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British Heart Foundation
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Leaky Valves and Heart Palpitations (anxious newbie)

Hi everyone

I know this is very mild compared to probably 99% of the other posts on here but I am extremely anxious and still waiting to see a specialist cardiologist and I guess just want to talk about what’s happening and see if it’s common.

About a month ago a doctor told me I had 3 leaky valves, all except aortic. All trivial or mild. I understand this isn’t severe and probably quite common but I get really worried that it’s 3 of my valves instead of just 1 or 2. The doctor who gave me the results (who originally told me I had a hole in my heart because she didn’t understand the results) said it could be from a disease I caught abroad or I was just born with it. She has referred me to a cardiologist which I see next Thursday.

The reason why I had the echocardiogram and ECG in the first place was because I get dizzy and heart palpitations (skipping a beat). I’ve had ECGs in the past and one resulted in the doctor asking me if I remember having a heart attack in the last year because that’s what it looks like... now I know doctors aren’t specialists but this sort of thing really scares me! I’ve not had a heart attack?!

Anyway, this morning I woke up and my heart was racing. Around 130BPM, which is really high when my resting heart rate is around 57. For an hour and a half it was fluctuating between 130 and 70, I felt so sick and worried and thought I was going to have a heart attack. I didn’t, I’m here writing this post. This palpitation was new to me as I normally just get the fluttering ones. This one was uncomfortable. Should I be more worried?

Currently abroad on holiday and scared to fly home!

If anyone has any words of wisdom that would be great.

I don’t drink alcohol or caffeine. I am 25 and female. I wouldn’t say I’m overly fit but not unfit. Trying heart rate seems a bit low at 57 but again, no doctor will advise and says I need to see cardiologist.

Thanks for listening and if anyone has similar I’d love to hear your stories

G

12 Replies
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Hello Friend, I can completely understand your concerns! I would try to take it easy without thinking much about it if you can. Can I ask how you are taking your Pulse for that reading? You will see the cardiologist soon to decide your treatment plan.

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Hi there

Thanks for taking the time to read and reply to my post. I take my pulse on my Apple Watch as well as measuring 15 seconds and multiplying by 4.

I’d really like to just stop worrying but the physical symptoms are what makes me feel really uncomfortable!

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Honestly from a medical professional point of view please don't use a watch with an irregular heartbeat as you will not get a correct reading. I would strongly recommend that you buy a (pulse oximeter) a good one at least for a better reading your your pulse and oxygen in your blood.

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Hi G. I wonder if whilst you are away you could consider phoning the BHF helpline and they could talk you through your best options whilst you’re on holiday. It’s worth the cost of a phone call to have access to specialist nurses. It maybe appropriate to speak to a local doctor to ask about flying as well. I know it’s easy for me to say but try and relax whilst you’re away. However if you have further difficulties/pain/breathless etc seek help there. Hope it gets sorted for you. Take care. Zena

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Thank you. I will call them tomorrow if I’m still not feeling 100%. I guess I’m scared to make a deal out of something in case it does mean trouble flying home

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Hello 25GG! I too suffer with palpitations and have done for many years. I'm also a very anxious person and a worrier, and I know from experience that worry can make physical symptoms worse! Especially palpitations. I would say for peace of mind, call the helpline (if you haven't already), but the main thing is try to relax, get plenty of sleep (sleep is such a great healer!), you could try meditating (there are loads of Apps with guided meditation). Distraction is also good to take your mind off things. I can't advise from a medical point of view in terms of flying, but I'm sure you'd be fine. I think once you've seen your cardiologist and get some proper answers as to what's going on you'll feel much better. Sending you lots of calming thoughts and hope you manage to enjoy the rest of your holiday. xx

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Thank you for replying! It makes me feel better knowing there is other people who experience the same. I am definitely making it worse by my anxiety and worrying so I’m going to try and chill out now until my flight tomorrow! The point about sleep is very true as well, really trying to get a minimum of 8 hours sleep a night now. Will update once I’m home safely!

Thanks

G

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Yes there is definitely comfort in knowing you are not alone. ❤️

Anxiety is a horrible thing, especially when it comes to health worries, I know exactly how you feel and it can be so distressing. But you're doing all the right things...hopefully you are somewhere nice and sunny and do keep us updated on how you get on. x

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Hello,

This is my first post and understand your concerns.

Many moons ago a cardiologist questioned my ECG results and said it looked like I had, had a heart attack. I then went to another cardiologist who had me do tests and confirmed I hadn't had a heart attack.

It turns out I have leaky valves, and I have to keep check on the Aortic root size.

These problems do run in my family.

Even though I have had it all explained I still do not know the exact names.

I think the palpitations and the feeling of a racing heart goes with the condition. I find it all so worrying and I am more aware when relaxing. Also the scary feeling isn't all the time.

When I would do bp readings when I felt tired and dizzy the pulse would always be low under 50. My heart doctor said the reading is probably not accurate do to the irregular heart beat.

I was told the main thing is to keep the blood pressure under control.

I hope you find help but I have a feeling stress and worry is the culprit. With this condition it doesn't take much for those feeling to start.

Sorry I can't help, hope you enjoy the last of your holiday and the symptoms are not so strong. Try to distract yourself to see if the feelings subside.

I am now 52 but have had the same feelings since my twenties.

xxxx

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I have a hole in my heart and leaky Valves due to not cleaning my teeth. It’s not nice and quite scary.

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Hi all, I managed the flight home ok, I have the cardiologist appointment on Thursday when i will ask all my questions! I’ve also noticed recently I have days where my resting, standing and walking heart rate is in its 50s and I feel extremely fatigued/dizzy. Will also bring this up with cardiologist to find out if it’s dangerous.

Will update after Thursday!

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Best of luck 25GG. Another female here with palpitations too. Had them for 14 years and have been told different things by different doctors but hopefully you can find the route cause of yours. All the best!

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