What is the cause for palpitations, intense fear and light headedness?
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Hi, my name is XXXXXXX I am 23 years old. I have recently been experiecning palpations that my GP is investigating. These palpatations have felt like a sudden thump in my chest which comes with a an intense feeling of panic which ranges in intensity. My doctor ordered a 24 holter moniter which showed an ventricular ectopic beat while i was in bed at night, ( i was awake and felt the beat) She said this was a benign. Other symptoms i reported to my GP were feelings of light headedness and general fatigue, and all blood tests she orderd returned normal. I do suffer from anxiety and worrying about my health alot, and i have had some heart investigations in the past. I have had an echo cardio done about a year ago because a doctor thought i might have marfans syndrome as i have some charicstics but came back normal. I do suffer from whats seems to be poor circulation in my hands and arms when its cold. Now the things that are really conncering me is some conditions i was told about and have done some research of my own which is probably not a good idea. On two occasions, one 6 moths ago and one a year i had a feeling of an intense fluttering in my chest accompiened by intense fear and light headedness, it felt like my heart was going crazy and iregular and had a fear it was going to stop. Since learning of things like ventricular tachicardi and artrial flutter i am really worried that these things will happen again as the number of palpatations been getting slightly more frequent. So my questions i guess are really to with these condtitons and my risk for them, Could the two events of fluttering be serious? Can stress trigger them? Are PVC's more XXXXXXX than PAC's and is it likely i could have both? Is there any way of knowing if the fluttering episodes were something arterial related rather than ventrical related which ive read is less serious? As you can tell i suffer from a bit of hypercondria and tend to jump to my own conclusions based on the very limited knowledge i have on the topic. Any help would be apreciated :)
Posted Mon, 16 Dec 2013 in Hypertension and Heart Disease
Answered by Dr. Jorge Brenes-Salazar 4 hours later
Brief Answer: Serial answers Detailed Answer: Dear XXXXXXX Thanks for your query. In my experience, when young, smart, inquisitive patients like yourself "dive" into the Internet to explore symptoms and relate to a diagnosis, it leads to more stress, anxiety and confusion than is necessary most of the time. Let me address the specific questions: 1) Most of the fluttering sensations that patients experience are related to PAC's or PVCs which in a young person like yourself should be totally benign. Rarely, they are related to atrial flutter, since this is a persistent arrhythmia. 2) Stress certainly increases the number of PAC's and PVC's through stimulation by the sympathetic nervous system 3) PVC's can be more XXXXXXX than PAC's in very sick heart patients, since they can trigger ventricular fibrillation or tachycardia, but again, if we line up 100 people to get Holters, more than 95 of them will have PAC's and PVC's that are inconsequential. 4) If a Holter monitoring was inconclusive in terms of the origin of the fluttering sensations, or if there is question about an arrhythmia that was not "catched", then an event monitor is the next step, it can be worn for up to 4 weeks. Hope this was helpful, best regards. Dr Brenes-Salazar MD Mayo Clinic MN Cardiology