Heart Palpitations

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I have been having heart palpitations since Monday - 5 days now. I've been to the docs who was not that helpful but sent me for an ECG which said my heart was beating slowly. He was very vague about whether this was bad or not! I do do a lot of exercise so he said people who do generally do have a slow heart but researching it myself, coupled with the palpitations, it could be something more serious but he said it's all fine and no abnormal heart beats during the ECG (but in the 15 second test, i didn't have a palpitation!). My blood pressure is fine too.

He has referred me to a cadiologost to get a 24 hour heart monitor done but thinks it's all fine and just 'ectopic beats'. Seems to be going on for too long though and i am worrying to wait for the next appointment. Has anyone else had anything like this - how long might it go on for etc?

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  • Posted

    Hi Hannah,

    Palpitations are very common, and quite often harmless. Your doctor has done the right thing by referring you to the Cardiologist for further investigation, and hopefully they will be able to help calm your thoughts at this time, which I know can be quite scary. If there is a problem, then just remember that the heart is a muscle, and therefore the chances are it will be fixable / treatable in some way. Chances are if you are fit and healthy, with no major heart conditions in your family, then you will be absolutely fine. When I had palpitations (which were on and off for a month or so), I was training hard for rugby and had a heart rate of 36 BPM. I would recommend lowering your intensity of exercise for a couple of weeks just to see if this helps in the short term. Instead of going mental on the running machine for example, just go for a gentle jog on it. Try cutting out any high sugar and Caffeine drinks such as Lucozade and coffee for a bit, just again to see if this helps in the short term. Also, eat Bananas! Sounds crazy, but it helped me a lot when exercising as they are full of energy, which is great if you have cut down on energy drinks, and they are full of Pottasium which is great for the heart, and often helped me when feeling a bit "palpy" :-)

    I know it is easy to say, but try not to worry.... Anxiety and panic will only add to the problem, just try and relax when you feel strange, big deep breaths. I tended to get palpitations when my heart rate was low (sitting watching TV for example), so if yours is the same, try getting up and walk to the toilet or fridge, this will raise your heart rate slightly and quite often relieved any palpitations for me... Hopefully this may help you also. You can check if your heart rate is low when sitting by using a heart rate monitor, either on a sports watch, or even an iPhone app.

    I hope this helps Hannah, any questions then feel free to ask, but sure you'll be fine, and all the best.


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    • Posted

      Hi Matt. Thanks a lot for your reply - that makes me feel better. I will take your advice re exercise and bananas etc - I do eat bananas usually and will try and cut out the coffee! It definitely gets worse when i am sitting down like you say so will get up and walk around to try and help.

      Thanks again! smile

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  • Posted

    Hi Hannah. I sent you a long reply this morning which, for some reason the moderator blocked. Essentially, I have had palpitations for several years, but they have been particularlyy bad, on and off, for a year or so. The problem I have is that the word 'palpitations' seems to be an umbrella term for all kinds of sensations - racing heart, fluttering heart, fast beats, skipped beats, a feeling that your hearts tumbles and plunges at times, etc. I have had every test available but still no cardiologist can tell me exactly why I have them. You need to first rule out the usual stuff - excessive alcohol, caffeine, fizzy drinks, etc, and make sure you get plenty of sleep. Excercising - or at least long walks or bike rides - seem to help, although it can be a scary prospect excersing when your heart is fluttering. There is a very good online forum dedicated just to palpitations. If you Google 'palpitations forum' you will see it near the top. There are thousands of very scared and desperate people in the same posituion as you and I who have posted questions about their own palpitations and symptoms, and there are lots of answers. I included the website this morning, but I guess that is why my post was not let through. That's a shame, because I found it very useful. Try to find it. And try not to worry. If they continue, and all your tests come back negative, you will learn little 'tricks' to live with it - although that might not seem likely now. Good luck.
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