Discussions By Condition: Cardiovascular disease

Very worried

Posted In: Cardiovascular disease 3 Replies
  • Posted By: LaurenA
  • January 18, 2008
  • 06:47 PM

From past use of the forum, i've seen that there have been numerous postings about symptoms similar to mine, but never enough to answer my questions. So sorry if this seems repetitive!
For the past 4 years ive suffered from the feeling of missed beats (i dont know the official name) but have never been particularly bothered by them. However, the past 6 months i've also suffered from severe palpitations, often waking me from sleep and lasting approximately 5 or 10 minutes, during these i also feel very warm and sweaty. They dont seem to worsen after excercise etc. but start suddenly and rapidly. The missed beats are also more frequent, happening every day or two. Occasionally i also get a strange feeling of a sudden 'rush' to my head when i feel i may pass out for a few minutes, after this passes i feel naseus exhausted and shaky.
I dont drink much, but alcohol does appear to worsen the symptoms. I had an ECG (?) and thyroid and diabetes tests done years ago when the symtoms first started so my doctor wont do them again, is it possible i could have developed something in the last few years?
I have found myself worring severly (to the point of tears) as i know these symptoms can be an indicator of sudden death symptom (as a friend has the condition)
I am a 19 year old female. thanks!

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3 Replies:

  • This sounds very much like paroxysmal supravtricular tachycardia or somethihg very similar. Your symptoms sound very much like my own however PSVT itself is totally harmless and it is usu. diagnosed in adolescents. Unless you have other conditions you need not worry about sudden cardiac arrest. PSVT when it acts up is not fun at all :eek: though there are things you can do to make it stop such as splashing cold water on your face, blowing through a straw, etc. Check out the Valsalva manouver if this doesn't work also you may wanna lay off caffeine and smoking if oyu do any of this. Hope you are feeling better! :)
    Scotticus 20 Replies
    • February 7, 2008
    • 07:28 AM
    • 0
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  • It sounds like the missed beats are due to premature atrial contraction. Your heart has a specialised conduction system originating at your sinoatrial node (pacemaker) in your right atrium which sets the rythm for heart contraction. This then spreads around the atria (cannot spread to the ventricles due to an electrical "barrier" between the atria and ventricles). The only way it can spread to the ventricles is by entering the intraventricular node and spreading via the bundle of HIS, before spreading through the rest of the ventricles. This results in a rythmical contraction of the atria followed closely by the ventricles in normal healthy people. However sometimes "ectopic beats" can occur which is due to the electrical stimulation being triggered somewhere elsewhere than the natural pacemaker. This can be due to ischaemia (damage to the heart), drug actions along with other factors. As a result, electrical stimulation is different to the natural stimulation and symptoms can result. Although ectopic beats can be serious, the form known as premature atrial contraction is commonly found in young people and can result in skipped beats. It is usually benign. As for the palpitations, i agree with the above diagnoses of paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia (paroxysmal tachycardia meaning literally bursts of fast heart rate). This is also frequently a benign condition found in young people. Paroxysmal tachycardia can be caused by so called "re-entrant pathways". Electrical stimulation can flow in any direction in the heart, but normally it does not re-enter areas which have already contracted because there is a so called "refractory period" in cells just contracted, which means that they cannot contract again for a short period of time. This normally means they only contract again in the next beat, where electrical stimulation starts at the pacemaker again). However, if there is an enlarged heart or slow electrical flow, there can be abnormal re-entry of the electrical stimulus to areas which have had time to complete their refractory period. Wheras this can be serious (e.g in the ventricular form), this is obviously not the case as this, if untreated, would result in death within minutes. Therefore i believe that these shouldnt be anything to worry about as it is likely to be benign, but it could also be (though more unlikely) due to an underlying condition. Because of your young age, it is more likely to be benign. I would recommend seeing your doctor again and getting an ECG again as this could confirm my diagnoses. Sorry if the above is too complicated, i would be happy to help if you have any questions. Best of luck
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Blaze you dont have a clue what your talking about, dont listen to him/her. Stop posting that all the wolds problems/diseases are caused by microwave sickness, its rubbish and your being childish.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
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