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    Frightening Heart Rhythm
    Anon_18674 posted:
    I am a 53 y/o female.I have never smoked, stopped caffeine and stopped drinking even a glass of wine many years ago. In my 30's my heart started racing, 180 bpm, out of nowhere. It began one night while I was sleeping. After many doctors, stress tests, several holter and event monitors, Dr's told me tis wan't dangerous. I felt relieves so that when my heart started to race, I was able to calm it down. I was symptom free for a couple of years.The my heart started what I call "flip-flopping". It feels like a balloon rising in my chest, then the flip-flopping begins. It started out mildly, now can happen with most anything I do; climbing stairs, crying, bending over, in a sitting position...too many things to list. I am healthy otherwise, good weight and blood pressure, etc. I have been to cardiologists who tell me not to worry, but I do. It is getting worse, just about daily, sometimes several times a day. An event can last a couple of minutes to what seems like forever (15 minutes or so.). When I describe what the feeling si like to the Dr's, they look at me as though I have two heads. Here is how it happens, it usually starts by what I describe as a balloon filling in my chest, then it "pops" and my heart starts flip-flopping, flutters...not quite sure how to describe it. If I sit down it gets worse, so I stand. It varies as to how long it takes to go back to "normal" rhythm. It causes me to cough, which sometimes helps, but mostly I release air from my chest. It's not burping as with indigestion, it doesn't feel like that. It feels like air coming from my chest and up my throat then the air is released. The release of air seems to continue even after my heart goes back into rhythm. The release of air can go on for hours or throughout the day. I have been through ekg's, event monitors, echo cardiograms, etc. I am told the testing shows the extra beats, an am told not to worry, but I do. I have changed my lifestyle because I never know what will set my heart off. I don't go on any rides with my children, even if I cry over something, it happens. I am so scared and continue to look for answers. When my heart does this it is so scary, I can't even tell you. It brings me to tears. Telling me not to worry isn't taking care of whatever is happening with my heart. My symptoms are increasing, which I have told my cardiologist and primary care. I don't know where to turn. I want to know what could be causing this so I can go back to living my life. I am hoping others may have experienced this and can give me some direction. Thank you for any help you can give me. I am so frightened.
    cardiostarusa1 responded:

    "In my 30s, my heart started racing, 180 bpm, out of nowhere. It began one night while I was sleeping. After many doctors, stress tests, several Holter and event monitors, Drs told me this wasn't dangerous."

    ......"then my heart started what I call "flip-flopping"


    "I have been to cardiologists who tell me not to worry."

    "I have been through ekg's, event monitors, echocardiograms, etc. I am told the testing shows the extra beats"

    "I want to know what could be causing this"

    In general-only here, the most common type of palpitations, premature ventricular contractions (PVCs, heart feels like is flip-flopping, fluttering, skipping or pausing) occurs even in many heart-healthy individuals), has various causes or triggers, cardiac and non-cardiac.

    Most often, PVCs are typically harmless, 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.

    Also, as applicable to the patient, there is a condition known as paroxsymal supraventricular tachycardia (PSVT), which 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 can send the heart into speeds up to 150-200 BPM, and sometimes, even as high as 300 BPM.

    Symptoms that may/can occur with PVCs, SVT, and 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 are no symptoms.

    Best of luck down the road of life.

    Take care,


    WebMD member (since 8/99)



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