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Experiencing fast heart beat and breathing difficulty. What is wrong?

Jan 2013
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Answered by

Internal Medicine Specialist
Practicing since : 2003
Answered : 1658 Questions
Every so often I wake from my sleep with extremely fast heart beat and Its hard to breathe. I always think Im gonna die when this happens and then it normalizes,
i go back to sleep and wake in the morning as if nothing happened. What's wrong with me?
Posted Sun, 14 Apr 2013 in Heart Rate and Rhythm Disorders
Answered by Dr. Mayank Bhargava 28 minutes later
Welcome to XXXXXXX forum.

Let me know the associated symptoms along with mentioned.
Do you have fever/ joints pain/ skin lesions/ respiratory distress/ chest pain/ cough with sputum production?
Do you have swelling in feet / dry skin?

Heart beat feeling is known as palpitations.
Palpitations could be due to heart conduction system defect or due to hormonal disorders.
Heart beat originate in SA node and spread to other part of heart by conduction system.
Defect in conduction system may cause missed beats or extra beats for feeling of palpitations.
Palpitations could be due to hormonal disorders such as hypo/ hyperthyroidism, cushings syndrome, pheochromocytoma.

You should consult with XXXXXXX medicine specialist/ cardiologist and should go for thorough check up.
You should go for complete blood count, thyroid profile, serum ACTH level, serum epinephrine and Norepinephrine level, serum electrolytes.
You should also go for electrocardiography, 2 D Echo, electrophysiological studies of heart for better clarification.

Treatment depends on exact diagnosis.

You should take Anti arrhythmic drugs if above prescribed investigations are found to be positive for heart rhythm disturbances.
If above prescribed investigations are found to be normal, then there could be possibility of panic attacks and you should consult with XXXXXXX medicine specialist/ psychiatrist.

Hope that helps.
Let me know your other query.
Take care,
Dr. Mayank Bhargava
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