Occasional Pain Upper Left Abdomen and Hard/Strong Heart Beats

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New Member

Date Joined Aug 2014
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 8/12/2014 11:53 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Everyone, I posted this in the heart forums as well. Hope it's okay to post twice as it could be a heart or abdomen issue.

I am newly registered here. Been reading up things on this forums for the last month or so.

Thought I share my problem and see if anyone shares the same issue as it's not identical to anything i've read so far. And if by any slim chance could figure out what the problem is.

I am 28 Male and overweight 5'8 95Kgs. Married. Recently quit cigarettes in April. Never had any heart related issues before. Play football and Basketball every other week. Not under any real stress. I've got a recent salary bump and a new company car to look forward too. Though in May i learnt i was going to be a Father sometime early next year =)

So the issue started in late June this year. I was playing indoor soccer/football and midway through the game, my upper left abdominal area (end of the bottom of the left rib-where it curves). It felt bloated and like a muscle pull.
The pain wasn't going away for 2-3 days and it would hurt if I'd cough or stretched stretched that region.

I then decided to go to a GP and he said it was indigestion (which I wasn't very convinced of since the pain felt more muscle then stomach related) gave me meds for gas and indigestion. After 2 days on the meds i got very bad diarrhoea and went straight to GI specialist.(by this time, the pain had subsided abit) Did a series test - blood works, xray and ultrasound of the abdominal region and they couldn't find anything besides abit of a fatty liver. So the GI specialist concluded it was some sort of infection. Not wanting to treat it using harsh antibiotics, he gave me some probiotics and told me to monitor if the pain and diarrhoea.

2-3 days later I was feeling much better. Pain had gone down nearly 80% and no more diarrhoea. However maybe on the 5th/6th day while lazing on my sofa watching one of the world cup games, i got a very sudden hard/forceful heartbeat. I got a bit startled but soon forgot about it (being distracted by the football).

Then the next day I had a lamb pie for lunch and about half an hour after lunch, I had maybe 5 forceful heartbeats all within 3 minutes and I started panicking - i started feeling slightly dizzy and nauseated, not sure if it was a panic attack (never had one before also) or the heart that was in trouble but I really thought it was a heart attack. I quickly drove myself to a nearby medical centre and had ECG done. The ECG was all normal expect my BP had gone up to 155, the doctor said it was probably stress (meh). All tired out, I went home and took a nap while still not convinced things were fine.

That night I borrowed my parent's home BP monitor and my BP was fine 80-90s and I started looking up hard heartbeats on google and 70% of the things i read were life threatening which lead to me really stressing out about my heart.

I decided to wait and ask my GI specialist about it because I had a follow up appointment with him the next day. He brushed it off saying it was anxiety and stress so he gave me Xanax. Starting to believe it could be stress after all since 2 medical professionals concluded so, I started on the Xanax while also taking a time out from work for 3 days and spend the time chilling out at home with the wife.

During the next couple of days, I still noted an occasional hard heart beat. Maybe 2-5 a day but I decided to ignore it. But maybe about a week later, I woke up at 6 am to use the bathroom and while trying to get back to sleep my heart had a forceful beat then another and then another and the adrenalin kicked in. I was wide awake and very aware of my heartbeats. Started to do relaxing breathing techniques but after 10 mins my heart was still racing and I had a atleast 15 forceful heart beats within those 20 minutes. Thinking to myself, maybe the doctors was wrong and not wanting to worry my pregnant wife, I called my mum who lived down the road to pick me up and drive me to the ER.

At the ER, again the ECG didn't pick up anything, (by that time I had self diagnosed myself and thought it had to be a PVC or PAC after reading up on it) and was quite shocked to see a normal ECG reading. Told the on call doctor about what was going on and she referred me to one of the hospital's cardiologist. So I did more blood work, a stress ECG test, urine test, lung capacity test(not sure what it's called. the one where you inhale and blow as hard and as long into a tube) and an echogram. It was all normal according to the cardiologist, sensing my frustration, the cardiologist ordered me to wear an event monitor for 5 days(King of Hearts for those familiar). BTW the abdominal pain & slight bloating was slowly coming back but not as bad as it was when I first got it.

After 5 days and extremely confident I recorded about 30 forceful heart beats and was really happy that we could finally figure out what was wrong. I went back to the cardiologist and he reviewed the recording and the recording only showed 5 Missed beats and everything else was normal! He concluded that it's nothing serious. Told me to try to forget about it and relax.

I am getting so annoyed at being told to relax because that's what I've been doing for the last month or so. Work is not stressful at all, it's an accounting agency and it's only stressful at the start and end of the year Oct-March, it's quite a bore-fest during the middle of the year. It's exciting being at home cause we've started nesting/planning for the little one. I've started take heart friendly Supplements like COQ10 and magnesium. Cutting down spicy food.

Now, I've not got a major attack since mid July but the number of hard heartbeats have increase to maybe 15-20 a day from 2-5 a day. I've learnt to be at ease with it now but it does only really bothers me now if I get them in quick succession like 3 forceful beats in 5 minutes as i'll start to feel abit nauseated and there's this urge to burp. I still can't think of a trigger or if whatever i am taking is helping. Reading up on things, I think it might be a hiatus hernia but i don't feel like I have GERD, havent had the time to see a GI about it.

However, what really pushed me to seek answers again is I've just been scheduled to travel to tokyo and london alone for work in september for 2 weeks each and I am worried about what happens if I suffer something there.

To summarise, my major concerns are:
1. My strong beats - they didn't show up on my event monitor. I thought recorded about 30+ but only 5 showed up. I also don't really feel any skips in the beats, I've been trying my best to quickly check my pulse after a strong beat but it seems fine. Also used my basic heart app on my phone. It's really feels like "thum tud, thum tud, THUMMM tud" Is it really my heart then? Oesophagus spasms?

2. That weird tender/bloated/sore feeling right at the bottom curve of the left rib. Just about an inch down from the sternum. It comes and goes. Exercise seems to aggravate it. What could it be?? I feel like this is the issue that started all of this.

3. The number of hard beats are rising slowly. Started with 2-5 a day. Hitting 30s now.

Those points are my primary concern. Been to a GI and Cardiologist. Should i still persist going back to them or get another opinion or ride it out?

Sorry it's quite long and for the grammatical mistakes (English isn't my first language) but i wanted to make sure i didnt leave anything out.

Hope to hear what you all have to say about this.

william vz smith
New Member

Date Joined Aug 2014
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 8/14/2014 3:21 PM (GMT -6)   
I had the same problem. about 3 years back we had a south african "braai" a lot of meat and fatty food with ALLOT of coffee tequila. The next night i also though that i was having a heart attack. With the same symptoms you had left pain and heart going crazy feeling funny. Drove to the ER. Dr said hart is fine. Could be tequila. Over the next few months i had the same hart beats daily. Luckily, i have a close friend who is a gp. She first then treated me for a rib muscle something, but that did'nt work. After that we tried cutting spicy foods and eating large meals. Galping down the food in a sec and the symptoms got lighter. She then said i have to go see a stomach dr. He did a Endoscopy, diagnosed with reflux and told me i need to go for a nissen fundoplication I am week 1 post-op today and all hart is normal again. - maybe this can help you everyone is different.

Post Edited (william vz smith) : 8/14/2014 2:24:52 PM (GMT-6)

New Member

Date Joined Aug 2014
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 10/10/2014 3:15 AM (GMT -6)   
nissen fundoplication? is that the op for Haitus Hernia or something?

How's it going since?

I'm still suffering, the only thing all my med check ups have in common is my CRP reading remains high. 7.9 (i know i can be alot higher but the safe zone is <5 i think.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2014
Total Posts : 329
   Posted 10/10/2014 3:38 AM (GMT -6)   
I have missed beats, irregular pulse and feelings of strong heartbeat and it's all related to my acid reflux. It used to stress me out so much and I was reffered to a cardiologist when a nurse who was performing a pre op picked it up. All my test came back clear and the cardiologist said that gastro problems can give palpitations. I try not to stress about them too much and tell myself that if there was anything sinister it would have been picked up. Overeating, gas and bloating and certain foods and drink trigger mine.

Take care
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