Looking For Guidance

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cv3221
New Member


Date Joined May 2015
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 5/5/2015 8:54 PM (GMT -6)   
Good evening,

Just looking for guidance as to my feelings and situation after monitoring this forum for quite a bit anonymously. I am 29 as of this year and have recently (within the 1-2 years) been having palpitations to the point where I have gone to the ER twice over the same time period. The recent visit was the other day, where I was in absolute panic mode. The palpitations tend to thump so hard, obviously increasing when laying on my left side. I've learned that (what I'm sure are food allergies) gluten and dairy generate a dramatic amount of GERD/indigestion for me, which is what it was chalked up to the first time after clean EKGs, etc.

This second time, the EKG caught a premature beat/extra contraction, what they told me was a premature atrial contraction. With that, my blood pressure floated within extremely normal ranges and my heart rate stays in the 50-70bpm area, only really hitting 65+ when I am panicky (I am covered in tattoos, yet them drawing blood with needles sends my mind into a frenzy). I am a tiny bit overweight at 6'1 and 205 lbs. My cardiac enzymes, calcium readings and all came back perfectly within range, including blood sugar although I had not even eaten that entire day and it was 2:30PM by this time. This whole ordeal is causing major panic attacks in which I'm afraid to sleep, etc.

I am awaiting a primary doctor visit Thursday, but have been driving myself batcrap insane over this. I do not show the hallmark signs of heart disease or heart problems; I don't get dizzy unless I stand up super quick, I don't get the night sweats, I don't have a cough or anything. I do get my heart rate up, etc. when coming up both sets of stairs, etc., but I am also clearly out of shape.

I grew up a soccer player, but have had years (as in the last 2) where I eat like absolute crap and stress due to working 14 hour days. I have since quit my career to find something less stressful, etc. The day after this visit, I had a heavy pain in my left side near my ribs and what felt like an extremely swollen lymph node in the auxiliary group that is near the upper ribs.

Anyhow, sorry to ramble; but what are the odds you'd believe me to have heart disease? The ER doctor and PA all said that they believe it is a culmination of all my recent changes in being home all the time, changing careers and overthinking. Your thoughts?

Also, while I tended to eat burgers and junk, I was never a huge steak guy (I ran steakhouses, so I was burned out) and tended towards seafood (tons of salmon), chicken and tons of dairy as I used to be a heavy weightlifter. Just trying to supply information.

Thanks for helping try to ease a young man's mind!

Edited to add: my white and red blood cell counts were also fine and I actually have extremely strong genetics with no real family history. Figured I would add this.

Post Edited (cv3221) : 5/5/2015 8:21:48 PM (GMT-6)


theHTreturns...
Elite Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 20227
   Posted 5/6/2015 3:18 AM (GMT -6)   
HOORARAY. your in the clear. i would look at your anxiety. i feel this is playing a key role here. heart rate palps etc. some coping skills will help. check out the resources thread on the anxiety / panic forum. follow your dr's advice!!!! mindfulness is a great technique. many healing thoughts. welcome to the forum.
THE HAPPY TURTLE.

my conditions are mere aspects of me, they do not define me.
'

kazbern
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 8384
   Posted 5/6/2015 8:05 AM (GMT -6)   
If you search this forum for PVC or palpitations, you will find a lot of posts just like yours. There's a thread from just a couple of weeks ago that I've posted on - I'm also in the midst of dealing with lots of palps and I understand how panicky and anxious they can make you feel.

I think it is a good idea to get a good physical and talk to your primary doc. Most likely you will be asked to wear a holter monitor for 24 hours to see how often you are having early beats. Most of us have them and they are completely harmless. Some of us lucky ones feel them and find them annoying or worrisome. The holter monitor will count how many you are having and then you and your primary care doc will talk about what to do.

Palpitations are generally thought to be caused by too much caffeine, drinking, poor sleep. I agree with you, though, and others here do too, that gastric upset contributes to palps.

In my case, I do not drink and I do not take more than 60 mg of caffeine per day. I am not particularly stressed. My first run through palp diagnostics was 4 years ago. A holter monitor worn then showed that I had a few palps per hour. Two months ago, after having lots of palps all the time for 6 months, I wore another monitor and it recorded 1200 in a day. The point at which this becomes a problem is when it gets to 10,000 in a day - that can tire out the heart muscle. Today I'm going for an echo cardiogram to make sure the structure of my heart is normal.

I started taking a small amount of a beta blocker last week and that has reduced the annoyance factor a lot.

So to answer your question, I am almost certain you do not have heart disease. I suggest you look at how much caffeine you are taking in, how much alcohol, how's your sleep. And relax. The anxiety over these things is not helping.

Good luck with your DR visit this week!
*******************
52 yrs old, IBD diagnosis in spring '01. Proctitis, gastritis, ileitis.
Currently taking Pentasa (3g/day) generic Colazal (9 6 pills/day), Sulfazine (1.5 g/day), Prevacid, folic acid, vit. D (2K iu), flax seed oil (2 tsp/day), psyllium (2 tsp daily), rectal meds as needed. Gluten free as of 5/30/11. Remission from Aug. '11 until November '14.

cv3221
New Member


Date Joined May 2015
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 5/6/2015 10:54 AM (GMT -6)   
Thank you very much for the words of support. Since trying to calm my anxiety in the recent week I do find that the palpitations are far less noticeable, however, of course there are times. While I don't have a general tightness in my chest, I have been having a soreness and pain in either my breastbone (vertically) or towards my left side. This, coupled with the inflamed rib/lymph node and now a seemingly inflamed right tonsil makes me believe I've been fighting something here recently.

In note to the caffeine consumption, etc.: I used to drink coffee by the pot. Maybe two months back I reverted to a diet I removed everything I drink except for water, and I will drink real lemonade on occasion. I've also stopped with chocolate and sweets (chocolate REALLY seems to piss of the palpitations and indigestion), barring I had a small bit within the last day. I am trying to start exercising more and have at least been walking 30min. a day briskly outside to get both the air and vitamin D. I am also primarily gluten free as of late and am also trying to stay off of dairy.

I really do appreciate everything, including your own experiences. This has been a crippling ordeal for me as I feel worried to do anything. I am even on the fence about taking a job and us moving a city or two away, as I don't want to croak and leave my other half away from her home and all alone.

Any other advice or diagnostic tips one can give? I go tomorrow to the doctor and am going to request both an echo and a stress test, along with an x-ray.

kazbern
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 8384
   Posted 5/6/2015 12:45 PM (GMT -6)   
I spent an hour today in the echo exam talking to the nurse about caffeine. Since I only drink a cup of tea a day, we talked about how much caffeine is in chocolate and the benefits of eliminating that from my diet. I am gluten free and that isn't too hard. But there's no way I'm giving up chocolate!

Look, early beats are not dangerous, just annoying. So anything you do to reduce them is not really for your health, but for your mind (fewer distracting thumps in your chest). Your mind is important so I'm not suggesting you forget about making lifestyle changes! But I do think you need some perspective on this - palpitations shouldn't stop you from doing anything. Perhaps you should talk to the primary care doc about your anxiety and how to manage that. I would suggest some targeted talk therapy. Beta blockers might be a two-fer - they reduce palps and also reduce anxiety for some people.

The first time I went through diagnostics for palps I wore the monitor, had an echo and did a stress test. This time around we skipped the stress test. My palps get better with exercise, not worse, so my doc didn't see the point of a stress test.
*******************
52 yrs old, IBD diagnosis in spring '01. Proctitis, gastritis, ileitis.
Currently taking Pentasa (3g/day) generic Colazal (9 6 pills/day), Sulfazine (1.5 g/day), Prevacid, folic acid, vit. D (2K iu), flax seed oil (2 tsp/day), psyllium (2 tsp daily), rectal meds as needed. Gluten free as of 5/30/11. Remission from Aug. '11 until November '14.

kazbern
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 8384
   Posted 5/6/2015 12:48 PM (GMT -6)   
Here's a link from the thread "TOO MANY PALPS": www.drjohnm.org/2013/06/benign-pvcs-a-heart-rhythm-doctors-approach/
*******************
52 yrs old, IBD diagnosis in spring '01. Proctitis, gastritis, ileitis.
Currently taking Pentasa (3g/day) generic Colazal (9 6 pills/day), Sulfazine (1.5 g/day), Prevacid, folic acid, vit. D (2K iu), flax seed oil (2 tsp/day), psyllium (2 tsp daily), rectal meds as needed. Gluten free as of 5/30/11. Remission from Aug. '11 until November '14.
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