Getting worried about my palpitations - Arrhythmia Alliance

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Getting worried about my palpitations

purpleviolinist profile image

I’ve had palpitations on and off through my whole life. I’m a 35 year old woman. Recently I’ve become worried about them as they seem to have increased. I noticed they started around PMS time and would happen after exertsion, like hiking or walking. It wasn’t so much during the exercises but more so during the cool off period. I attributed them to my shifting PMS hormones, but my period is off now and I still have them. Because of them, I’ve had panic attacks. After laying down and relaxing, I feel better, but exhausted. I even started taking my labetalol again (I took it during pregnancy for high BP) since I knew beta blockers can help the palpitations. It has actually helped a lot, although a side effect is tiredness which I’ve definitely been feeling. I’m just so scared of what the problem could be and my anxiety doesn’t help. I’ve read all kinds of things from atrial fibrillation to pulmonary embolisms. I have an appointment with my doc tomorrow. I’m just terrified about dying : (

13 Replies

Hello, and welcome!

I'm sorry to read how worried you are and hope your doctor's appointment goes well tomorrow.

If you are very anxious, it is all too easy for a doctor to attribute palpitations to anxiety or panic attacks and this can happen. On the other hand, if your doctor takes a very serious view and sends you off for tests, that can be very worrying too. Anxiety and palpitations go hand in hand. It helps if you can come to terms with the palpitations and avoid stress.

Having a dodgy or fast rhythm is an electrical quirk rather than having something wrong with your heart, or heart disease. It may - in time - affect your heart but it can take many years before that occurs. I've atrial fibrillation occasionally now, but was only diagnosed with it about seven years ago and my heart has been on the blink since about 1990 when I was in my early forties. I don't feel I have got much worse over the years and don't feel very threatened by it.

I hope this is helpful.

TinCool profile image
TinCool in reply to

I've had two cardio versions for atrial fibrillation in the past 5 years (I'm 41 male), and I suffered palpitations daily for best part of 3 months after the 2nd cardioversion which was done at beginning of October gone. Some days I'd have a few hundred. I found them extremely worrying and no doubt worrying about them just added to it. I tried the best I could to relax, which is difficult with 2 young boys, one of which having autism and special needs.

What I found helped was taking a mangnesium supplement every morning along with a few baths a week using magnesium salts. I totally switched off over the christmas period and for the past 5 or so days I've been palpitation free. I even had a few beers over the festive season which did me no harm. It could merely have been a coincidence that my heart has finally settled back down after being shocked again last October, or relieving my stress or both.

I don't know how long that will last, but fingers crossed. Having had an echocardiogram and halter monitor it was concluded that there was nothing wrong physically with my heart. I am awaiting the referral to my cardiologist, but I haven't feel this happy about myself for some months as I do now.

The advice I'd offer is try not to worry about them as it will just add to them. I'd also suggest you get as much sleep as you can, cut down on caffeine or if you drink sugary caffeinated drinks etc but most of all just try and relax and take time out for yourself. Best of luck!

My son is also autistic and that has been a huge stressor lately with getting him back into therapy having been out for a few weeks. It’s definitely a lot! I have my appointment this afternoon so I’m hoping I get something out of it. Just trying not to psych myself up too much until then, since I know it will only make things worse. If they do an ECG, it probably won’t be today. Which sucks because it will then be another round of anticipating follow up appointments. I guess we’ll see. But I’m glad you’ve been able to live freely. Knowing that there’s actually nothing wrong with your heart is huge weight off your shoulders! I think I could deal with this a lot better if I knew that.

I understand that kind of stress. We are in the midst of re-applying for an EHCP for our son. The first application at the end of the previous school year was rejected as the school's SENCO did not provide sufficient evidence that the measures they had put in place did not meet our son's needs. We resubmitted in November and we have now gotten past the first hurdle whereby the council are going to conduct an assessment.

If you do have to wear a halter monitor, I'm sure they'll find that physically your heart is fine. It'll most likely be electrical rather than plumbing. Best of luck and let us know how you get on at the drs.

Oh my. My son is still only 2.5 and I am dreading when he starts going to school, for so many reasons!

My appointment went well for the most part. My BP was high, which I figured it would be. He did not even give me an EKG.

Perhaps he felt I didn’t need one based on what I was telling him. But he did prescribe me atenolol (a different beta blocker) and a water pill. Hopefully they help, especially since high BP is a whole other anxiety inducing story. I’ll go back for a 2 week follow up.

You are not going to die. I have had them since 17 years old and now 63 and have thought I was going to die thousands of times, so all of my panics and anxiety were wasted. Try having a dose of Gaviscon antacid when you have them. It has taken a long time but it makes me feel a lot better. Cheers from Cliff in Australia.

Kristy75 profile image
Kristy75 in reply to Cliffo23

Hello Cliffo23,

I’ve been having PVCs off and in since 2016. Had ecg, stress test done in dec if 2018, ultra sound done and all came back normal. Now I’m having PVCs PACs for the last couple of months. Nothing seems to help. I’ve increased my MG and K. K is at a 3.9. But they are so frequent about 8-15 every minute. I’m very anxious about them and I’m waiting once again to see my cardiologist. Unfortunately with all the tests in the past including a 24 hr holter my PVCs had subsided because it takes so long to be seen. I hope they go away again but it’s awful this time around. I’m scared to exercise etc. Can you offer any more advice or anyone else who may see this. It’s my first post. I saw Gaviscon. How quickly does it tend to work to know that it will help. Thanks again!

Cliffo23 profile image
Cliffo23 in reply to Kristy75

Hi Kristy when mine got frequent I always found a dose of Gaviscon then waiting a while would work wonders. Also, when they get frequent, taking several deep breaths then forcing a really deep strong cough would put the heart back into rhythm immediately.

Regards Cliff

Cliffo23 profile image
Cliffo23 in reply to Kristy75

I know how you feel. Years ago I was in for an ablation but after 2 hours in the prep room while they got the equipment ready, I didn't get a single PVC while on the table. Frustrating. But the two suggestions above have really drilled down the symptoms.

Regards Cliff again.

Kristy75 profile image
Kristy75 in reply to Cliffo23

I will be headed out today for some Gavison. I’ll do anything at this point! Thank you for replying. I’m constantly wondering if it’s something more this time. I’m in Canada and wait times are very long to see specialists. I keep telling myself I’m not really short of breath and don’t have chest pain. Never again will I take my heart beating normally for granted!

Kristy75 profile image
Kristy75 in reply to Cliffo23

It must have been so hard having your hopes up then being told they wouldn’t do anything to fix the problem! So frustrating!

Cliffo23 profile image
Cliffo23 in reply to Kristy75

I find that within half an hour the symptoms were settling dramatically. Stay upright during this time. I think part of our problem is stimulation of the vagus nerve, hence the improvement after Gaviscon.

Cliffo23 profile image
Cliffo23 in reply to Cliffo23

On New year's Day at 4a.m. I was almost ready to slit my wrists because my PVC's were so bad. The night before, farmer Dave down the road had treated all of his guests to his home made plum brandy. It was this deadly stuff that caused my episode. But half an hour after Gaviscon I was back to normal.

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