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    Worried about possible symptoms
    Desmod posted:
    For probably about the past few years, i'd have an occassional heart palpitation when i exerted myself too much or with lack of sleep. Though lately (Over the past few months), i have been getting an occassional racing heartbeat that sometimes might last a few minutes.

    Just recently over last weekend it seemed like i was having a more serious one (That lasted about an hour), which ended up with me going to the E.R. The doctors did EKG's and X-Rays and saw no problems, but wanted me to get a stress test done the following week. They also said it was likely either stress, or from my diet, drinking of caffiene and lack of exercise.

    It seemed like over the past week, sometimes during the day i'd have a spell where i feel a bit lightheaded and dizzy, but not accompanied by any heart racing or anything. I had the stress test yesterday along with a sonogram and was able to run for about 6 minutes, and my heart rate hit about 180-190. The doctor said there was nothing that seemed seriously abnormal.

    Havent gotten the results back yet from the cardiologist, but i'm just worried that there might be something they missed? It never seems like i have the full blown dizziness or heart racing attacks when i'm under observation (Except for the E.R visit where my heart rate was at about 120-130 bpm). And i also get an occassional jolt of chest pain, or a bit of tightness which i told the doctors about but they didnt see any reason to worry.

    Could it be stress related like they claimed? For the past 2 weeks i have been getting much more sleep and drinking more water/fluids, but i still seemed to get more of the attacks in the past week. And i had an attack similar to the one that i went to the E.R for, but after drinking water and resting for about 30 minutes it went away.
    cardiostarusa1 responded:

    "Could it be stress related"

    It may/could be. Stress can cause various symptoms, even wreaking havoc on the entire body.

    In general, the most common type of palpitations, premature ventricular contractions (PVCs, occurs even in many heart-healthy individuals), has various causes or triggers, cardiac and non-cardiac in origin.

    Often, PVCs are typically harmless (benign), be it isolated (single), couplets (2-in-row), triplets (3-in-a-row) or salvos (short bursts of 3 or more in-a-row), bigeminy (occurring every other beat), trigeminy (occurring every third beat), quadrigeminy (occurring every fourth beat), etc., etc.

    However, the main problem or concern (even more so, much more emphasized for those with certain major or serious heart conditions) with PVCs is if/when sustained ventricular tachycardia (runs of PVCs over 30 seconds) occurs.

    PVCs may/can occur with/in the presence of bradycardia (heart rate under 60 BPM), tachycardia (heart rate over 100 BPM).

    Symptoms that may/can occur wih PVCs includes none at all or chest pain/discomfort/pressure/tightness, difficulty breathing, lightheadedness/dizziness, and in uncommon to rare cases, near-syncope or syncope (temporary loss of consciousness, includes fainting and passing out).

    Additionally, as applicable, there is a condition commonly known as supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) or paroxsymal supraventricular tachycardia (PSVT), which has various causes (or triggers), though sometimes it can be deemed as "idiopathic", no known cause, cause unknown.

    PSVT typically causes a frightening burst/surge in heart/pulse rate that begins/starts and ends/stops suddenly (hence the term paroxsymal), which can last for just mere seconds or it can continue on for minutes to hours to days.

    SVT is a broad term that includes various forms of an arrhythmia originating above (supra) the ventricles (the heart's lower pumping chambers). SVT can send the heart into speeds up to 150-200 BPM, and sometimes, even as high as 300 BPM.

    SVT/PSVT typically does not damage the heart, is typically not serious or life-threatening in a structurally normal heart, though some symptoms that may/can occur can surely make one feel/think otherwise.

    Symptoms that may/can occur with SVT, PSVT includes chest pain/discomfort/pressure/tightness, shortness of breath, lightheadedness/dizziness, and in uncommon to rare cases, syncope (temporary loss of consciousness, which includes passing out or fainting). Sometimes there can be no symptoms at all.

    Additionally, of the different types of heart conditions, various symptoms may/can be acute (occurring suddenly), be chronic (occurring over a long period of time), come and go (be transient, fleeting or episodic (such as an irregular heartbeat, requiring the use of a Holter monitor or event recorder at home and during daily activities) or even be silent.

    Best of luck down the road of life.

    Take care,


    WebMD member (since 8/99)



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