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What causes lightheadedness and fainting spells with high heart rate?

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Posted on Wed, 30 Jul 2014
Question: I have been having fainting spells and light-headedness for the last week, along with bouts of increased heart rate and feeling anxious. No real energy to do anything and not eating or drinking much - mostly just lying down.
This morning I had several spells of a radiating heat spreading from my chest area out along my upper arms. Not painful, but warm with a bit of tingling sensation.
Could this all be something with my heart?
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Answered by Dr. Karen Steinberg (35 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
This could be something with your heart.

Detailed Answer:
Thank you for using Healthcare Magic. Yes, this all could be related to a heart problem. The right steps have been taken in the after hours clinic. Most important is the Holter monitor. What you are describing sounds like abnormal rhythms of the heart. Some types of arrhythmias can cause fainting or lightheadedness. There are inflammation problems or infections that can also affect the heart and cause such symptoms. I presume they did an EKG the clinic. Did they say if it showed anything? The Holter monitor records your EKG over several days to see if there are arrhythmias associated with the symptoms. Once a diagnosis of the arrhythmia is made, the correct treatment can be started. Have you gotten the studies they recommended? If I were your doctor, I would be sending you promptly to the cardiologist. If you are having acute symptoms before you get in to your regular doctor or a cardiologist, such as those this morning, you should go to the emergency room. Although the symptoms you describe from this morning are not typical of a heart attack, they should be evaluated. At the emergency room they can do rapid tests to see if there is any sign of a heart attack, and if necessary monitor your heart beat/EKG at least overnight to see if other problems exist. Do not take any chances with your heart. Hope this answers your query. If you have further questions, I would be happy to answer them.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Vinay Bhardwaj
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Answered by
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Dr. Karen Steinberg

Internal Medicine Specialist

Practicing since :1981

Answered : 824 Questions

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What causes lightheadedness and fainting spells with high heart rate?

Brief Answer: This could be something with your heart. Detailed Answer: Thank you for using Healthcare Magic. Yes, this all could be related to a heart problem. The right steps have been taken in the after hours clinic. Most important is the Holter monitor. What you are describing sounds like abnormal rhythms of the heart. Some types of arrhythmias can cause fainting or lightheadedness. There are inflammation problems or infections that can also affect the heart and cause such symptoms. I presume they did an EKG the clinic. Did they say if it showed anything? The Holter monitor records your EKG over several days to see if there are arrhythmias associated with the symptoms. Once a diagnosis of the arrhythmia is made, the correct treatment can be started. Have you gotten the studies they recommended? If I were your doctor, I would be sending you promptly to the cardiologist. If you are having acute symptoms before you get in to your regular doctor or a cardiologist, such as those this morning, you should go to the emergency room. Although the symptoms you describe from this morning are not typical of a heart attack, they should be evaluated. At the emergency room they can do rapid tests to see if there is any sign of a heart attack, and if necessary monitor your heart beat/EKG at least overnight to see if other problems exist. Do not take any chances with your heart. Hope this answers your query. If you have further questions, I would be happy to answer them.