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Heart rate too fast

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
Hi everyone,

About 2 years ago I got checked out by the docs as I was having palpitations. They put me on an ECG for 24 hours and decided I had tachicardia (i think) basicaly my heart beats faster than most peoples. Their advice wasn't exactly great.

Try to avoid stress (easier said than done)
Dont go the gym (makes sense but dissapointing to hear)
Stop trying to quit smoking (wtf?!)

As I have previously passed out because of this heart condition about a year and a half ago and one other time, I changed my lifestyle to help things. I didnt want to end up back at the docs so stopped drinking on nights out, stopped exercising, eventualy i did quit smoking for 10 months with an easy withdrawal free method, and also havent had a boyfriend for a year which meant sex has been off the cards (and also stress lol)

Recently I've started hooking up with a friend of mine, and work got a bit stressful lately. As a result my hearts been playing up, beating too fast, been feeling light headed, switching between hot and cold and shaking, suffering depression when i have a bad case of it and had no energy, sleeping excessivly at weekends trying to recover for the next week.

I spent last night with my friend, after a fun session in bed my heart rate was obviously higher and as a result I was shaking. I had a cigarette and some fresh air, a few deep breaths to try and calm down a bit. In the end I went light headed and passed out. Luckily this time I was in a carpeted room, so no major damage done. :)

I just cant believe I've gotten this bad again, I have an appointment booked for the docs on tue to see if there is anything they can do or some better advice they can give. But I dont have any faith in my docs, does anyone know of ANYTHING that may help me? Even just exercises that will help to reduce my heart rate when i have a bad attack? I've done the usual deep breaths and I run my wrists under a cold tap to try and cool down, but in work its difficult to take time to stop, im also a bugger for trying to power through as I hate knowing that I have a heart problem so young.

Also does anyone know what this may mean for me for the future? Am I more prone to heart attacks? Should I expect a shorter life span? I live alone so I'm now scared that if I pass out I'm going to be pretty helpless. I've been lucky in that I've had company to pick me up off the floor when its happened so far, but i dont know what i can do to help myself. :(

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It sounds like, and i'm not a doc :), fibrillation. This is where the heart beats but doesn't pump blood which would explain the dizziness and passing out (no blood pumping = less oxygen to ya noggin hence the symptoms).

    You certainly need to see some kind of cardiologist. I doubt a GP would be able to properly diagnose and treat the condition, whatever it is.

    If it is fibrillation, a quick looky onn the interwebs says though a serious condition (as it's affecting a major organ) it's treatable and controlable even though you may have it for a long time.

    http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Atrial-fibrillation/Pages/Introduction.aspx
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Thanks rubberskin, it does sound very similar. Or at least im experiencing those symptoms. I'm just so dissapointed that my docs havent bothered with me. I always hate going as I feel brushed off.

    Looking into it further, they usualy find this with an ECG which i had over a year ago now. So i wonder if it could be something else. Or just lazy docs not reading my results right :impissed:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I had tachicardia in 2007, I was already in hospital for something else when they discovered it. They just monitered my heartrate daily, they didn't do anything else for it and I wasn't given any advice like stay out the gym (I would definately not be impressed if they said that!). You also can get it from heavy bleeding as I think mine was self-harm related maybe, that's what the doctors said.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    well i went to the docs, blood pressure normal, the quick ecg they did was normal, and im waiting for blood results now which im pretty sure are gona come back normal. Something tells me im going to get no where with this.

    I need to find a way to sort myself out. The nurse suggested light exercise, maybe yoga will help. I was looking at maybe taking up meditation, gona stop smoking, and ill be changing jobs soon which im now hoping to god will be less stress rather than more. Otherwise i dont know what else i can do.

    What a sinking feeling though, the doc said "It could just be that this is just how your body reacts to things" surely passing out is an issue? :(
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hi redlucy,

    Sound's frustrating for you. If you are not happy with the advice and outcome of your visit to the GP, you are entitled to get a second opinion. This page may help. Or you could contact the PALS (Patient Advice & Liaison Service) team that will be able to advise you on how to pursue your concerns further.

    You've spoke about a few positive changes that you plan to make, hopefully they will help improve things too.

    Keep posting and take care - :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Thanks harry23, but at this point there is no reason to get a second opinion. if results show nothing then they show nothing. I'm just going to have to keep bugging them untill they do the right tests. Just a shame when it means so much time out of work, and the waiting lists etc
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    If you feel that you are not being give the right tests, then the PALS service is there to help with that kind of thing. You can communicate via email or letter too - so you could do it in your own time.

    Good luck and take care :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I got told I had tachycardia while I was in labour. There are different types, depending on cause, and whether the beats are irregular and fast, or just fast, plus where in the heart the irregularities are starting. Some types are a variant of normal - for example, when you're scared and your heart pounds, that's tachycardia, but obv not anything to worry about. Other types are lethal. But even then, there's a scale. It says in my discharge notes I have ventricular tachycardia, which if you google, makes you do this --> :shocking: but obviously I have a mild form, cause I was discharged without treatment.

    I would feel reassured by the fact you have had ECGs and they haven't shown anything too sinister. Passing out is pretty scary, but not necessarily anything to worry about too much, other than the fact you might fall and hurt yourself! I'd definitely go back to the docs and ask if you can be referred to a specialist if it'll put your mind at rest, but I wouldn't get overly worried while you're waiting :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I don't suppose you had a viral illness shortly before these symptoms first appeared, did you? Flu or something like that?

    I had a series of terrifying episodes of palpitations / dizzy spells that lasted for about a year following a bout of flu. For the first couple of weeks, they were so bad that I dared not leave the house. My GP was pretty useless. He diagnosed stress, depression, an allergy, Pavlov's Dog Syndrome, and put me on anti-depressants, antihistamines, and beater-blockers, all to no avail. The symptoms subsided slightly so that I could return to work, but sometimes my heart would race shortly after eating, and sometimes I would feel faint or dizzy at night in bed, and feel that my heart had stopped! After many visits to the GP, a new doctor at the practice referred me to the hospital for a 24-hr ECG recording and a heart scan but, by this time, my symptoms had all but disappeared, so I had a feeling they wouldn't find anything abnormal.

    I never bothered to go back to the GP for the results but a few months later I saw a different doctor about something else. She opened my file and, finding the hospital's letter on the top, asked me what my symptoms had been. Instead of rubbishing my story, as the other doctors had tended to do, she said that "post viral myocarditis" was quite a common syndrome occurring after flu, but that it was difficult to diagnose as the symptoms often cleared up on their own. If only one of the other doctors had said that. It would have saved me months of worry. :nervous:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    never had any viral illnesses. to be honest i dont get sick, havent had a day off in over a year now. this seems to be the only thing im suffering.

    i have to wonder if it could be all in my head with them finding nothing on my tests so far, and being frustrated with it making me feel worse. perhaps im just over reacting to things, strage though as im normaly so laid back but things have really started to irritate me lately. i dont know if being irritated is causing it or it is causing these irritations. :confused:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Your symptoms and the attitude of your doctors do sound very familiar. Remember that not everyone who has flu shows symptoms - as we were all endlessly reminded when swine flu was around. So it is still possible that your tachycardia might be a post viral effect.

    My father died of a heart problem. So, in my case, although the symptoms had subsided anyway by that time, I was enormously grateful to the ultrasound doctor who showed me my perfectly normal heart pumping away. The last symptoms cleared up completely after about 18 months in 2001 and, touch wood, I have never had any recurrence.

    The other thing that might be relevant to you, is that I used to faint a lot during my 20's and 30's. The causes were fairly obvious: jamming my thumb in the fly-wheel of my mum's ancient sewing machine, watching some particularly graphic news coverage of the Clapham rail disaster, biting through my lip and then examining the damage in the mirror .... My (ex)husband used to panic when it happened because I almost always had a little fit while I was unconscious. So he insisted that I be checked out by a neurologist. In the event, the neurologist said that my fainting/fitting was actually quite common and I would grow out of it. Luckily, again touch wood, I did.

    I wish you well.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    redlucy wrote: »
    I spent last night with my friend, after a fun session in bed my heart rate was obviously higher and as a result I was shaking. I had a cigarette and some fresh air, a few deep breaths to try and calm down a bit. In the end I went light headed and passed out. Luckily this time I was in a carpeted room, so no major damage done. :)
    Nicotine is a stimulant, so surely smoking a cigarette is a bad idea?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Nicotine is a stimulant, so surely smoking a cigarette is a bad idea?

    yeh i know, it does apear to be the thing that tipped me over the edge that night. Quiting is on my list to do. I did quit for 8 months but it seemed to make no difference. I took it back up again as it acted as sort of a placebo for calming me down when i was stressed with work. I should know better though.
    In the event, the neurologist said that my fainting/fitting was actually quite common and I would grow out of it.

    This is what i was hoping for, as my sister used to pass out when she was my age, but that was down to low blood pressure which i havent got. And my nan used to suffer palpitations also but nothing major came of it.

    I'm just hating that little things are setting me off and im tired of sitting on the floor in the toilets in work. The guy im seeing was scared to touch me in case it happened again, I hate everyone seeing me as fragile.

    One thing i have noticed and i dont know if its normal, once iv recovered i seem to have twice the engery and enthusiasm for things, sort of one extreem to the other, i have to force myself to take time out even though i dont feel i need to so i dont go overboard. :confused:
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