Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up
Includes Expert Content
Dr. P - fibromyalgia and heart palpitations?
avatar
scwling posted:
Hi Dr. P, have a question I thought I could direct to you for some advice, guidance?

Over the past few years, I've had increased instances of heart "palpitations". Historically, I have had all the cardio tests (EKGs, CT scans, stress tests, holter monitor, etc.), nothing found.

It also seems lately my fibro "symptoms" have been more severe (last couple of months) and my palpitations sensations also seem to be more prevalent.

Is that typical? And, any insight as to why the palpitations may seem more pronounced when the symptoms flare?

Thanks in advance for any insight/guidance.
Scott
Reply
 
avatar
Anon_10089 responded:
Hello-

I wanted to mention that I have heart palpitations too. I've had the tests and have around 6000 palps in a day--yet according to the doctors, they are benign. I feel like they can add to my fatigue but they don't really cause other problems. They are pretty annoying because I feel every one them.

There's the idea that FM is linked to a disfunction of our autonamic system--which controls things like heart rhythm. I chalk up the palpitations to that.
 
avatar
booch007 responded:
Hey scott,

Palpatations can be from any cell in the heart. Each cell has the ability to make a spark. God made us this way just in case the true electrical sytems fails us.......someone else will take over.

So in saying that, any increase in fight and flight chemistry can tickle these cells to spark (especially iif there is a propensity for this). Most are benign and just annoying to the patient. And the more you worry about them, the more you have.

I also have many...I have had them since my 20's and I am in the cardiology business.....(ironic) Tests are OK. I can have the most dangerous ones and every other beat too...BUT..I am organically fine! For me I get upp and walk around if they are really acting up, staying away from caffiene if first step and again...my savella was a problem in tickling them to be around more. I am doing OK though.

I can monitor myself at anytime. If I every get a run and it doesn't break I will need the ER. But I have not gotten ther ever. So that for you too. If you ever get chest painand palpatations , seek help. If the beats are all in a row or you feel the heart beat is now mainly irregular...yoou need to be seen and ER is the usual.

There is a point where a palpatation can come "just at the wrong time" and put you into an arrythmia that needs medical attention. So I share this info for you.

Dr P I know will cover the autonomic nervous system with you, or you can pick under him in his past discussions and find his words on this. We are the chosen sensitive ones........

But for the most, it is benign and just patient annoying. Good luck....Nancy B
 
avatar
scwling replied to booch007's response:
Hi Nancy, thanks much for the insights.....I do appreciate it!
Scott
 
avatar
Mark Pellegrino, MD responded:
Hi Scott,

I just responded a few minutes ago to your initial post!

You've gotten superb responses to your question; see what I mean about having great fibro friends here?!

As Super-Nurse Nancy B mentioned, I'll discuss the role of the autonomic nerves in heart palpitations.

Fibro causes a dysfunctional autonomic nervous system, esp the part known as the sympathethic nerves. The sympathetic nerves are responsible for our "fight or flight" response. In fibro, the sympathetic nerves have become automatically overactive and hypersensitive due to the way fibro changes our pain responses. Even though the room is actually empty, our fibro autonomic nervous system acts like there's a lion in the room staring us down, blocking the door, licking his chops....

Our response to chronic stress, real or perceived, is driven by the sympathic nerves. Part of their function is to rev up the body, which can include speeding up and "palpitating" the heart. Of course, our bodies try to counteract the sympathetic nerves (via the parasympathetic nerves) and the result is a big autonomic dysfunctional mess, with the sympathetics prevailing.

So many of us with fibro get palpitations as a reminder of our dysfunctional autonomics. When our fibro flares, our sympathetics flare as well. When our fibro is more calm, our sympathetics can still bother us. Certain meds like beta blockers can often help with certain sympathetic-mediated heart rhythm disorders. Your doctor could determine if you are a candidate for any specific treatment for your specific situation.

Hope you have a palpitation-less day!

Dr. P
 
avatar
Kekei7 replied to Mark Pellegrino, MD's response:
I'm really glad someone brought this up. These palpitations can be very unsettling. Thank you so much Dr. P for the explanation, I can relax a little now. It also feels freeing to hear others have the same symptoms as I. Going to try to keep up with this, it's nice to get answers and be able to share our trouble's and fears.


Helpful Tips

~FM TIPS - LIVING W/ FM - TOOLBOX ~WELCOME NEWCOMMERS~
Welcome to Our FMily! My name is MeMe, I'm an FM suffer of 19 years, along with autoimmune diseases & other conditions. ... More
Was this Helpful?
456 of 531 found this helpful

Related News

There was an error with this newsfeed

Related Drug Reviews

  • Drug Name User Reviews

Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.