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Should I be worried?
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SomeLuckyKid posted:
Hello, thank you all for taking the time to read this.

I have a little bit of a story to tell, in order to get you all acquainted with the history of something that has worried me for a little over a decade now. I am a 6'2" Caucasian male, 22 years of age, and fat, really fat actually (350+).

This all began when I was younger, roughly 12 years old. I was heavy set back then, but very active playing Racquetball and Football. I had a somewhat decent diet of home made food, ate my vegetables, but knew where the cokes and ice cream were. I began having these chest pains in the morning. Nothing super serious, I never felt my heart skip a beat. It felt like my chest was super tight, and for the 30 seconds or so that it lasted it was hard to breathe. It never lasted too long, and never hurt after it went away. This happened almost every morning, only in the morning, so I shrugged it off as some growing pain.

However by the time I was 16, I noticed that this pain had evolved into something far worse than what it started as. I began feeling my heart literally pause for a full second, before releasing what I can only describe as one hard beat. Like it had to summon some extra strength to get that particular beat to go through. This was followed by a weaker sensation of when I was 12, tightening and mild loss of breath. It never was longer than one beat, and it did not hurt a lot after it passed. This would happen maybe, 2-5 times a month and was not limited to the morning at all.

My family has a pretty rough heart disease history, so my mom made me go to my pediatrician and he gave me a full string of tests from blood work to an ekg* I believe. However during these tests, the "episode" did not happen and the doctor said I was healthy as a horse, just needed to lose some weight.

I knew that was not correct, but did not want to make it a bigger issue than it was. By the time I was 20, it had gotten far worse. The tight sensation has mostly disappeared, but the hard beat was more pronounced and followed by a fluttering feeling, as if my heart forgot its own rhythm. These episodes happen far more often, 2-4 times a week. But something new also started. After my heart decides to go hulk rage on me, I have a sudden loss of hearing in one of my ears (90% left ear, 10% right ear, never at the same time). I will hear a sudden ringing sound, followed by 10-20 seconds of total deafness in the ear with hearing fully restored shortly after with more ringing. I notice that they tend to happen just after the heart thing. It is mostly the left ear, but has happened on the right a few times.

Now I am 22, on my way to 23. The heart throb is far worse now and typically lasts 30 seconds+ every time. There will be a hard throb, followed by flutters, another hard throb, etc. This can happen 3-4 times in quick succession. After it is over, the fluttery feeling lasts a bit and my chest gets a little bit tight like when I was young, like there is not enough space in there. This is why I am worried, it is getting worse. I will go into a little family history.

Grandfather, mothers side: Died in late 30's having a chamber in his heart burst, was active and healthy. Tended his farm.

Grandfather, dads side: Died late 50's to sudden heart attack, not that healthy but tough guys.

Uncle, moms side: Had quadruple bypass in late 30's, was healthy but drank a lot.

Aunt, moms side: Had mild heart attack and required 3 stents. Multiple health problems.

My family has a strong history of High blood pressure, diabetes, and cancer. I am currently diagnosed with none, but I know I have high blood pressure but not diabetes.

When these things happen, I stand, take deep breaths, and get scared. Adrenaline kicks in and I seem to be ok shortly after. I never get light headed or dizzy, just partial deafness. I have no stress issues.
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billh99 responded:
Those symptoms certainly need checking out.

One of the test that a cardiologist can do is a holter or event monitor.

That is a small (about the size of a pack of cigarettes) that you wear for a period of time. You will make notes of when you are feeling the symptoms and doctor can look at the monitor data to see what the heart was doing at that time.
 
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cardiostarusa1 responded:
Hi:

"I began feeling my heart literally pause for a full second, before releasing what I can only describe as one hard beat".

......"but the hard beat was more pronounced and followed by a fluttering feeling......"

"The heart throb is far worse now and typically lasts 30 seconds every time. There will be a hard throb, followed by flutters, another hard throb, etc. This can happen 3-4 times in quick succession."

As applicable, the most common type of palpitations, premature ventricular contractions (PVCs, occurs even in many heart-healthy individuals), described that the heart is flip-flopping, fluttering, jumping, pausing or stopping briefly (though it's actually not doing that), pounding, skipping, thumping, or strong, hard, or forceful beats being felt in the chest, neck, throat, has various causes (cardiac and non-cardiac) or triggers.

As reported, 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 when sustained ventricular tachycardia (runs of PVCs over 30 seconds) occurs.

Also, non-sustained ventricular tachycardia (NSVT, runs of PVCs under 30 seconds, but typically not salvos) may/can become serious as well if it occurs frequently (episodes are grouped closely/tightly together).

Additionally, of the various types/kinds of heart conditions, symptoms may/can be acute (occurring suddenly), be chronic (occurring over a long period of time), come and go (be transient, fleeting or episodic) or even be silent.

Lose weight sensibly.

Best of luck down the road of life. Live long and prosper.

Take care,

CardioStar*

WebMD member (since 8/99)

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MedicineNet

Palpitations

http://www.medicinenet.com/Palpitations/article.htm

eHealthMD

Palpitations

http://www.ehealthmd.com/library/palpitations/PAL_whatis.html
Learn about the heart's delicate and precise electrical conduction system

Animated Tutorial

http://www.your-doctor.com/healthinfocenter/medical-conditions/cardiovascular/conductiontutorial.html

Heart Rhythm Society

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http://www.hrspatients.org/patients

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The Heart: (Human Anatomy) Pictures, Definition, Location in the Body and Heart Problems

http://www.webmd.com/heart/picture-of-the-heart

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http://www.heartsite.com

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How to Understand and Use the Nutrition Facts Label

USFDA

People look at food labels for different reasons. But whatever the reason, many consumers would like to know how to use this information more effectively and easily.....

http://www.fda.gov/Food/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/NFLPM/ucm274593.htm
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Heart-Healthy Foods

AVOID foods high in saturated fat and cholesterol. CHOOSE skim or low-fat milk, low-fat yogurt and reduced-fat cheeses. Eat more fish and poultry. LIMIT servings to five to seven ounces a day. TRIM visible fat. Limit egg yolks. SUBSTITUTE two egg whites for one whole egg or use an egg-substitute. Eat more fruits and vegetables, whole grains, breads and cereals. USE LESS salt and fat. SEASON WITH herbs and spices rather than with sauces, gravies and butter

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Choosing a Weight-Loss Program

http://www.webmd.com/diet/guide/choosing-weight-loss-program

The Diet Channel

http://www.thedietchannel.com

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