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Ask Dr. D. Love Your Own Question
Dr. D. Love
Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 19318
Experience:  Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
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Occasionally when I stay away from home I suffer from Heart

Customer Question

Occasionally when I stay away from home I suffer from
Heart beating fast, shivering, can't sleep,
Loose stools, shakes legs. Why does this
Happen and what is it?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 3 years ago.
It will help if you could provide some further information:
When your heart is beating fast, are you having any dizziness or lightheadedness?
Are you able to check your blood pressure and pulse during these episodes?
Do you have any chronic medical problems?
Are you taking any chronic medicines?

Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 3 years ago.
I had asked for some further information and have not heard back, so will address what information is available.

There are several issues to consider in this situation.

The most likely cause of these symptoms would be anxiety. Anxiety attacks are associated with an increase in adrenaline in the blood stream as well as similar nerve output in the portion of the involuntary nervous system that causes similar physiologic effects.

However, one of the concerns when someone has episodes of a rapid heart rate is that there may be an abnormal heart rhythm, such as a supraventricular tachycardia or atrial flutter/fibrillation. If you are having dizziness or lightheadedness or if the blood pressure drops during these episodes, then it would be more worrisome that one of these abnormal rhythms may be present.

It is also true that these problems are not mutually exclusive. It is possible that someone has a tendency to have an abnormal heart rhythm, but it only manifests itself during an anxiety attack, because the adrenaline promotes the abnormal heart rhythm.

Typically, we would prefer to identify the heart rhythm during one of these episodes so that we can tell if the heart is simply beating fast, such as would be seen in an anxiety attack, or if one of these abnormal rhythms are present. There are heart monitors that can be placed to monitor the heart for a period of time, although the specific type of heart monitor will depend upon how often the symptoms occur.

If you have any further questions or need clarification, please let me know.