Heart palpitations and other symptoms :(

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Hi

Just after Christmas so 8 weeks ago or so I noticed I started to get lightheadness going upstairs or getting up. I am a runner so I put it down to increasing my running mileage. The symptoms continued and I did start getting the odd occasion were I felt like my breath had been taken away. Went to the doctors and they said my blood pressure was quite low and did a full blood count. All normal. Over the following week I started having funny turns - which i now know are palpitations .... making me feel very strange indeed. Doctors did an ecg and that was normal. Being a runner I decided to buy a heart rate monitor and as my heart felt it was racing sometimes I wore it for a day and during running ... slight strange thing was that my heartrate seemed to drop to 115bpm climbing a hill which was odd. While standing scanning my shopping suddenly felt very hot and my watch was beaping as my heartrate was 238bpm. I stood upright and took some deep breaths and it started to come down. Felt very odd and super tired after that and calmy / sweaty. I have some occasions as well of feeling like my heart is skipping a beat. Seems daily now though. Sat watching tv and my resting heartrate had been 43 earlier in the evening ... and all of a sudden I felt the breath taken away and a thud and my hr jumped to 110 and wouldnt go down , followed by 3 more thuds. My heartrate stayed over 100 for a while and when i did come down to 80 i couldnt stop shaking so I went to a and e ... who did an ecg and it was normal. The dr said they have to capture the flutter on ecg before they will do anything. Also I have been tracking my weight since after christmas as about a year ago despite running my weight for the first time in my life jumped over 9 stone .. put this down to muscle and drinking a bit more. So after xmas I tracked my calories with aim of losing 1lb a week - yet I have put on even more weight even though I have double my miles running and am now 3 quarters of a stone - nearly a stone heavier than I was this time last year ? Also feeling fairly tired now too. Any ideas what could be causing all of this ... The heart palpitstions are very scary and very comfortable and I feel kind of floaty and strange all the time rolleyes

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  • Posted

    Hi there,

    As a long-term sufferer from cardiac arrhythmias (which go back as long ago as 1973), I can identify with your concerns 100 per cent. My own cardiac misdemeanours come in all sorts of different shapes and forms - sometimes at the same time, and almost always at random without rhyme or reason so that I can't pin it down to any particular cause. The heart seems to have a mind all of its own. Right now I'm going through a bad patch of assorted manifestations - ectopic beats and atrial tachycardia - all this despite the loads of medication I'm on, including Atenolol and Flecainide, both of which are supposed to counteract irregular heart rhythms. Neither seem to be having much success despite the high dosage, esp. of Flec. A by-product of the arrhythmia is intense feelings of anxiety and unease (waiting for the next occurrence, etc.) which is counter-productive as these feelings contribute in turn to the triggering the symptoms. Life can be utterly wretched when all this is going on. I can empathise with your high BP description; mine spiked at 232 bpm during a phase of particularly high anxiety. I'm starting on a course of Sertraline (anti-depressant and anti-anxiety) to see if this helps. The Diazepam I've been taking for this wasn't doing much good.

    I can't emphasise enough how much I detest these symptoms and my heart (pun unintentional) goes out to anyone and everyone affected by them. This discussion platform  is reassuring to the extent that we're not alone with our cardiac problems - there are thousands and thousands  of us out there so it helps to be able to share our experiences with others, and provide suggestions, mutual reassurance and support.

    All good wishes

    Donald

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    • Posted

      Thankyou so much for your response its great to here I am not alone. Gone from running 25-30 miles a week to nothing and feeling exhausted all the time .... its horrible and that feeling of when its scary ... I try and distract myself. I have had the odd palpitation / flutter in the past but it literally happened once every few months but never really bothered me to that degree but now its a lot worse .... I think I would feel more reassured once I have an appointment with a cardiologist to tell me what is happening. My GP has referred me to a hot clinic but the dr in a&e said it could be weeks before I hear anything. My gp is reluctant to put me on beta blockers which I can understand as my heartrate can get as low as 43 just sat in the chair.

      Thank you for your response i really apprehicate it

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    • Posted

      I have been suffering with palpitations and my heart racing since 1974, i have learnt to live with it but have tried  many drugs to stop these, recently i was admitted to hospital, bisoprolol was started but it makes me feel awful.  You re right that all these weird heartbeats that come on for sometimes no reason at all makes your life quite difficult.  I also have a heart murmur now probably due to these horrible things.
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    • Posted

      Hi dollar, so sorry to hear you are going through this. I've been suffering with palpitations for 2 years sporadically but every few days sunce Xmas when i started getting them through the night and panic attacks. Looking back to when they started id say the palpitations came first and panic attacks were my fear response, but maybe it was anxiety that causes the palps then the palps caused panic attacks! Ive had 4 ecgs, 1 was slightly abnormal but the last one was normal since ive been on betablockers, sertraline and the occasional diazepam in high stress situations. The BBs stopped the full blown panic attacks happening and the sert is gradually reducing the anxiety. Im on 100mg sertraline and i have to be honest and say for the first 2-3 weeks it increases anxiety to terrible, and every time ive upped the dose i get increased anxiety in the mornings till it settles (i take it at night), but it has made a huge difference and i am able to get on with work, shopping etc tho still have lapses when i need a diazepam. Im also having cbt and hypnotherapy once a week which is a great help. I am quite neely menopausal which may be the root cause of the anxiety issues and resulting palpitations and PAs, but until the palps are recorded i cant know for sure. O wore a loop monitor for 3 days...no palps to record! They still sneak thru every few days, often in anxious situations or postural...lieing down or going from bending to standing. I have flutters, the feeling of skipped beats, sometimes a big bang or once, several, which was terrifying and made me catch my breath. I have agonised about going to A&E then thought therell be nothing show up by the time i get seen! I am getting better at not having a full on panic when it happens but it still unnerves me and ruins the day, then im anxious about it happening again, making it more likely to happen again! It may take an echcardiogram to reassure me that theyre benign, but so far it hasnt been offered. So I empathize with all who suffer with palps, keep us posted how you get on. Has anyone suggested atrial fibrillation? This is quite common in athletes. Though if youve had ecgs when your HRs been mega high, i guess theyd know if it was AFib. I wish you well in getting to the bottom of this.

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    • Posted

      Thankyou for you reply. So scary when it happens ... I am kind of hoping that my blood tests will reveal so kind of potential cause ... have my suspicions on my thyroid. I would feel much more comfortable if I knew the reasons, my uncle had arrhythmias i think and heart failure - unfortunately he was offered a pacemaker and ignored his doctors and he passed away. My nan had problems and so did my grandad so I guess this probably doesnt help my feeling of unease. Fingers crossed I get to the bottom of it ☺
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    • Posted

      I believe so yes. I am 36. My nan was diagnosed at 17 with I think she had a hole in her heart I need to talk with my mum. My uncle was only 65 when he died and I know he had issues when we were kids so perhaps he was in his 40's ... details are a little sketchy

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    • Posted

      Ok hun, and have you told your doc about family history in the hope they get you in sooner at cardiologists? On a positive note, if your doc deemed it potentially dangerous theyd have you in straight away. Well this is what my brother in law told me and he works on cardiology ward, well manages it.
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    • Posted

      So glad to hear people in the same situation ...I think the night I ended up in a and e I may have been panicing as well as it was a few days after my attack when my heartrate esculated to 238bpm ... but then I still tried to relax with deep breathing but the big thuds in my heart scary the hell out of me just coming from nowhere. When i sleep it is happening too as i wake up all of a sudden and this has been going on for a week or two. I also am sweating profusely at night ... its all really weird ... but i think the key is to try and relax as well. My ecg was well after an hour of the thuds so i think it would be normal ? My heartrate was still high but I might have been on edge. I think a 24 hr monitor would pick it up as I am feeling flutters going on a lot ... just depends when I might actually get to see a doctor about it 😊

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    • Posted

      I havent told them about the history but thats probably a good idea. My mum is going to let me know their history so I can do this. My gp has put me on a hot clinic list which I believe is an urgent outpatients clinic so at least I will get seen a little sooner than an regular outpatients appointment. My gp was really good bless her ....
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    • Posted

      It was a nurse at my surgery who fixed me up with the loop monitor and i kept it all weekend, but had no palps! Can you ring and ask if your surgery can do the same?
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    • Posted

      Certainly worth asking the question, I presumed they wouldnt have these facilities so I will check. Guessing this is what the cardiologist would do so it would be nice to go in armed with information ... no doubt it will have settled down and they wont capture it lol
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    • Posted

      And mine was terrible during the night around new year,for about 4-5 nights i kept waking straight into HR of 113-117, nocturnal panic attacks, then wide awake with fear. The beta blockers stopped that really quickly and got me back to sleeping ok. Then i went on sertraline to help the anxiety but as i said before, it makes it worse before it starts to get better and up to 3 mths for full effect. At about 2 months now, still a way to go but so much better than i was at xmas.
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    • Posted

      Yes its typical, yet ive heard sone people get a monitor for like a month...but i guess theyre in demand. Mine happen every 3-4 days, often but not always when stressed. Thankfully i dont get the full panic attack after as the BBs stop the effect of adrenaline on the heart, so my HR doesnt go crazy now, but i did end up in A&E last April after going faint and out of it, pins n needles and panic attack! Ecg normal tho HR was high as i was still having a PA at the hospital!

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    • Posted

      That sounds positive. Yes the night ones are odd , all of a sudden awake and heart is racing. I maybe suffering a similar anxiety thing without even knowing it. My mum says my uncle had heart failure due to having severe bronchitus which sounds odd to me ... and my nan had a weakness in her heart not sure what that means.

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    • Posted

      I think the one on Thursday was more panic after my heart skipping beats , as soon as my hr came down a bit I couldnt stop shaking but the one in asda was completely out of the blue and I didnt feel any thuds just my heartrate go up enormously and then back down again. Well weird !

      I really hope it wont stop my running ... I am supposed to be running a half marathon in two weeks but told I shouldnt run for the time being sad

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    • Posted

      Try not to worry that because of some heart problems in the family it would mean its hereditary. Yours may be due to your fitness (crazy i know but athletes suffer heart arythmias like atrial fibrillation) or it may be anxiety related. I hope you get some reassurance soon as its the not knowing thats the worst. Im in the same position but the doc has just left me to see how it goes!! Keep us posted and good luck.
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    • Posted

      Thank you hun I really apprehicate it .... nice to find people in similar situations 😊 hopefully some answers or at least reassurance soon 😊 and for you too x

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    • Posted

      Does sound like my panic attacks, i was like that before the betablockers, big adrenalin dump sends the heart crazy, and strangely enough, it often happens to me in supermarkets?! Had it today while out with my mum but cos im on BBs i just got the anxiety and cold fear, dizzy drunk feeling without the racing heart. I took a diazepam and was fine within half hour and carried on shopping for 4 hrs!! Its only the 2nd diaz ive needed this week whereas 7 weeks ago id be taking 2-3 a day on top of the BBs and antidepressants (for anxiety). I hope it doesnt stop you running too but for now take it easy, tho they do say palps are rare during exercise. I was walking 10 miles a week before xmas and this has scared me off but i know i need to start walking again as its good for improving breathing and combatting stress. I hope you get sorted soon hun, in the meantime, try n limit stress, careful not to google too much, do deep slow breathing and try and keep busy...do things you enjoy and spend time with the right people (the ones that help you feel calm and reassured!). Keep us posted x
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    • Posted

      Well I had another episode yesterday at work. Massive thuds and then my heartrate esculated probably about 120-140bpm and felt out of it ... last about 15 or 20 mins so of course they called an ambulance .... and again everything was normal by the time they got there. Went to the hospital who have performed a few tests. Saw a consultant who said they will refer me for a 3 day monitor and an echo. He listened to my heart and he said to his colleague he could hear something but it was subtle ... He said he thought i have SVT but we need to get it on tape sad. They wont give me beta blockers as my heartrate drops so low ..... really is very unpleasant when I have these episodes and they make me pale and feel like crap. sad sad

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    • Posted

      Awww poor you, sorry to hear it, it is very distressing at the time and leaves you dreading another episode. Its good that theyre going to do more tests as its the not knowing that causes the most anxiety. I have been ok for days n had a slight palp at bedtime which put me on edge, then woke feeling anxious when i remembered the palp last night, then had a few little flutters since. Mind you i have a lot of ibs indigestion/ burping and ive found i have more palps when im very gassy. I hope you have some support at home? Its hard otherwise. Are you off work today? Hope you can find ways off taking your mind of it x
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    • Posted

      That is precisely how I react. All has been calm and then another palp. (ectopic beat) comes out ofthe blue and triggers a fear response that puts me into a state of unease that may last for as much as a couple of hours, and dreading when the 'next one' is going to come along Like  you, I sometimes waken up with this awful feeling already in place. I'm hoping that the anti-anxiety medication (Sertraline), that I'm about to start, will suppress this. The 'not-knowing when the next one will come' part is the counter-productive part that I'm convinced plays a role in triggering further palps. I'd feel so much better if this self-sustainig, completely irrational cycle could be broken, then things would change for the better. Hence my hopes that Sertraline will help to achieve this. Regards, Donald

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    • Posted

      Its funny as I though back on thursdays episode and thought maybe it was panic but I am sure now that it is not. There is always a thud and then literally my heart just races .... i get really clammy and pale. I guess everyone is different on how it effects them.....No idea what the trigger for these things is or if there is even a trigger. Just hope they come with the monitor and appt soon so at least we can capture and diagnose it 😊😊

      They said the waiting list for a 7 day monitor is 8 weeks there is no way I want to be waiting that long ....but more for the fact that these episodes are awful and just make me so weary afterwards. I have taken another day of work sad

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    • Posted

      Thank you Donald. It's a funny one really, on one hand it's irrational to obsess about it, on the other it appears that fear and anxiety is a very common, dare i say 'normal' reaction to palpitations? I'm getting better at not having a full on panic attack (the betablockers stopped those), but like you it can still leave me feeling edgy for hours. Also it has put me off exercising or getting heartrate up. Ive been on sertraline for anxiety disorder (looping panic attacks) for 8 weeks, now on 100mg and am feeling much better than at the start when i was waking several times in the night straight into panic attacks. The first 2 weeks on sert were very hard...intense waves of anxiety from waking till mid afternoon, then quite calm. But doctor should offer diazepam to help you through the worst parts. It gets easier on the sert but i found each time ive upped the dose its increased my anxiety until it settles again. So ive been on 100 for 6 days and still having some anxiety till around 2pm, but manageable, i rarely take a diazepam. Give me a shout if youd like any support when you start the sert, but hopefully you'll be lucky and not have such bad side effects. Good luck!

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    • Posted

      Thats a long wait, guess it shows how common this kind of problem is. But also, surely they cant think it could be dangerous, or they wouldnt make people wait so long? Hope you are ok, i know its hard but hopefully theyll get to the bottom of it soon and be able to move forward x
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    • Posted

      Thanks very much, Julie, for your response to my last message. I'll keep you posted if there's anything untoward when I get into regulat doseage of the Sert. My own GP is extremely caring, and advised that I can keep some Diazepam handy as a pill-in-pocket backup. Best wishes.

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    • Posted

      Hi Ann,

      Everyone in this forum is being bugged with such a huge diversity of arrhythmia symptoms, with all their variations. Everyone has their own tale to tell. I'm sure that the mutual support we're able to offer one another through this group is, in its own right, therapeutic. We've both been sufferers for around the same time, so the search goes on, As we must tell ourselves: 'While there's life, there's hope' - but sometimes that's a hard thing to be able to say, and easier said than done. Best regards.

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    • Posted

      Yes hopefully so. Another episode tonight but it was much shorter ... didnt really even get a chance to check my pulse just knew my heart was thudding .... No sensation of the heart skipping this time so maybe it did but a small one hence why it didnt go on so long. I wonder if I might go to the gp and ask for some anti anxiety tablets myself ... although I fekt a lot calmer this time. But feels like I am starting to live in fear of another episode.
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    • Posted

      Hi Dollar, yes I should get back to the doc and just have a chat about all the symptoms in case its panic attacks. Its a tricky one cos i would say my panic attacks started as a fear response to palpitations 2 yes ago. But it could be argued that i already had stress/ anxiety that caused the palpitations, then i got the PA response. Its the chicken n egg thing. Worth speaking to your doctor to see whats available to help with th fear of another episode. Also mention family history? Im having CBT which is really helping me to not have such a strong panic response. Keep me posted and takw care x
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