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Smoking addiction, have chest pain, skipped heart beats, shortness of breath, neck stiffness. Diagnosed with abnormality in heart. What could it be?

HHi my name is Michelle I m 18 for years iv had skipping heart beats when I was younger I would have them back to back they slowed as I got older iv always had really bad anxiety , attacks in depression , well recently iv been having a chest pains in heart skipping beats in losing my breath in also bad anxiety, attacks in pressure in chest when to the doctor. They told me I have a slightly different in large heart something I could live with but iv been having kneck stiffness also what can this be oh in I also smoke
Asked On : Fri, 13 Jul 2012
Answers:  2 Views:  48
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Diseases and Conditions
Internal Medicine Specialist 's  Response
Hi Laron,
With your history I think you are having dilated cardiomyopathy.
These hearts are bigger and bulky than normal hearts but tend to make irregular beats and cause palpitation.
I think you should consult your cardiologist, get an ECG, ECHO, Cardiac enzymes done.
You would need some regular medicines to be taken for life like beta-blockers, dose of which your doctor will know.
Smoking is dangerous in your case and can potentially precipitate arrhythmia- wrong heart beats.
I wish a great health for you.
Answered: Fri, 13 Jul 2012
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General & Family Physician Dr. Aparna Kohli's  Response
Hi Michelle,
Thanks for writing in.
There are some conditions where the heart could be enlarged and there could be such symptoms as well. But I am inclined to consider that the anxiety is strongly contributing to your symptoms. So we need to take care of both. Anxiety can be reduced by deep breathing, exercise and talking with a therapist. The treatment of the large heart would depend on what they identify the cause to be .
I dont think neck stiffness is related. It can be due to a spasm. So warm compresses and wearing a neck collar will help.
Also, you will need to stop smoking. A larger heart means that your ability to deal with stress is low. So we cant really afford to damage it as it may or may not be able to compensate.
hope this helps
Answered: Fri, 13 Jul 2012
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