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Dr Basu
Dr Basu, Experienced Specialist
Category: Medical
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Experience:  MD
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I often get heart palpitations and was wondering if they were

Customer Question

I often get heart palpitations and was wondering if they were anything to worry about. I can get them several times a day, at anytime from resting, or they can be much worse when doing light exercise like walking. Sometimes it just feels like my heart is erratic and irregular and pounding, sometimes I feel slight pressure in my chest followed by a hard thump. These happen several times a day. I often feel lightheaded and out of breath when these happen. Another kind I get which happens less often, maybe once a week or so, is a pressure building in my chest, then suddenly my heart is racing so fast and hard, approx at 160bpm. It makes me cough then it goes back to normal but it usually repeats this every few minutes and can go on for an hour or so. When I have this kind of palpitation I always need to cough, go dizzy and feel very short of breath and worn out, as if I have been running. I have been getting these symptoms on and off for many years now. We have a pulseoximeter at work (I am a veterinary nurse), and when I put it on my finger, compared to everyone elses, my heart rate was very erratic, jumping from 70bpm upto 160bpm and was showing several missing beats. I am female, 28yrs, slim and reasonably active. I don't smoke or drink and I take one iron tablet a day as recommended by my gp as i had anaemia a few years ago. Just wondering if these heart palpitations sounded like anything I should be worrying about?
Thanks, Lynne
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr Basu replied 3 years ago.

Mysticdoc :

The views expressed by me are for educational purposes only and do not establish a doctor patient relationship.

Mysticdoc :

Hello.

Mysticdoc :

Thanks for your question.

Mysticdoc :

Palpitations with symptoms like chest pressure and dizziness does take some importance.

Mysticdoc :

These palpitations can be supra ventricular tachycardias, or sometimes more serious WPW syndrome.

Mysticdoc :

These arrythmias can be life threatening in some cases.

Mysticdoc :

However, in most cases, these can be just harmless palpitations.

Mysticdoc :

However, this should be investigated further.

Mysticdoc :

A 24 hour holter monitor and a cardiology consultation should be considered in your case.

Mysticdoc :

If these tests show nothing serious, then you do not need to worry.

Mysticdoc :

Please avoid any stimulant beverage like caffeine, soda, alcohol as they can cause palpitations.

Mysticdoc :

Best wishes,

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Mysticdoc :

did you get my reply above?

JACUSTOMER-cai7epkw- :

Yes sorry! Thanks for your reply.

Mysticdoc :

very welcome

Mysticdoc :

any further question?

JACUSTOMER-cai7epkw- :

What is WPW syndrome. Also I had an ecg a few years ago but they only ran it for about 10 seconds and they said it was ok. If there was anything wrong, it would've showed up on that wouldn't it?

Mysticdoc :

WPW syndrome is due to the accessory pathway in the heart causing excess impulse generation--this may sometimes flood the heart with too many impulses causing heart arrest.

Mysticdoc :

This is not common though.

Mysticdoc :

10 sec EKG may not detect the problem.

Mysticdoc :

Longer time frame like 24 hours is better

JACUSTOMER-cai7epkw- :

Thanks for your help

Mysticdoc :

very welcome

JACUSTOMER-cai7epkw- :

I'm guessing because I've had these symptoms since I was 10yrs old it's probably not life threatening?

Mysticdoc :

most likely not.

Mysticdoc :

My goal is to provide you with good or excellent service – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back, I am happy to address follow-up questions.

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