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Date of last update: 10/20/2017.

Forum Name: Cardiology Symptoms

Question: Heart Palpitations/Weird beats

 michael_r_1668 - Tue Jan 18, 2005 5:05 pm


For about the past 8 weeks or so, I have been having what I would describe as heart palpitations. Basically, what happens is at random times, it feels as though one heart beat is split into two, with there being a very powerful first part of the beat and then the second half of the beat seems to catch up. It seems to happen at random times, but most often in the morning (especially when I'm in the shower for some reason).

I have been to the EKG, ECG and chest x-ray were all done and everything came out normal. I wore a halter monitor and had two episodes during that time, and I am currently waiting on my doctor for those results and what he saw during those episodes. The doctor said that occassionally, you can have an "extra" heart beat, which can be very powerful because blood has had an opportunity to collect in the heart, and then in order to pump it out, the heart has to have a very powerful pump, and he seems to think based off of the tests and my description, this is what I have. My problem with this is that he said occassionally. For the last 8 weeks, I can count on my two hands the number of days I haven't had one of these occurances.

I am 25 years old, I don't smoke or do drugs, and I drink only socially. I am overweight (though currently on a diet and exercise program which is working!!!) and according to the doctor, my bloodwork showed that my cholesterol is exactly 200, but hopefully with my diet and exercise, that will come down. I have caffeine very infrequently, although I do suffer from a lot of stress due to my job. I have only one relative that's had heart-related problems - my grandfather on my father's side has had two mild ones, but he's also a borderline alcoholic.

I do trust the doctor I saw, but I'm not sure if what I have been having can be described as simply as he seemed to. Is there anything else that can be going on in my heart to describe what's happening here? Any help or information anyone can provide would be very helpful!

 Dr. Yasser Mokhtar - Wed Jan 19, 2005 12:29 pm

User avatar Dear Michael,

Palpitations can be caused by:
1. An overactive thyroid gland.
2. Electrolytes disturbance.
3. Mitral valve prolapse.
4. Smoking.
5. Drinking alcohol.
6. Drinking too much caffeinated beverages.
7. Not getting enough sleep.
8. Stress.

If not already done i would suggest a blood test for thyroid gland and electrolytes.

Have an echocardiogram (an ultrasound of the heart) to rule out the presence of mitral valve prolapse. Mitral valve prolapse is a farily common condition found in otherwise healthy young adults who usually complain of palpitations and atypical chest pain.

Certain types of palpitations called pvcs (which at one point thought to be a threat) were treated very aggressively (especially if they had certain characteristics) in any patient. After a certain clinical trial was conducted, where asymptomatic healthy young adults wore Holter monitors, it was found that these healthy young adults had pvcs, so it was decided not to treat pvcs (the kind of palpitations that was thought to be a threat) if the patient is asymptomatic and is otherwise healthy.

You can feel the palpitations (so you are kind of symptomatic), i am not sure about what kind of extra beats you have, but i don't think it is going to make a difference because even if they were pvcs, treatment is not recommended) but if you choose to receive treatment, this means that you have to take medications for as long as you are going to feel these palpitations and these medications usually have side effects and of course they are going to be a financial burden.

It is upto you whether or not you want to receive treatment, but i think if you can get by without treatment it would be better.

Some people with these palpitations, even though it might sound a little bit out of line for some, but they learn to live with these palpitations and ignore them.

Thank you very much for using our website and i hope that this information helped.

Yasser Mokhtar, M.D.
 michael_r_1668 - Wed Jan 19, 2005 12:58 pm

Thanks for your response, doctor.

I have had an echo done, and it turned out normal. My physician saw no evidence of MVP. I have also had bloodwork done, and my physician indicated my thyroid functions came out normal. All in all, my doctor did seem to find me in good health, which is why the continuation of these palpitations has been a concern for me.

Would these pvcs you refer to continue to occur over a span of several months?

I appreciate the input and understand the idea to live with the just seems to me that with the heart being such an important part of the body and life functions, that something like this would not just be something to be ignored.

 Dr. Yasser Mokhtar - Wed Jan 19, 2005 2:08 pm

User avatar Dear Michael,

Thank you very much for the update.

Nobody knows exactly the span of time, but i assume that there have been there for quite a long time and will continue to be there but people just don't feel them or don't pay much attention to them since they are leading normal productive lives.

Let's wait for the results of the Holter and then you and your doctor can discuss your options.

Keep us posted.

Thank you very much for using our website and i hope that this information helped.

Yasser Mokhtar, M.D.

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