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Heart palpitation during and after physical effort

Background info:

I'm a 28 year old mother of two kids age 3 and a half and 9 months. I also operate a homeday care. At the beginning of my second pregancy it was discovered that I had hypothyroid and was placed on synthroid. Post birth, I had an episode of roller coaster thyroid problems going from hyper to hypo and then finally stablelize. I experience anxiety every time I had thyroid problems and until we figured it was the thyroid I had 2 ECGs, lung X-Rays, heart and muscle enzymes bloodtest and also checked for clots in legs and lungs (all normal), prior to being hypothyroid I never experienced anxiety. I also had a surprised pregnancy and miscarriage in May of this year.

5 weeks ago I started to feel the tale tale anxiety and went to get my tsh, T4 and T3 checked out. Test came back normal. My family and I thought it was that I needed to get out of the house since I operated the daycare out of my home and I signed up with a bowling league. The first time I bowled, I had heart palpitation after the first full game and it lasted a good 4 hours, this count the time during the remaining games and after as well. I went to the doctor and was prescribed Novo-venlafaxine to help treat my growing anxiety. While on it I went to bowling night 2 and again had the heart palpitation all throught and felt tired, lightness feeling in chest, overall not feeling well, I can feel my heart gulp everyonces in a while again it lasted well into and after. I stopped the Novo-venlafaxine after 5 days as per doctors recommendation as the meds had too many side effects countering the benefits. I was given the option to start another one or see if I could deal with the anxiety alone and refered to counseling (not yet started). With that in mind I did not start the other meds and have been dealing well with the anxiety which I feel is under control at the moment.

Today, I went with my family to a new waterpark open house. We walked through the park and viewed the different attractions. After a good 15 mins I felt a little flutter in my chest but just brushed it off as anxiety over the ride I was viewing and kept going. At the next one we were allowed to climbe up the 90m stairway to view the slides from the top. When I nearly reached the top my heart started fluttering again I brushed it off but when I cam back down I wasn't feeling well. Light chest feeling, tiredness, slight dizyness overall not well feeling and it gave me a bit of anxiety too. I tried to keep going to enjoy with my family the day but it was near impossible. It's been 3 hours and it's still there. Is it anxiety, fatigue from my daily hectic life with my kids and kids of others, is it a burnout or a heart problem?

The doctor said last week that he doesn't feel like looking more into the heart test would do much since I'm young and the previous test done in Feb were normal. But with it always coming when  I'm doing some physical activity that is more then usual I get the palpitations. I'm thinking of demanding a stress test.

What do you think?
14 Responses
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Avatar universal
Hi Martine,
I can relate to your frustration.  I too was having similar symptoms you describe for a long time and Dr.'s could never find out why...until a wonderful PA decided to hook me up to a heart monitor for a few weeks.  Turns out I was going into atrial tachycardia every time I had these symptoms. I'm not saying that this is what is going on with you, but it would be great if your Dr. could have a picture and actually see what your heart is doing during these episodes.  There are some monitors you can wear for several weeks and there is one that can record everything in a 24 hour period.  I did both...turns out I am even having episodes in the middle of the night when I am sleeping.  I wouldn't give up in trying to find out what is going on.  I have only recently been diagnosed, but for me it brings peace of mind knowing that there is a reason I am feeling the way I do.  Now I can focus my energy on treatment.  Take Care.
Helpful - 0
652671 tn?1353712165
I have "flutters" and "skips" with almost everything that I do that involves moving. I am 23 years old mother of 2 with another on the way. I had a stress test, holter, multiple ekgs, blood tests, ultrasound of my heart ... the whole 9. I too chalk it up to anxiety, but never before in my life did i have anxiety or heart "problems" until after my children were born. I don't have to do much to get my heart to skip a beat (sometimes it will do it up to 3 or 4 times in a row.) if i breathe in sharply and deeply it happens, if I move from a sitting position to a lying position, it will do it, if I hold my breathe or talk without breathing for more than 30 seconds or so, it will do it, climbing stairs, chasing kids, lifting anything, stretching, pretty much the slightest physical activity sends it into a fury but my docs have given my a clean bill of health. the heart is a funny thing, but I can tell you, it was easier for me to convince myself that they weren't going to kill me once it was proven that there is NOTHING "wrong" with my heart. I say go for the test. it will give you peace of mind and you will be more able to focus on your family. I hope you find peace. I'm still trying to find it. good luck.
Helpful - 0
200198 tn?1259887597
it is def anxiety....I had that same thing happen to me and it is scary and awful but I over came it without medication and I feel like a million bucks now. Hang in there
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Thanks I'm definately going to push for further answers because this is affecting my daily life and I just feel like this is not normal to feel like this when I do a bit more activity then usual. I got palpitations a few weeks back after drinking coffee which is new cause I have been drinking coffee for a while but stopped after the start of anxiety.

My mom said that a cousin had similar symptomes and did the whole nine yard too, ?ECG, EKG, X-ray and CT scan so far they seem to think it's a viral infection. After two months she's starting to feel better.

I also get a feeling like someone is sitting on my chest sometimes and as if I can't quite catch my breath. What's really weird is that I only seem to get the palpitation when I do some form of strenuous physical activity.

I hope that it is only anxiety and that with the counseling it will get better but in the meantime I find it hard to say that it is just that when I"m getting the palpitations since I don't necessarily feel anxious when I get them. I'm going to push for an EKG to see if it's my heart,
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I had many EKGs that were all normal.  I would ask for an event monitor to be sure they catch it on tape.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
What's an event monitor?
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
An event monitor is worn for several weeks...You push a button when you are having any symptoms and it records the heart rhythm.  A holter monitor you wear for about 24 hours and it automatically records everything during that time (don't need to push buttons).  If you are having episodes everyday then a holter monitor would work.  If you are not having them everyday, then an event monitor would be a better choice...so you would have a better chance of capturing the event.  Your Dr. can explain them better I am sure.
Helpful - 0
363281 tn?1590104173
I would definitely insist on an event monitor and an ekg as well. In fact, I would probably make a big fuss until I got a complete cardiac work-up. It is your life and your deserve the best treatment you can get.

I have high anxiety, and when really upset, the flutters are more prevalent. I get them when in different positions such as slouching in a chair, lying down on my left side, drinking water, you name it. I hate them. I have had an Echo and wore a 24 hour monitor, they were both good, but, I am still scared at times. I am even thinking about talking my doc into letting me wear a longer monitor when she gets back from maternity leave.

Good luck and let us know how it goes.
Helpful - 0
967168 tn?1477584489
Absolutely make the biggest fuss you can at a young age when you have symptoms of things out of the ordinary.  We all know our own bodies and when something isn't right or different; it just isn't right.

This happened in my 20's & 30's and now at 42, I had to have surgery for malignant pvc's and a pacemaker/icd implanted; I also have a malfunction in my autonomic nervous system.  I was told for so many years "nothing" was wrong and it's frustrating; those drs knew the same thing my current doctors knows and didn't send me for further testing.  My cardiologist told me at a visit in July, by the time I'm 50; I'll have to have someone take care of me if I don't get my ANS under control.

Get all your test results and make sure you note things and ask a million questions about them.  If there's nothing wrong, at least you know and can have the peace of mind that you're ok.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Not sure what to think now. Yesterday I was feeling anxious of the idea to go bowling since the last two times I had heart palpitations during and a while after again lasting a good 5-6 hours. Which is why in part I was thinking that it was due to effort. But now I'm not so sure. See as I was trying not to think of how anxious I was at the idea of going and possibly getting palpitation I started to get them after lunch. Lasted a good 4-5 hours while I tried to not think of them, relaxation, breathing, distraction, talking with family. What was really weird is that they just came on, I came from the bathroom with a book hoping to be able to read some more before the kids came pooring me for attention and as I sat on the couch I started to feel them.  So now, I'm wondering if they aren't just anxiety related. I have my appt tonight and not sure if I should still push for the EKG (stress test).

I'm definately going to tell her about the Saturday thing and the too often chest pressure and coughing to catch my breath since I feel like someone is sitting on my chest. (My sister who also suffered anxiety in the past said that was tell tell of her anxiety) The palpitations are normally a sign of our thyroid being off but last count it was ok. I'm thinking of asking for another test on my thyroid TSH T4 and T3 and if that comes back normal and I'm still getting palpitation to get the EKG to help reassure me or find what's going on. I'm still waiting on the counselor to call me and hope that this will help too.

Thats what's going on so far.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I think the suggestion that you wear a monitor is a good idea. I only wore one for two days, since I had palps and PVCs regularly during that time. But it's a good idea to check it out.

That being said, my mom had what you describe since I was nine years old. She always said it began after my younger brother was born, and she thought that "things inside (upper colon, stomach, etc.,) maybe just went back together wrong afterward." She'd have palps quite often and feared she'd only live until 60. She did find out later that she had mitral valve prolapse and when she had an episode of atrial fib she went on meds (That was in her seventies.)  She lived to be ninety!  So, find out what you can, but try not to worry too much. That, in itself, causes anxiety. (I know because I have anxiety issues, and my 8000+ PVCs and occasional palps sometime make me anxious too.)
Helpful - 0
203342 tn?1328737207
I've noticed I'm getting them more with movement and activity too. Not sure why. I hope we get some answers soon.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
The doctor will send me for a stress test to make sure it's all ok and reassure me. Other then that we are trying to get me in counseling, I've been armed with stuff to read that I am finding so far helpful in dealing with the anxiety. Not yet another palpitation since Tuesday afternoon not even while bowling.

Thanks everyone, it's so great to have you all sharing your experiences.

Martine
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I'm going for the stress test in two weeks but in the meantime I had to find a way to deal with the anxiety that would work not just the belly breathing stuff well I found it and I urge you all to give it a go. It called the One move technique from Panic Away. Made from someone who has suffered the same thing.

At first I couldn't afford the book so I signed up for the newsletters and I saw a significant different the same day I got the first newsletter. The tools are different than what everyone else always tell you to do but they work. I was a bit unsure but implemented them and it's working so far.

I now have the book and just started but am excited to read on when the kids are down.

Honestly, have a look it doesn't cost to look and the newsletters are 7 days and free. They give great tips and advice that work.

I'ts Panicaway.com

Have a look, I can hardly believe that I am more myself again and excited to go on everyday. The GAD isn't bothering me as much and no palpitations since I implemented the newsletters advice. I feel like a new me.

Thanks to all who wrote to me on this thread during the hard times knowing I wasn't alone was my blanket holding me on through the panic attacks, and heart palpitations.
Helpful - 0
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