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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Suggest treatment for intermittent heart palpitations and breathlessness

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Dr. Ilir Sharka

Cardiologist

Practicing since :2001

Answered : 5604 Questions

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Posted on Thu, 24 May 2018 in Hypertension and Heart Disease
Question: for years I've had times where my heart beats a little hard irradically. I never know when this will happen or how long it will last. Lately the palpatations have been getting harder and sometimes makes it hard to breathe. I went to the cardiologist that comes to my small town. He gave me a monitor about the size of a cell phone. I was supposed to put it to my heart when I had an episode. The problem was the monitor was loud and needed to be placed a specific way or it wouldn't record. It beeped really loud for a whole minute straight. Well needless to say, I was never able to record any episodes the whole month. Isn't there newer technology? This monitor looked like it was from the early 90's. Seriously, I was shocked when they gave it to me.

He ordered an EKG. After reviewing it he told me I was fine and didn't need to come back. Of course I had many more episodes as soon as I turned the monitor back in. I need a second opinion.

I work out 2-5x a week. I'm pretty active. But I'm a little nervous about having heart problems. I'm not quite sure what I should do.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Ilir Sharka 51 minutes later
Brief Answer:
I would explain as follows:

Detailed Answer:
Hello!

Welcome on HCM!

I passed carefully through your question and would explain that in order to investigate better if your heart palpitations and erratic heart beat feelings are due to cardiac arrhythmic events, the best way would be to undergo ambulatory ECG monitoring.

Coming to this point, the applied technology would depend on the frequency of your palpitations:

- If you experience frequent ectopic beats, palpitations, let's say every 2 days or frequent times during a week, a 48 hours to one week Holter monitoring would be more suitable. The recent technology offers small devices attached to skin electrodes and you can take them everywhere without limiting your physical activity and without being alert of pressing any buttons. They don't make noises. You just need to be careful and not to detach the electrodes during the entire monitoring period.

- But if your palpitations are not so frequent, and you can feel them, let's say once in a month or even more rarely, a loop recorder, implanted under your skin for several months could detect these episodes.

I would also recommend performing some blood lab tests to investigate for any possible metabolic causes which may lead to palpitations:

- complete blood count for anemia
- thyroid hormone levels for thyroid dysfunction
- blood electrolytes for possible electrolyte imbalance.

Hope you will find this answer helpful!

Kind regards,

Dr. Iliri
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Ilir Sharka 1 hour later
Dr. Sharka,
Thank you for the advice. I appreciate your help. I haven't been told of the other options, so this is great.

I can rule out thyroid problems as I just had a full thyroid panel test done in April. So I will look into the electrolytes as well as anemia. I will also look into the other monitor systems.

Thanks again,
XXXX
doctor
Answered by Dr. Ilir Sharka 17 minutes later
Brief Answer:
You are welcome!

Detailed Answer:
Dear XXXXXXX

I am glad to have been helpful to you!

It is good to know that your thyroid gland is OK!

I would be happy to review your future tests for a more professional opinion, whenever you will be able to upload them.

Wishing good health,

Dr. Iliri
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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