Arrhythmia Alliance
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Frequent palpitations (feels like heart stops then starts) with chest pain and dizziness. All my tests come back normal? I'm going crazy

I'll try and keep this short haha because I'm really desperate for some answers or just something!

Anyway, I'm a 19 year old female who has just recently had a baby and ever since I had him, my health has really deteriorated. I get extremely dizzy to the point I'm convinced I'm going to pass out. But the scariest symptom of all is every single day I get episodes of very bad palpitations. It feels like my hearts stops then starts again.

Kind of like thump thump thump skip....THUMP

This sometimes can come with extreme discomfort or pain.

I've had multiple EKG's, an echocardiogram, a halter monitor, and bloods done but it all came back normal. The only thing the doctor said worth noting was my heart has many ectopic beats which he said were benign.

My mental state has really deteriorated with my health as well. Since these episodes have started worsening, I've developed such bad anxiety I cannot leave my house. I've had to move back in with my mother so that if anything happens to me, my baby won't be left alone. It's been incredibly hard to look after my son as I am so extremely unwell, I can barely get out of bed due to these episodes, and my mother has had to be watching him :(

The doctors have just put it down to anxiety but the frustrating thing is I've only gotten anxiety after my health went to shit. When I first started getting these, I was perfectly fine and happy. I truly in my heart don't believe it's anxiety (though I'm sure anxiety makes it worse) I know what is happening to me is physical. But all the doctors think I'm crazy. They say "your ECG came back fine, so you aren't going to die, it's just anxiety just breathe".

I'm so scared im going to die of heart failure and then my son will go to his father (who is heavily on drugs). But all my tests are coming back normal? I don't know what to do?! I'm at my limit

I'm currently on 30mg of beta blocker, and anxiety medication but it hasn't helped much

Someone please, has anyone had something similar??? Some advice or idea of what it could be if f isn't my heart? I can't keep living like this

10 Replies

So sorry to hear of your distress there is a Dr Sanjay Gupta from York Cardiology who does a series of posts about the very situation you are in, I have found them very helpful. He is a cardiologist and was motivated by seeing so many patients who had benign palpitations but whose everyday lives were so badly affected by the fear and anxiety they cause.

He has a Facebook page is on utube or just google him. Do look him up it could really give you some peace of mind, best wishes from a fellow sufferer.


Omg thank you so much!!!!!!!! I'll check him out now. Honestly thank you


Hi Anxious- I can certainly relate to what you're feeling- ALL of it. I don't have children but in my late 20's and out of the blue I began having multiple ectopic beats and literally walked around with my fingers to my pulse- always checking- freaking out and just waiting to keel over and die. My tests all came back normal too and I received pretty much the same response from my cardiologist- I'll never forget, he said unless you're passing out there's no need to come back to see me. I don't think doctors know why some of us get more ectopics than others but most people get them- some of us get more and are more sensitive to feeling them.

I can tell you from experience that the more we think about them ( and how can you not?) the more often they will happen- lt results from all the fear adrenaline we are pumping into our system. It becomes a very viscous cycle. Also I'm sure you've been told to cut out all caffeine which can make them worse.

I also don't think that doctors have a clue at how distressing this is and how anxious it makes us. Perhaps having a baby has your hormones all wacky which can also precipitate them- I used to get more right before my periods.

My first episode eventually calmed down, but I still have times when things flare up and honestly it unnerves me all over again until I can get my mindset back to "it's ok at least you know you're still alive". One woman referred to skipped bears as her heart hiccuping and that seemed to make the feeling of it less ominous.

I'm 64 years old now and so far still kicking- I have bouts of those vile skips still. I have a feeling yours are hormone related and think they will become less and less- but try your best to know they will not hurt you. Try to remind yourself of that and just go with it- hard to do but you can do it.

You can also Google "arrhythmia support groups" on line. It helped me to know that others have the same thing and how they cope. One more comment- your chest discomfort and dizziness can also be the result of anxiety and hyperventilation from your fear of the skips-I've so been there.

Take care- you will feel better!

1 like

Thank you for responding. And yeah none of my doctors understand how distressing and debilitating It is and I'm really struggling because i get them a couple times a day and they are very bad.

I'm going to push to see a cardiologist, just to rule things out and calm my anxiety but my doctors refuse to let me



I would like to confirm what Cubiczee1252 says. I am few years younger and I have multiple ectopic beats last 4 years. ( menopauza ) Try to ignore them or at least do not be scared. Maybe they will completly dissappear or they will not be so frequent.

Go walking every day for 30 minutes. It really helps. If you do not feel e. beats when you are active you have nothinh to worry about even it is very distressing at the beginning.

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I understand how you feel and have similar things myself ongoing. I suggest you see your GP and insist on seeing a cardiologist or preferably an electrophysiologist who is a cardiologist specialising in the electrical activity of the heart.

Mine was treat as anxiety for years from being a teenager and yes I am anxious but that wasn't why my heart was playing up. Good news is tests have shown your heart is sound but you still need to get to the bottom of this.

I know it's a lot of money but could you buy an Alivecor which you can use to take a single lead ecg, you use it with your iPhone or iPad. You can then capture heart activity as and when you have symptoms. Costs around £80 from memory.

I took my Alivecor readings to me EP appointment last week he found them really helpful in diagnosis.

Push for a referral, please don't put up with it, you need to be free to enjoy your young life and new baby. Can your mum accompany you to the GP as a support.

Big hug X

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Your experience is just like mine. I've 2 holter, 2 treadmill tests, 2 X-rays and multiple ecgs. I'm waiting on an echo. But the bottom line is that my doctor said I'm experiencing lots of ectopics (around 3000 per day) and to just ignore them!! Easily said! At times they are worse than others. They make me incredibly anxious and like you said anxiety didn't cause them but they generated it my anxiety. I do feel them sometimes during a run which makes me anxious but I never feel unwell or dizzy. I've told all this to my cardiologist and he said don't worry, try to ignore them! Every chance I get I check my pulse. I will try to avoid stairs because they make my heartbeat more pronounced. I totally understand how you feel.

I hope this can give you some comfort in that you are not alone. I've been experiencing these for two years and like i said some episodes are worse than others. I sometimes worry that I have a more sinister condition than what the doctors can detect. However if I worry constantly my standard of life will deteriorate.

Please get all the tests done that you can to give yourself peace of mind. Don't worry about making regular visits to the doctors - that's what they are there for. I am confident that you will make progress. Ectopics feel awful but after reading these posts it seems like they are very common. Congratulations on your new baby and I hope you can get some solid reassurance.


Please watch this video, it will save your life. It saved mine.


AnxiousBall, I am dealing with similiar issues since July. Serious shortage of breath at times, chest pain, skipped beats (although I never notice the hard beat for eptopic but suppose it must be), dizziness and nausea. I had several episodes where I was randomly struck by an intense pressure in center of my chest, could not breathe and got extremely dizzy and nauseaus. After multiple ER trips since July, all EKG and chest xrays ok. I was put on 10 mg prozac. Seemed like maybe it was helping but when it was raised to 20 mg the skipped beats got much worse. Lowered back down and tried again several weeks later. Same issue. Tried buspar which did not help and then Sertraline which was awful. My doctor finally sent me for an echo (which was fine) and a holter (which I am still waiting to hear back on). In the meantime I went back to 10 mg prozac thinking it would help.I finally stopped the 10 mg of prozac I had been taking. I was on it about 8 weeks this time and my shortness of breath and skipped beats and chest pain were at their worst. I was even starting to wake up at nigh gasping for breath feeling like my heart stopped. I spent days struggling to breathe with a chronic ache in my left chest. It was pointed out if the 20 mg prozac made me worse maybe the 10 was. I stopped taking it and almost immediately (within days) the skipped beats became much less frequent. And after about 5 days the chest pain mostly disappeared. I am, however, back to where I started. I am still having skipped beats and sometimes feels like my heart is barely working or stopping, have trouble breathing then and get immediately dizzy and nauseaus too. I am worried I will die anytime. I am scared to be away from a hospital. I am scared to sleep. I can't work. Everyday is a nightmare. I had no issues before this. Things were going very well. I do not have these attacks in anyway related to anxiety situations. They occur while watching tv at home, in the car looking at a menu to order, laying down for bed. I keep trying to convince myself it is panic attack or anxiety but it doesn't make sense. And when I feel the horrible feeling of feeling like my heart is barely beating and being unable to breathe I cannot help but be scared and anxious about it after. I am terrified that it is a medical issue and I am just ignoring it while we focus on anxiety meds that so far have made me feel worse. Even the ativan they gave me at the hospital made me feel worse. The skipped beats got worse for hours and felt hard to breath. I don't know if this helps to hear at all as I am in same boat with no answers. But I do caution about the meds. I took the 10 mg prozac for about 6 weeks the first time and about 8 the second. Apparently even such a small dose was making me feel ten times worse and I did not even know it. The sertraline was only 25 mg and I knew right away it was worse. I suffered all week and was in and out of ER.


Hi there, I'm in the same boat as you and am an overweight 28 year old female. I have been experiencing palpitations since last year in November. I first started noticing I was getting bad acid reflux then a month later palpitations happened. I had such a bad attack of palpitations at work that my blood pressure had risen to 160 over some number and I cried to work to let me go. I went to the emergency room and they told me my heart was normal. I was also experiencing thumping in my head also and I was certain I was having a heart attack or stroke but they did tests and I was fine. After going to 3 different emergency rooms and bills racking up just so they could tell me I just have anxiety and acid reflux, I decided to call it quits. I went on with having palpitations and the acid reflux. Tried losing weight but didn't seem to get better. Now I'm 40 weeks pregnant and having bad palpitations again and have other symptoms. I plan on seeing someone again after I'm done being pregnant.


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