Heart skipping beats

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I'll not bore everyone with the long background, but in a nutshell for the last two years I have been unexpectedly tired/dizzy/lethargic.

I am 37 y/o Male, overweight but not obese (5'11", 92kg), with a fairly sedentary lifestyle with semi-frequent trips to the gym for cardio (3/4 times a week).

I've had so many blood tests, cameras up and down.  The only thing that has ever been found was low testosterone (varies between 4.0 n/mol and 11 n/mol, and Cortisol levels between 88 n/mol and 580 n/mol). 

So last year I started a two month trial of Testosterone Replacement, first injection of Sustanon 250 no problems, but the second was missed because of a mixup with the vial, having rebooked my appointment for two weeks later I went about my business.  A week later my heart had slowed from 74BPM average to just 60 BPM.  With it constantly feeling like people were performing light chest compressions on me.  I took myself to hospital, I explained I had missed an injection and they sent me on my way, having done an ECG, with an appointment the very next day for the missed injection.  Everything settled down and all was fine again within 24h of the injection.

So that’s the history in a nutshell, but after the second injection wore off I went through more palpitations, and tiredness and three months on my energy levels are back to normal.

But for the past two months it feels like someone is squeezing something inside my chest, I assumed for months that it was my stomach (as they found a small hernia with one of the tests), so thought nothing of it.  But it became more and more noticeable, all the time every day.  I then, as I wear a Fitbit all the time, decided to look at my heart rate.  That was when I noticed that it was stopping (at least there was no capillary expansion during the crushing/pressing sensation periods in my chest), and then picking up again 1/2 beats later.  

At this point, I got a bit freaked out, went to A&E, they ECG’d me, gave me the all clear and sent me home.  They said if it gets worse then come back, but they failed to define what is meant by worse.  So after a very bad afternoon, I phoned my GP and asked what exactly should I be looking for to get concerned about.  They said, pain and periods longer than 30 minutes, so I got off the phone and thought, great that’s not me and nothing to worry about.

But, and this is the sticking point for me.  They happen every 2/3 minutes 24h a day, sometimes there are gaps of 20 minutes but they simply start again.  Sometimes they are every 10 seconds or so, or 30.  It is highly variable.  So when the doctor told me to call them if they happen for 30 minutes or more, then they are talking about continuous skipped beats right, with no gaps in minutes?

I have some wider questions for the community, because I gather this very commonplace, but no less scary!  Does anyone else have experience of low testosterone and heart palpitations, or possible deficiencies triggering them?

Sorry for the length of this, I just wanted to include enough detail to clearly explain my situation and what I am after.

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7 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Adrian,

    Hormones can make a person have irregular heartbeats as well. Also, a person with low potassium or or magneseum can have that also. I get fast heart beats and irregular heartbeats on and off all day. It usually happens more after I eat.

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    • Posted

      Thanks for your reply, I appreciate that this is fairly common. I’ve been taking Magnesium & Potassium, along with a CoEnzyme Q-10 tablet.    I’ve not been taking loads, as I have no idea if I am deficient, but just 50% RDA amounts, to see if it makes any difference.  But alas it seems to be getting worse.  Eating has no effect that I can perceive, it’s basically all the time now, with 3/4 stops with a real thump afterwards every two minutes.  But then it goes away for half an hour here and there too.  My heartbeat is never fast, it’s always just the skip, and although my equipment is fairly rudimentary it doesn't seem to do two fast beats afterwards.

      If the skipped beats are quite close together then I tend to feel faint, or get a headache.

      I’m booked in for Friday to have an ECG and some bloods at the Doctors.

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    • Posted

      I'm having exactly what you are experiecing right now as I'm typing. I had like 7 EKGs done in the past 6 months, a holter monitor a few months ago, a stress test, and blood work. Plus, i consulted with a cardio doctor and she assured me that I am healthy. She saw that my heart raced multiple times a day but believes that the racing may be due to anxiety. Then she pointed out that i had multiple PVS (irregular or ectopic heartbeats) per day but not enough to be worried about. She said I actually had less than a normal person so I should be good. My heart on the echocardiogram looks great. All my EKG's were perfect though i  have a high heart rate due to anxiety. I hate the feeling. I feel like I'm going to faint all the time and fall over and die with no one to find me. But it's been 6 months and some days are better than others. On a good day i only feel them once or twice a day. A bad day like today, I have multiple beats right after another. I think it's due to stress and I also ate some salmon cream dip. That may have aggitated my GERD and caused all the palps. I didnt have them this morning until i ate the cream dip. That could be the cause. I realized that once I cut all the gluten, sugar, and fatty foods out of my diet, I dont feel them as much. By the way, I'm 5'7 and 130lbs. I am not overweight and i live a fairly activie lifestyle. I just played softball yesterday and felt it on and off during the game. I was scared but i had to remind myself that It's been 6 months and nothing has yet to happen.
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  • Posted

    Okay, so a couple of weeks on, things are steadily getting more predictable but worse.  They have gotten worse, but are easily brought on by doing nothing or something.  So if i'm on the treadmill at the gym (not even running, just fast walking a slight incline), boom, my heart starts skipping at anything above about 125+ BPM.  If I lay down in bed then most of the time they will come on.  Although now seem to miss a few beats in a row, and then my head starts to feel heavy but it always starts again.  This can happen as frequenty as every 5-10 seconds for 10mins or so, or just the odd one every 5-10 mins, it is entirely random.  Hardly ever in the morning when I wake up.

    A question for the general populous would be:

    Given that this never seems to happen in the 12 second recording at the doctors, how useful would it be to my GP if I were to buy a simple 2/5 input machine that records the data, I can then "catch it" and I guess print out the results.  Obviously anythign that is only arounf £100 from the we is unlikely to provide the most accurate of information, but I guess it will show the basic electrical activity, if not all the channels. 

    Or would it be effectively useless and therefore not worth the effort.

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  • Posted

    Hi Adrian

    You are perfectly well.   I have had this since my 20's.  The fact that your heart is fine means you will not drop dead with this condition.  It is just like a car backfiring, it does not mean the car is wrecked!!!!  I don't even take the betablockers now as they are pointless as you don't actually have a heart problem.  I know it is hard to accept...but you need to.  I am 60 now and when I get them (every day regularly)...I just go about my business and ignore them as they haven't killed me yet and they won't kill you.

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  • Posted

    Well, thank you everyone for your input.  I've ordered an ECG monitor anyway and it will arrive tomorrow, as normal as it may be for some, It's new to me and today was a total farse. Between 2 and 4pm it skipped every 2-3 beats and a crazy amount at 2:55 which made me almost pass out.  So, even if it's not going to kill me, i'm going to catch it, and present the data to my GP as they have near zero chance of ever capturing the data themselves.  Because, if it continues to get worse I am going to need to see an endocrinologist sooner than the end of next month, because at some point, if I keep getting so dizzy, i'll need to stop driving in the afternoons.

    But thanks everyone for sharing your experiences.

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  • Posted

    Hi, I hope you find your answers, eventually it feels like no one believes you. For years I've been getting dizzy and blood pressure normal then dips low on and off. In about 2012 I was noticing my heart would race and then stop, it would also feel like it would stop and then kick back in, really freaky feeling. I was really obese, so I decided the obvious is weight, I lost about 30 kgs, but still it continued and the Drs couldn't really pick anything up, by now you think they think you're being a hypochondriac!

    Anyway in 2014 a preoperative ECG pick up the abnormal rhythm and said it was wolff-parkinson-white syndrome. They stopped the op and sent me to the Cardiologist the same day who tried to "kill" me on the treadmill and did other tests, nothing...

    In 2015, same thing, preoperative ECG picked up the abnormal rhythm and the same cardiologist checked me out, nothing. I know some medication that I'm on makes it abit worse but it was there before I was on the medication. The symptoms continued, weekly sometimes every few days, sometimes a few times a day, also just for a few seconds a time, and on and off chest pains have added in the past year.

    I decided to see another Cardiologist in May 2016, he looked at my prior ecgs and asked if I was sure they were mine as no one was picking anything up, he then did the echogram and tried to "kill" me on the treadmill, surprise..... Nothing.

    He did an angiogram and established that my arteries are good, but before the procedure the Ecg picked up the irregular heartbeat again!

    Now I have 3 recorded ecgs.

    He sent me to an Electrophysiologist the other day and he picked up nothing, I'm sitting talking to him in his office and I can feel my heart doing the stop and start thing. He said it's wolff-parkinson-white syndrome as from my ECG report and explained a few things.

    He said it's something you're born with not something that you've done, it can also just start presenting itself as you get older, I'm 44 now.

    So he gave me 3 options and said that I must decide, depending on how the symptoms affect my life! I wish someone would just say this is what you must do! Sorry, been frustrated about the whole thing.

    Anyway he said option one, only a very very small % of people die from it, I read up around 0.3 to 0.6, so I could just leave it unless it becomes unbearable to live with, or he can put me on medication or he can do an ablation for where the additional "electrical pathway" is causing the problem, a 95% cure rate for stopping this from happening. Obviously there is always risks involved in any type of procedure.

    So I now have to decide! My Aunty died in her sleep from a heart problem, she was in her 40s, my cousin also now in his 40s had a heart op about a year ago, although I don't think it is the same problem, my Grandfather died from a heart attack and my Father had stents put in this year ( also a different condition)

    Now I must make this decision!

    I hope you get your answers, have they suggested Wolff-parkinson-white syndrome as a possible cause?

    I would be interested to hear what you find out.

    All the best, don't give up, you know your body and what does or doesn't feel right, keep going until you get answers.

    Take care.

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