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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 18 years

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What causes minor heart palpitations ?

I ve been experiencing pounding and stuttering feelings in my heart for several months, ever since I moved from Canada to Thailand. I believe I ve noticed them particularly in the evening after I have had coffee, alcohol or a large meal. I saw a doctor who dismissed this and said they were caused by anxiety. It is true that I get anxious when I m having them and that makes it much worse, but I ve never been so relaxed as I am here. I believe it must be some difference in the environment here that is causing them, due to the timing of the onset. The spicy food, the humid weather.. maybe the fact that I m relaxing and excercising more, and eating less meat. It will be another four months before I can return to Canada for a second opinion, and in the meantime these palpitations are making me very uncomfortable. Has anyone else experienced heart palpitations as a result of moving to a different climate? What have you done to avoid them?
Thu, 17 Dec 2009
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  User's Response
Maybe get your electrolytes tested (your blood levels) - your heart can 'flutter' over an imbalance of any of the following: calcium magnesium postassium sodium How much water do you drink? Maybe since it is a dry climate/less humid here that you might not drink enough water...try drinking more to keep hydrated even if you don't feel thirsty. I would avoid your coffee - that can just worsen your anxiety, and it's dehydrating too. It wouldn't hurt to go to a doctor and get checked out - even a simple electrocardiogram or wearing a HOLTER monitor (a monitor you wear for 24 hours under your clothes, and can press a button when you feel palpitations - then the dr gets a readout from that). That way you can be sure it isn't a heart problem.
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