Can hormonal problems cause palpitations and ectopic heartbeats?

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Posted on Wed, 17 Jun 2015 in Hypertension and Heart Disease
Question: Hi doctor I have had several tests done by cardiologists regarding my heart. Everything comes back structurally normal. No arythmia detected and I passed all my stress tests. I do suffer from anxiety and I get palpitations and etopic beats (pacs) very few pvcs. My cardiologists insist this is due to anxiety and my heart is very healthy.

I am very confused because I feel like I have a hormonal problem that is affecting my heart or causing symptoms. Could it be my adrenal glands? I am so confused because they tell me I'm fine but I don't feel fine. My heart races with small exertion and I also get moments of slight bradycardia. Please help
doctor
Answered by Dr. Benard Shehu 3 hours later
Brief Answer:
Following advice...

Detailed Answer:
Hi XXXX!
I read your query very carefully.

It's a good sign that your cardiac examinations were normal. These excludes any cardiac causes for your symptoms.

Patients with adrenal gland disorders has different symptoms that what you are experiencing. This is why your symptoms are more typical for patients with anxiety (compared with patients with hormonal imbalance).

However to definitely exclude adrenal gland and hormonal imbalance you may run a hormonal panel tests and abdominal ultrasound.

Hope this was of help!
Wish your health!
Dr. Shehu
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Benard Shehu 24 minutes later
Hi doctor thank you for getting back to me. I had an abdominal ultrasound d 2 months ago and everything came back normal. I know anxiety can play a big role in causing all kinds of symptoms regarding the heart. However is all this adrenalin that I get because of anxiety going to damage my heart? I have had so many tests done this year including tests for my liver because I had a fatty liver for 10 years because I was overweight. This past year I lost 85 lbs and my fatty liver is gone. Doctor can't believe how healthy I am. Including XXXXXXX blood work. Before losing weight she said I was prediabetic, I had a little bit of elevated cholesterol and higher blood pressure. Since losing all the weight everything has disappeared and all my tests show I'm healthy but I still have the etopic beats and palpitations. Is this all anxiety or do I need further invasive or more detailed testing on my heart.

In the past year I have had 2 Echocardiogram 2 stress tests 2 48 hour holter and several ecgs

I am leaving tonight for a trip for 4 days. I will be training some cooks and I just want to be able to enjoy myself without worrying. The city where I am going doesn't have a hospital close by. It is a 30 minute drive. Do you think I need to be closer to a hospital and will I be ok?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Benard Shehu 10 hours later
Brief Answer:
Following advice.

Detailed Answer:
Hi back,

Anxiety alone may be responsible for excesive adrenaline release and on a long term for cardiac events (after 30 years or so). This is why anxiety disorders especially depresion is considered an independent risk factor for heart problems in the future.

Moreover this is the reason why I insist on suggesting you to stay calm and to stop over thinking about those palpitations. You should continue with CBT, healthy lifestyle, exercise and recreational activities in order to reduce anxiety. This will reduce the risk of future cardiac problems.

Meantime I strongly suggest to go for the training sessions and don't worry nothing is going to happen to you. Stay calm and focus on your job.

Wish you health!
Dr. Shehu

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Benard Shehu 3 hours later
Hi doctor thank you for your reply. I really appreciate your help. Do you think that the palpitations and bradycardia are occurring to me now because of damage done over time by anxiety? I don't understand why every doctor says that anxiety is harmless and can not hurt you when in time it can damage your heart. I am trying my best to stay relaxed I guess it's just a little difficult when I have to travel.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Benard Shehu 2 hours later
Brief Answer:
Following advice.

Detailed Answer:
Hi back,

You shouldn't worry your heart is normal and no damage was founded on cardiac examinations. The increased risk as i mentioned is for the long term i.e. after 30 years.

As I said above anxiety is a risk factor for heart disease and doesn't directly cause any damage.

Wish you health!
Dr. Shehu
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Benard Shehu 2 days later
 This morning I was sitting on the couch and I could feel an irregular heart beat. It was very strange because I didn't feel anything weird I could feel my body tensing up like it was anxiety and then I checked my heart rate with my fingers and it was very strange. I could feel fast beats followed by some slower beats approximately 5 or 6 then faster again. It felt like my heart was struggling to beat for those slower beats. I did not have any feeling like an etopic beat. The slower beats are really scaring me. I ate pretty late last night before bed and I could feel I did not digest properly. What could this be? I'm so scared my heart will stop
doctor
Answered by Dr. Benard Shehu 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
Following advice...

Detailed Answer:
Hi back,

My opinion is that your symptoms are caused from gastric indigestion (acid reflux or GERD). Gastic indigestion, cause stomach distention and may trigger arrhythmia alone (in the absence of anxiety, or stress).

As long as your cardiac exams were normal you shouldn't worry about cardiac arrest and other complications.

My suggestion is to stay relaxed and try to avoid eating at least 3 hours before going to bed (eat evening at around 06:00 p.m). by doing so you will prevent acid reflux, stomach indigestion and arrhythmia.

Hope this will be of help!
Wish you health!
Dr. Shehu
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Benard Shehu 17 minutes later
Doctor thank you for your reply. Acid reflux can cause this type of irrelegular heart beat? It seemed this time like the arythmia caused anxiety. Do you think it I ls afib or something worse or just etopic beats? How would I know? Are there characteristics of a worse arythmia that I would be able to tell if there was danger? Also you said as long as all tests were normal than there is no risk for heart failure. Is it possible after all these tests my cardiologist both missed something ?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Benard Shehu 15 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Following advice...

Detailed Answer:
Hi back,

You should stay relaxed. It's almost impossible that with the progress of technology and of our knowledge on cardiology to miss something. You have a normal heart and nothing will happen.

As i said earlier to you, stomach issues like acid reflux and stomach indigestion may alone cause arrhythmias that on the other hand may cause you a panic attack (anxiety attack). Your symptoms aren't suggestive for atrial fibrillations.

My suggestion is to stay relaxed and take an antacid tablets (malox) together with PPI (omeprasole) to relieve stomach issues. If the thing seems to getting worse than you may go to ER in order to relieve your anxiety.

Wish you health!
Dr. Shehu
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Benard Shehu 19 minutes later
Hi doctor. Do you believe another ecg is necessary? I know if the symptoms pass the ecg usually won't catch anything.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Benard Shehu 18 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Following advice...

Detailed Answer:
Hi back,

An ECG will be of help. This is why I suggested to go to ER (there will record the ECG), if normal this will help to relax you.

If something abnormal will be present than we may talk together about next steps.

Wish you health!
Dr. Shehu
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
Answered by
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Dr. Benard Shehu

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Practicing since :2004

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