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    Old 10-13-2008, 05:50 PM   #1
    duality
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    palpitations and a year of misery

    Hi all, I just joined today to ask this question as I'm almost to tears sometimes out of fear/frustration.

    Last October I started having palpitations on a regular basis (dozens a day) and went to see a cardiologist almost immediately. He found nothing. No blockage, no enlargement, no leaks, not a damn thing. Said that I am perfectly cardiovascularly healthy.

    On I went to my primary care, she has seen me probably 25 times since, and has to this day found nothing wrong with me.

    Went to a mainstream doc. because I wasn't reassured with the last two and she again found nothing wrong with me.

    About mid march, I stopped having palpitations all together, and just out of the blue last week I had one. I have had 3 since. I have cut caffiene, and am drinking much less, which are two known causes of palpitations.

    I am extremely frightened of them. I'm afraid one of these times it isn't going to be a palpitation, but rather my heart will just stop and I will die. I don't even know how realistic that is to think that (probably not at all.)

    Is there anything that would be causing this that would not be found in 3 CBCs, a VAP, 24 hour holter, ecg, 2 ekg's, a dozen or so stethoscope listens, etc.

    I am 23 and have been ridiculously healthy all my life. My primary tells me this is all anxiety, which I refuse to beleive.

    Anybody have any thoughts?

     
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    Old 10-13-2008, 09:49 PM   #2
    misty57
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    Re: palpitations and a year of misery

    Have you had a stress test, echo, or cath? Those tests are important also.

     
    Old 10-13-2008, 10:46 PM   #3
    duality
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    Re: palpitations and a year of misery

    I had echo... That's how he knew no enlargement, etc. Cardio said "absolutely no need for stress or cath."

     
    Old 10-14-2008, 06:04 AM   #4
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    Re: palpitations and a year of misery

    You are fine - quit worrying about it. Benign arrhythmias in a healthy heart are not anything to worry about. I have the same thing with the same results - structurally normal heart, perfect valves, etc. Mine have significantly reduced this past year, though. Perhaps I can thank my vitamins for that?

     
    Old 10-14-2008, 06:07 AM   #5
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    Re: palpitations and a year of misery

    duality, you have one of the most common problems seen in young people in cardiologists' offices--palpitations. In a young person like you in the absence of structural heart abnormalities (which you don't have because your echo was normal) there is nothing wrong with palpitations. What happens, however, is that when patients feel palpitations, they think they are going to die which compounds the problem.

    You also have another problem which is key in perpetuating this--your adamant denial of anxiety. Listen man, you are clearly anxious about this considering you yourself wrote that you think you are "going to die" when the palpitations starts. The very fact that you came to healthboards and posted this is further evidence that this is making you very anxious. And you know what? There is NOTHING wrong with that!

    The root of the problem is, people who hear the word "anxiety" feel like the doctor is saying you are crazy, which is FAR from the truth. In fact, there are actual objective changes which happen in your body at times of anxiety. Whether you're anxious about something and then the palpitations start OR the palpitations start and THEN you start to feel anxious, what is happening is there is an increase in the amount of circulating catecholamines (i.e. adrenaline) which can in themselves cause your heart to become more irritable which further exacerbates the situation making you FURTHER prone to palpitations.

    On the other hand, think rationally about the situation: the cardiologist (a person who sees the SICKEST people with heart disease) has thoroughly checked you out and told you there is nothing structually wrong with your heart. Isn't that a good thing?! Things like congestive heart failure or hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy are things easily found on echocardiogram--would you rather have THAT as your answer?

    The truth of the matter is, your heart is palpitating, there's no doubt about that, but anxiety is playing a key role in its perpetuation. Just remember there is nothing structurally wrong with your heart, which is the most important thing, and that these palpitations are benign. YOU WILL NOT DIE! In fact, people who DO die from malignant heart arrythmias (which you do NOT have) don't feel palpitations. Their heart just stops....so think about that...the fact that you're feeling palpitations may actually have a positive spin to it!

     
    Old 10-14-2008, 06:10 AM   #6
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    Re: palpitations and a year of misery

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by misty57 View Post
    Have you had a stress test, echo, or cath? Those tests are important also.
    In this situation, the echo yes, but the cath no. In a person like duality who is 23 years old where the pretest probability of him having flow-limiting atherosclerotic coronary artery disease is almost zero. There is no point doing a cath--especially given his symptoms.

     
    Old 10-14-2008, 06:13 AM   #7
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    Re: palpitations and a year of misery

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by GodHand View Post
    You are fine - quit worrying about it. Benign arrhythmias in a healthy heart are not anything to worry about. I have the same thing with the same results - structurally normal heart, perfect valves, etc. Mine have significantly reduced this past year, though. Perhaps I can thank my vitamins for that?
    Nah..the vitamins have nothing to do with it--all they do is make your pee mor expensive

     
    Old 10-14-2008, 01:26 PM   #8
    duality
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    Re: palpitations and a year of misery

    thanks for a great reply. I know rationally I need to think a lot of that is true. I just feel like my primary or even the cardio missed something, or didn't look in the right place, or has not exhausted all the options. I've been getting this lump in the throat feeling lately too and I don't know if that is associated. But when I get rapid heart rate + extra beat + lump in throat, I get scared to death... it's like a big shot of adrenaline right in my veins.

    Last edited by duality; 10-14-2008 at 01:27 PM.

     
    Old 10-14-2008, 05:05 PM   #9
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    Re: palpitations and a year of misery

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by duality View Post
    thanks for a great reply. I know rationally I need to think a lot of that is true. I just feel like my primary or even the cardio missed something, or didn't look in the right place, or has not exhausted all the options. I've been getting this lump in the throat feeling lately too and I don't know if that is associated. But when I get rapid heart rate + extra beat + lump in throat, I get scared to death... it's like a big shot of adrenaline right in my veins.
    ...you have me even MORE convinced that it is anxiety as a "lump in the throat" is classic for that. And you're absolutely right, it IS a shot of adrenaline in to your veins.

    Cardiology is pretty easy actually...if there's something wrong with the heart it's pretty apparent. Why? Well, if the heart stops working you will probably know about it! In any case, when patients start getting in to the "well maybe my Doctor missed something" it's a vicious circle. These are the patients who tend to read on the internet and scare themselves more because the knowledge they pick up is context non-specific. Then because there is no understanding you get more scared and the vicious circle is set up. People who are anxious have a lot of trouble trusting others with things they should be familiar with..i.e. their own bodies, which is why many people with anxiety tend to mistrust doctors in some form. How do I know all of this? Because I am an anxious guy too!

     
    Old 10-14-2008, 06:37 PM   #10
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    Re: palpitations and a year of misery

    Hey all!!
    Sorry to disagree with anyone... but I too had sudden onset of heart palps, rapid heartbeat, normal cardiac workup. But...then after antidepressants not working (also told me it was anxiety) a GREAT physician reconized the symptoms of SVT... and I was finally diagnosed with it after 1 1/2 years of utter "heck".
    To diagnose you must see a Electrophysicist cardiologist, he specializes in this area. Also check your magnesium levels (affect your heart) and your thyroid levels ( hyperactive thyroid causes rapid heartbeat).
    It may well be anxiety, but at you will know for sure if a EP cardio clears your heart, and your thyroid levels are normal.
    Good luck to you!!!

     
    Old 10-14-2008, 07:18 PM   #11
    duality
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    Re: palpitations and a year of misery

    My thyroid levels are normal, as they are tested as part of a CBC and also the VAP (advanced cholesterol test.) I'm not really going to entertain "SVT" whatever it is. I thought that was Ford Motor Company's Special Vehicle Team.

     
    Old 10-14-2008, 09:31 PM   #12
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    Re: palpitations and a year of misery

    The feeling of a shot of adreneline is just that. Palps are scary, I'm still having them daily after getting a break from them for quite some time. Out of the blue "really it's a stressful time for me" they popped back up and won't go away yet. Try a nice low dose magnesium and see if it helps and I'd have your potassium level checked too if you haven't. The low dose mag won't jhurt you unless you have some other medical condition that the doc says no about it but it just may help the palps and help you relax in general. I like the powdered Magnesium, you put it in hot water, let it fiz, add more water and drink it down. It's Natural Calm. I have my hubby take it for muscle cramps too and it helps.

    I am 38 and have had episodes of palps since I was 26. I just had an echo and holter monitor to make sure it's all ok. Still waiting on the holter reading but the cardio said the echo looks good. He told me to take the mag and potassium. I will start back on the mag because I haven't been taking it for quite a while now.

     
    Old 08-24-2011, 03:46 PM   #13
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    Re: palpitations and a year of misery

    I love love love Harvka's post. It sounds like anxiety ! Trust me, I have anxiety and panic disorder! I would SWEAR I'm dying every time I get that racing heart, but here I am writing. There are meds for it as well as deep breathing which will bring that heart rate right down in a few minutes. Hang in there and don't be afraid to talk to a psychologist to confirm that anxiety is contributing or the cause of your racing heart.

     
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