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Forum Name: Arrhythmias

Question: Heart Arrhythmias!!!!!!!!!


 dom321 - Sat Aug 25, 2007 5:13 am

Hey, Im a generally healthy 21 year old male, just under 6 foot, 11 1/2 stone, don't smoke, drink ocassionally, and eat healthily.

Over the past few years I would ocasionally have palpitations once in a blue moon and just thought nothing of them and regarded them as normal.

however, recently I like to play a lot of squash and I noticed that when i really push myself in squash the palpitations got a lot more frequent and I got a fluttering in my chest.

I have no symptoms with my palpitations (shortness of breath, anxiety. chest pain etc) , and they go away pretty instantly.

I went to the doctor a few months ago who took blood and said everything was normal. They also put me on a 24 hour holter monitor.

During the monitor, I went for a 10 minute run, in which I had no symptoms, eg palpitations and it just felt like a normal run to me.

Anyway when i got the results back the doctor told me that I had SVT during the running phase of the recording and that this was the cause of my palpitations, and ive been refered to a cardiologist which im waiting on now.


SOO I have a few questions =)

1. I sometimes get palpitations when im sitting doing nothing, It just feels like a skipped beat/extra hard beat. My heart rate doesnt increase to 140-200 it just stays normal.

Therefore I don't think that SVT can be the cause of these palpitations?! Maybe it can, I don't know?


2.
Seen as I wasnt even aware that anything was wrong during my running (felt like a normal run), I was diognosed with SVT.

This implies to me that probably everytime I exercise my heart "goes into" SVT....This doesnt sound the healthiest thing to me, is it dangerous?!


3.
What is the chance that there is something serious behind the cause of my palpitations and SVTs like valve problems etc?

Thanks for your answers in advance!
Dom
 Dr. Chan Lowe - Fri Sep 14, 2007 9:21 pm

User avatar Hi Dom321,

SVT can occur at any point. It may happen while resting or while active. If it was picked up on the holter monitor it is likely that SVT was present.

Regarding your questions, feeling the heart skipping beats or having extra beats without a rapid heart rate is very unlikely to be SVT. It is more likely that you are experiencing premature ventricular contractions (PVC's) that can occur quite frequently in almost any person.

It is not necessarily the case that every time you run you experience SVT. I would recommend you follow up with a cardiologist about this. You may need some further stress testing to see if the SVT occurs frequently. If it does, there are some medicines that can help prevent SVT.

Usually, SVT is not caused by structural problems like valve issues. Following up with your doctor will be important to see if there are any other rhythm problems or treatments needed.

Best wishes.
 dom321 - Sat Sep 15, 2007 7:31 pm

Thanks for replying!

i am meeting with a cardiologist as soon as one frees up!

I think im a bit of a hypercondriact to be honest, I have a few more concerns id like to ask you about because im worrying all the time =(:

1.
Whilst sitting at the computer now, with each heartbeat i can see my tshirt move, is this normal? I always thought i had a strong heartbeat, and ive noticed that i can see mine very easily in my chest, for example, if I lie on my back with a pillow on my chest it will move the pillow with each beat! is this normal???

2.
The last couple of times ive had my blood pressure checked its been "borderline high" i think it was about 142/96 (not 100% sure of the 2nd number but the first one is definently right).
None of the doctors seem overly concerned at this,but personally I think that its bad that I have high blood pressure at my age (21)....

I do get *very* nervous when i get my BP checked (I feel my heart begin to race) so i think thats the reason its high - should I be overly worried about this seen as nobody else seems to be?

3.
Similally to number 1, I can see my heart beat in my stomach after (around the belly button). I understand that there could be some link between this and an aortic anyurism. I can feel a pulse in my stomach if i push down on my stomach when im lying down, but i don't feel any pulsatable mass?!

should i be overly worried about this given my young age?

4.
Ive also noticed that I sweat what I regard as more than normal. I will usually have sweat patches under my arms after a normal 10-15 minute walk, and I just turn to water in exercise conditions.

I sweat ridiculously when im nervous about somthing (for example giving a presentation)

Do some people just sweat more than others? is this normal? Ive had a blood test which says my thyroid gland is normal so what else could this be?

5.
This is just a question for my own knowledge really - Why is it that high blood pressure is supposedly bad for you, but then we are encouraged to exercise (which raises your blood pressure) to keep your heart healthy.

Surely being stressed also puts a strain on your heart much like exercsing?!

Thanks for any answers you can give me

Dom
 dom321 - Sun Sep 16, 2007 6:05 am

oh and also:

6.
Is it more likely for someone who has SVT has other irregular rhythms as well?

sorry for all the questions :)
 John Kenyon, CNA - Wed Sep 19, 2007 7:06 am

User avatar Hello - While waiting for Dr. Lowe to respond I think I can answer most of your secondary questions. First, while you may or may not suffer from hypochondria, you certainly are somatically aware (that is, overly aware of fine details about what your body is doing). This is sometimes associated with hypochondria, but also with somatisization and chronic anxiety. I'd hesitate to lable you based on your overconcern with your health at this pont.

As to the specific questions you raise:

1) it is quite normal to be able to see one's t-shrit move with the heart's beating. What isn't normal is looking down at your t-shirt while doing other tasks. However, since you are already tuned in to your heart's activity, this is not so surprising.

2) Your elevated blood pressure is, in absolute terms, higher than it ought to be. However, given your history of anxious preoccupation with your health, it is likely your BP rises when it is taken, a la "white coat syndrome." It is not excessively elevated and all persons' BP will vary over the course of a day and in varying circumstances anyway.

3) It is also not unusual for one to be able, if the effort is taken, to detect some pulsation in the abdomen. While it is true that visible pulsing in that area can be associated with an abdominal aortic aneurism, it is usually a quite pronounced pulsing with palpable mass. I would also guess your doctor has listened to your abdomen with a stethescope during exams and would have noted any bruits (abnormal sounds made by an aneurism). At your age, unless there is a distinctive family history of AAA you are rather unlikely to have that problem.

4) Your sweating sounds to be completely within normal limits. Your noting this also confirms your profound interest in what your body is doing, and an awareness of the smallest (and most normal) details.

5) High blood pressure is defined as blood pressure that is either briefly far too high to be healthy or is chronically elevated. Your readings don't qualify for either definition. It is a healthy sign of good cardiac output that one's BP raise during exercise, and then that is drops, slowly, back to normal limits at rest.

6) It is totally normal for persons who suffer from SVT to also experience the other, more normal, single premature beats which can come from the upper or lower chambers of the heart. Nearly everyone has these from time to time, only some of us are more aware of them than others. Once one begins to take notice of them it is difficult to divert the attention, but they are completely normal in and of themselves.

I hope this all serves to reassure you that you sound physically quite healthy even though you do experience occasional SVT, a condition which while very annoying is rarely dangerous.

Best of health to you.

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