I get used to all the meds. Also, my dizziness is attributed to my low BP. Maybe get yours checked out! Good luck!


mmee 03-06-2008 11:02 AM

Re: Irregular heart beat and anxiety (have you had this? help!)
Hi, everyone,
It sounds like we are all in the same boat. I have been fighting this battle with my heart since Feb 2007 and still no definate diagnosis. I do have myofascial pain and hypoadrenalism and Raynaud's though.
I just had another bought with my heart on Monday and went back to the doctor. And I have to go and be fitted for another holter monitor on Monday. I had the entire cardio workup done last March 2007. I was just told today about a condtion called postural hypertension. When I stand up my pulse raises at least 30 beats a minute almost instantly. That is what caught the doctor's eye on Monday. I am hoping to get this figured out soon. It is very scary, because I have a little girl and want to be here to raise her. I am sure that the rest of you are scared too. Please let me know how you all make out with your conditions.

harry711 04-03-2008 04:31 PM

Re: Irregular heart beat and anxiety (have you had this? help!)
I've had similar symptoms to this for almost 15 years now. A very strange fluttery feeling in the chest accompanied by rapid heart rate and skipped beats, often comming on while laying down or bending over, after eating a big meal or having no exercise for a while. I also sometimes get a strange taste and feel very anxious. After this I get really tired but not a relaxed tired more of a (my heart feels worn out) tired. This went on for about a year until my gp put me on propranalol and after a few initial mild side effects the problem is under control. Hope this helps

WATCHOUT! 04-04-2008 10:39 AM

Re: Irregular heart beat and anxiety (have you had this? help!)
Hi..I've had the same type of problem for years..I had a holter test done as well and though i could feel the fluttering, the test said I was fine...My Dr. put me on meds, only beta blockers (propranolol) cause when I first went to see her she found I had a rapid heartbeat due to my "overactive thyroid". Fast forward 8 years later, the nurses at the Dr's office begin to tell me that anxiety is causing my heart problem after I came in for another visit and complained that my heart seemed to be getting worse, and briefly said it was making me anxious. All of a sudden my heart problem became anxiety. Now I don't take meds for anxiety...I am high strung and emotional, yet she puts this on my chart. She begins to tell me that thats why I am on the beta blockers. I tell her that yes I am sure my being hyper doesn't help my heart, but in no way is THAT causing my problem. Most of my symptoms come when, like you I am in a weird position and alot come when I am asleep. (now how can I possibly be anxious while ASLEEP!) I would wake up being dizzy, short of breath and my heart would skip...slow down and speed up and flutter..basically everything) A few months later, I was told by my dentist to get an echo, which to this point I have never had make sure I was ok for some dental work I needed to get. So I go to get the echo done and the sonogram DR. asks why I am there..he repeats...oh for anxiety. I was shocked and again said...NO for a heart condition. Well he puts me on the table and all is going irregular heart rate UNTIL I go to roll over to my left side, suddenly I feel a flutter, thankfully..right there while he has the doppler thing pushed into my chest..He all of a sudden looks at me strangely as if he sees something..I just smugly look at him, anxiety, huh? He is not allowed to give me the results..I have to wait on my Dr or her nurse to call me back. Well the nurse calls me back and boy does she have a different attitude. She tells me I have MITRAL VALVE REGURGITATION..I am surprised to an extent that its that...though I knew my heart wasn't normal...I tell you MY story in hopes that YOU realize that Dr's don't live in YOUR body...most everyone has a feeling that something isn't right. For me, it only took 10 years (LOL) ridiculous! But just keep the faith and know that You know yourself your Doctor, yes..but trust yourself more...Good Luck

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