Avatar universal

Is it WPW? Help!?


I will try to keep this short. I am 22 year old female. No medical conditions other than Asthma as a child, unaffected since approx 15/16 years old. Only medication taken is the combined pill Microgynon since age 16, recently changed to Cerelle just 2 months ago. Otherwise good health aside from suffering with back pain and knee/hip joints (just to state full background) and the past 15 months suffering with 'supposed' IBS, but I feel it is something more (mix of constipation, diarrhea, fully mucus stools and blood (red) in stools).

My trouble started when I had my first 'episode' in April 2014. Normal day, no cause but I felt suddenly feint and I passed out. Luckily my mum caught me, but she described me as seeming to fit and stop breathing for approx 30 seconds. I regained breathing just before she went to start CPR and then came around again. Was out for a few minutes, ambulance called and discovered I had also urinated without my control. Had an ECG, followed up at the hospital but they simply said 'you're allowed one bizarre occurrence in your life without explanation, and not to worry.' They found nothing.  

After it happened, I recalled the past few months I had experience what can only be described as intense head pressure. I am a migraine sufferer, since age 9/10. But I'd never felt anything like this before. And also I have passed out a fair amount as a child, also maybe once every 3 periods I would faint or be extremely dizzy/near faint. But always put it down to heat or I suppose lack of blood/low blood sugar etc.

Ever since the first episode, sometimes it's once a week, then it will go away maybe for a month, back again once every month, once every 2 months, back to few times a week, disappear again. No pattern. But it's like a sense of overwhelment, and I feel something is going to happen. Get dizzy, room spins, unsteady on my feet, but have managed to NOT pass out. Back and forth hospital for brain scans, neurologists (who simply wanted to put me on epilepsy medication, for suspected migraine variant balance disorder after seeing me once and undertaking a diet to eliminate all foods that trigger migraines.. No other testing.. I wasn't happy with this, I haven't accepted any prescriptions) back to the doctors, nothing seems to be getting me anywhere.

Then last month, again no trigger. Perfectly happy talking away in the car after work, I suddenly felt as though my chest was filling with smoke, tight chest, throat felt like it was closing up. I couldn't breath properly and I went into what I can only describe as a panic attack. It lasted so long that I starved oxygen from my limbs and I lost feeling in them. I couldn't calm down, my heart felt all out of sync. Ambulance was called and they took an ECG. After, they said I was fine and to go back to my GP. They gave me a copy of their notes and my ECG, which had at the top 'abnormal ECG *unconfirmed*. Alarming, but they obviously felt I was fine. (I would like to stress they were with me for nearly 2 hours and at the time of ECG it was before she left, I was totally calm like nothing that ever happened, not panicking at all, breathing normal) so back to the doctors where he said I had a short PR interval. Wanted me to have another ECG to check if it was due to me being not relaxed.. I told him I was but I was happy to have another to check. The nurse at the hospital said it didn't matter if I was panicking or not, if I had a short PR interval then that's what I had. So after that test, it showed the same thing short PR interval.. And on both tests slightly fast heart rate, though I was perfectly calm. She suspected Wolfe Parkinson's White and that I should ask my doctor about it. He sort of laughed and after battling he finally said he would refer me to a cardiologist.

So now I am waiting for the appointment. Just last Thursday (almost a week ago) I had another episode of this 'panic' type attack, but I can't stress enough how I am not a worrier, I am not stressed, I keep hydrated, I don't get nervous in public (and I was at home), not timid, not an anxious person at all. I don't know why I would have a panic attack, and to me it feels like a palpitation, but it gets really intense and I can't catch my breath.

So obviously, I am now a little worried. But I am not the sort of person to panic about it. My family is deeply concerned, where I on the other hand am almost completely chill to the situation, but of course I really need to know what on earth is going on. It is effecting my everyday life, at work I worry it's going to happen in the middle of the shop (I work alone) so no one around to help. Or anywhere I need to go alone, or stay home alone.. Just I cause something happens and I cannot call for help if I need it. And what help do you ask for!? I have no idea what is wrong!

All of my blood has been checked for anemia and such. I have no idea if this is connected to my heart or something else. I really need to get to the bottom of this. we are off on holiday in October and for the purpose of insurance, what on earth do I put down to make sure I am covered!!?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!
3 Responses
Sort by: Helpful Oldest Newest
86819 tn?1378947492
WPW also tends to come on suddenly, then die off suddenly; whereas anxiety tends to build and resolve more slowly.  True, some abnormal heart rhythms mimic anxiety, but if you are seeing sudden off and sudden on attacks, it is quite a bit less likely to be anxiety.
Helpful - 0
1124887 tn?1313754891
I completely understand that you're worried. I would be worried too with such symptoms. Syncope is (except for the feeling of blacking out if you are dehydrated and stand up too fast) a severe symptom which must be investigated, especially if it may be cardiac related.

Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW) usually manifest with delta waves (early ventricular activation) along with short PR interval, but there are variants which doesn't include the delta waves, often known as LGL syndrome, where the extra pathway bypass the AV node and conducts directly from the atria to the bundle of His. Usually, WPW doesn't make someone faint, unless the heart rate is very rapid (closer to 300 bpm)

I really hope your cardiologist keeps monitoring you with R-tests or Holter tests or an implantable monitor until one of these episodes are "caught" on EKG. It is very important, only then can you know for sure what this is or isn't. If the EKG is normal during an event, a cardiac cause is ruled out.

Do you feel palpitations during an event? Have you ever measured your heart rate during one? If so, how rapid is it? Regular or irregular? Those are important questions, and I guess your cardiologist will ask them.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I didn't mean lack of blood.. Doh. I mean such loss of blood. I suffered with extremely heavy and long periods, reason why I started the pill.
Helpful - 0
Have an Answer?

You are reading content posted in the Heart Rhythm Community

Top Arrhythmias Answerers
1807132 tn?1318743597
Chicago, IL
1423357 tn?1511085442
Central, MA
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Are there grounds to recommend coffee consumption? Recent studies perk interest.
Salt in food can hurt your heart.
Get answers to your top questions about this common — but scary — symptom
How to know when chest pain may be a sign of something else
Herpes sores blister, then burst, scab and heal.
Herpes spreads by oral, vaginal and anal sex.