Update on my heart palpitations

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 2670
   Posted 3/17/2008 9:11 PM (GMT -6)   
A few weeks ago I had posted on my having heart palps. Well I saw my doctor a few weeks ago. They ran an EKG, that was normal. He did some blood tests again, this time to also check my thryroid. All those came back normal.
So now I'm waiting to hear back from the cardiologists office about getting an event monitor. Funny thing was my palpitations had stopped for a few weeks, and returned when my doctor's nurse called me about my referral to the cardiologist. Today I'm really having them. I screwed up and didn't eat until 2pm (well I had a banana but that was it). That seems to have triggered them today. I rushed and ate at 2pm and since then I've been having the pounding, pounding, pounding. My heart rate is up as well, anywhere from 95-112. :( That part is unusual, usually my heart rate stays under 100 with these.
I'm pretty scared to be honest. I'm only 30, what could possibly be wrong with me? I told my husband today that I'm just tired. I'm tired from having soooo many things go wrong with me all the time. This one is just scary to me though, I'm too young to be having a heart problem.
Anyway, does anyone know what these monitors are like? Are they a pain to wear? I guess I'm getting the one where you push the button when your having them. I'm pretty clueless when it comes to arrythmias. Aren't most of those considered dangerous? *sigh* I just want to be okay. sad
Diagnosed with mild Crohn's Disease 2/06 after sever GI bleed. Has been suffering since 1998. History of rectal fistula and gallbladder removal. Currently taking Asacol and Questran.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 2113
   Posted 3/17/2008 9:17 PM (GMT -6)   
Jen, wearing the heart monitor is like wearing a bra. At least the one I wore was it is a band that goes around your rib cage just under the breast it is a little uncomfortable at first but it is possible to forget you are wearing it. My heart did the same thing when I first got sick with RA in fact I was having dizzy spells because my heart rate would speed up so much it lowered my blood preasure. Other times I could feel it skip beats. They never did diagnosis it but it went away completely when I was given medication for the RA. Since Crohns is also an AI I guess it isn't surprising to have overlapping symptoms.

Anyway, I hope they get to the bottom of your problem very quickly and you start feeling better.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 1202
   Posted 3/17/2008 9:19 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Jennifer,

I don't know much about arrythmias but I did take an EKG for my last clinical trial (Prochymal) and it came back with an arrythmia in the reading. I have been a runner for years and they told me that it's not uncommon for people who exercise a lot to get them. I never did follow up with a cardiologist, but I probably should too. Lately I get these weird moments where I feel like my heart races for a few beats. My dad says it sounds like a PVC (premature ventricular contraction). I don't think those are horrible either... I am also taking steroids which I always wonder about their effects on the heart.

I hope you get some news soon!
ps you motivated me to check for my own good too and this looks like it's got some good info:

--39 year old female, dx as UC in '04 (1st symptoms in '03), switched to Crohn's in '05
--1 fistula, crohn's colitis, limited to large intestine
--rejected (reaction/didn't work): Asacol, AZA, 6-MP, MTX, Remicade, Humira, prednisone
--stuck on methylprednisolone
--tried Prochymal in Phase III study (can't wait til it's approved!)
--waiting to start Tysabri
--single mom to 10-year-old girl

Post Edited (sr5599) : 3/17/2008 8:22:36 PM (GMT-6)

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 355
   Posted 3/17/2008 9:36 PM (GMT -6)   
Jennifer, I am sorry you are going through all this.

I have had atrial fibrillation and it is scary. It is actually an electrical problem in the heart. So, after many tests, they told that my heart is fine and healthy overall. I was apparently born with this little defect. It can cause problems, but it was brought under control and I am fine now. I just have to be aware for if it, should happen again.

As for the monitor, I had to wear it for several days. I was given instructions for placing these pads on me in several areas like an EKG. Then I would connect the leads to these pads. Everything was being recorded on a little machine similar to a pager that I hooked on my pants or wore in my pocket. Each time I felt something odd, I was to push a button on the little machine and write down what I was doing at the time. After three incidents, I was to call in and someone asked me questions related to the odd beating/what I was doing. Sometimes, the monitor would go off on its own signaling an issue and I was to record what I was doing during that time. It was pretty simple, yet annoying to wear all the time, especially at night. Afterward, the doctor followed up with me about the results.

I wish you well and I hope that your doctors can figure out what is going on with you soon. I know how scary and stressful it can be. You might want to look up arrythmia's on line and see if any of them help describe what you are going through. Of course, this might just scare the heck out you too, so it is just an thought. Sometimes being well informed helps calm one's fears.

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 31
   Posted 3/17/2008 9:39 PM (GMT -6)   

Hi Jen,

I have also had these heart palpitations, sent me rushing to the doctors once.  In my case it was the beginning of stomach ulcers!  Go figure, is there any chance that you may the same thing?  I still have days when my heart races or I feel it skip a beat.  I know the feeling, very scary.  Maybe ulcers could be your problem too!  Crohn's has caued so many things that seem unrelated, but apparently aren't.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 2670
   Posted 3/18/2008 12:28 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks everyone, sometimes it all just gets to be too much. The thought of having to go through more tests, and playing the waiting game for a new diagnosis just gets overwhelming. As if having Crohn's isn't bad enough. I wondered how it would be trying to sleep with this monitor on. Doesn't sound all that comfortable to begin with. But I get a lot of my palpitations at night, or during naps, so it's a must to try and catch it then.

sjkly, that is really interesting that you got those symptoms before being diagnosed with RA. Wonder if there is a real connection there? It wouldn't surprise me at all if it ALL ties in to auto immune disorders. I also have Interstitial cystitis, and I understand that is also a AI. Guess were just prone to these.

SR559. thanks for the link! It's good to know there are a lot of reasons this could be happening, and it doesn't have to be something really bad. But mine are similar to what you describe having. Moments of where it feels like it's beating too fast. My family believes mine are related to stress, anxiety, and maybe even not eating right. I'm good at skipping meals, especially if I have somewhere important to go. Don't want Crohn's making it so I have to stay in the bathroom.

homeschoolmom- Hey I'm a homeschool Mom too! :) Funny you mentioned stomach ulcers. I get a lot in indigestion, and I know for fact I've had some palpitations on those nights when my stomach is upset. So that might be a connection there too. So many things can that can cause it I guess!
Diagnosed with mild Crohn's Disease 2/06 after sever GI bleed. Has been suffering since 1998. History of rectal fistula and gallbladder removal. Currently taking Asacol and Questran.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 491
   Posted 3/18/2008 2:01 AM (GMT -6)   
I get palps,too. Mine shows up on the EKG as atrial fibrulation, but they say it'ss a sinus reaction, and no big deal. Probably should have the holter monitor, but without insurance, they don't push it. I know it sounds scary, but if the EKG is normal I wouldn't worry much. Your worrying could be the culprit. ; )
Live for today, for tomorrow you might just get hit by a semi.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 4389
   Posted 3/18/2008 4:29 AM (GMT -6)   
If skipping meals triggers the wacky heart rhythm, I'd guess it to be related to electrolyte imbalance and dehydration (plus a little low blood sugar thrown in for good measure). As for how uncomfortable the heart monitor is, I got used to it pretty quickly. Most difficulty I had with the monitor was keeping it from falling and hitting the floor when I was in the restroom at work LOL! I hope the monitor is able to tell your doctor what's going on. Good luck,
Gluten & Sulfite Sensitivity, Many Food/Inhalant/Medication Allergies, Asthma, Gut issues (dysmotility, non-specific inflammation), UCTD (Lupus?), Osteoporosis, Anemia, Very Low Lymphocyte Counts (T-Cells & B-Cells), malabsorption/malnutrition, possible Lyme Disease (Igenex Lab IgM WesternBlot positive), etc.
Meds:  Pulmicort, MaxAir, Injectable Vitamin B12, Herbs, Nutritional Supplements, Essential Oils, Homeopathy.

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 31
   Posted 3/18/2008 6:34 AM (GMT -6)   

Hi Jen,

A fellow homeschooler!  :)   When my heart seems to be going wacky it is always indigestion!  I will take an antiacid, strech out flat on the couch with a heating pad and wait.  To me the indigestion feels like a big bubble pushing on my heart and when that bubble starts to move my heart goes back to normal.  Not a very medical response, but this does work for me.

Hope your feeling better soon!

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2004
Total Posts : 422
   Posted 3/18/2008 7:17 AM (GMT -6)   
Hey Jen,

I just went through a whole heart workup at my cardiologist's office. I've had heart palpitations all my life. Sometimes they take my breath away! Sometimes I'm very aware of the fact that my heart is beating. Like I can feel it beating when I'm driving or working...like it's going to come right out of my chest! Sometimes it feels like my heart stops beating. And occasionally I'll have a small chest pain...it was for all those reasons I had the total heart workup but it turns out all is well with my heart. Here's what I went through for my peace of mind:

I had an EKG. It was fine. EKG's only show what's going on RIGHT THEN at that point in time when you're all hooked up.

I had a Stress Test. The kind where you get hooked up to a monitor and walk on a treadmill not the injection kind. My heart rate went up a a bit too quickly to my target heart rate but that's because I'm terribly out of shape!!! I haven't exercised in, well...WAY too long. Not GOOD exercise, anyway. So I wasn't surprised when I got tired out within 6 mintues of being on the treadmill!

Then I wore a heart monitor for the next 24 hours. The monitor I wore was like a beeper that I wore clipped to my belt and it was attached to wires that were taped to my chest, just like an EKG. The monitor ended up showing 2 little skipped beats during a 24 hour period which was nothing, according to the cardiologist. The monitor is annoying to wear but it's not that bad. There's also a button you can press when you feel like you're having the palpitations so they can see when YOU thought you were having them and then compare that to what your heart was actually doing at that moment in time.

Then I had an Echocardiogram, an ultrasound of my heart. That took about 30 minutes. They also record the beating of your heart with this, too. The cardiologist told me my Echo was PERFECT.

I DID just find out my iron is low (very low) and it turns out that LOW IRON can cause the feeling of "being aware that your heart is beating". I read that on a web site about low iron. Who would have thought low iron could cause that feeling?!

Your heart palpitations could be absolutely NOTHING. So don't be scared!
Diagnosed in October, 2003 at age 31.
Currently taking Colazal, Nexium, One-A-Day multivitamin
Secondary conditions: mouth ulcers, joint pain, extreme fatigue

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 3/18/2008 9:06 AM (GMT -6)   
When I am really nauseous and/or throwing up my heart always goes into atrial fibrillation. I have had every heart test in the book and have come to find out its all connected to my gut and how its feeling. They always freak out when I go to the ER after throwing up violently because my heart beat goes crazy for awhile. They want me on blood thinners, but I won't take them as I know its just from my gut and my heart is fine. Good luck!
Been living with Crohn's Disease for 32 years.  Currently on Asacol, Prilosec 60 mg, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain and Calcium.  Resections in 2002 and 2005.  Recently diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and doing tests to see if I have Inflammatory Arthritis or AS.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 1205
   Posted 3/18/2008 9:50 AM (GMT -6)   
When my iron is low I get Tachycardia google it
Confucius say : He who goes to bed with itchy butt wakes up with stinky finger.

Words of wisdom: Never trust a fart

:) Sugarmarie A.K.A. Poopy Pants :)

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 68
   Posted 3/18/2008 11:22 AM (GMT -6)   
I also have palpatations and also a kind of like fluttering in my chest from time to time , I wore a halter monitor and of course nothing happened....but all my other test also came back fine. The doctor told me these were caused by my anemia, maybe your blood level is low. Wearing the monitor is really not a bother.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 2670
   Posted 3/18/2008 1:32 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks again everyone, all of your stories and info is a great help (and helps me to relax a bit)! My blood tests so far have all come back normal. I too thought at first it was anemia. I've had trouble dealing with that in the past. But my doctor claims my levels are fine. I also wonder if it could be some kind of vitamin deficiency. I've had low levels of potassium many times, but I'm sure that would have showed on my blood tests as well?

I'm doing better today, I ate a decent breakfast, and I'm trying to drink more water. I think this will help alone. I'm also trying to relax and not be stressed out, I really need to find ways to handle stress better in general. Maybe I should take up yoga!

Kittkatt- I'm sooooo out of shape too. I haven't been in good shape for quite a long time. But it really took a nose dive when I had my GI bleed and took a year to recover from such terrible anemia. Seems like ever since then it's been really bad. I try to exercise but get out of breath and tired pretty quick! So I guess I need to start off slow and progress from there.

I still haven't heard back from the cardiologist office yet. I called and left yet another message, just to schedule this monitor! I used to work there and I know how they are. They are terrible about calling people back, and love just sending you to a machine for everything. So until I get in I'm going to try and alter some things with my lifestyle and see if I can get them stop on my own here.
Diagnosed with mild Crohn's Disease 2/06 after sever GI bleed. Has been suffering since 1998. History of rectal fistula and gallbladder removal. Currently taking Asacol and Questran.

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