Heart Rhythm Community
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Avatar universal

Why is my heart beating so fast?

Hi, i was not sure what topic this would best fit in, so I put this in other. And I am also sorry for the long explanation, but I am hoping that whoever reads this can narrow my problem down as close as possible for me and advise me on what to do. I am very worried about my condition because I'm a young person with a good record of health throughout my life.

First off I am a 17 year old junior in high school. I am very active and i love to play sports such as football, volleyball, etc... I also like to lift. My father did have a condition of the heart where they found he had a small hole in his heart after he had a stroke about 2 years ago. He is fine, but only part of his heart is fully functional at the moment. That's the only heart condition that is related to my family.

About 2 weeks ago, I was sitting down watching a mock presidential debate when I got this sudden attack of a very fast heartbeat, and it seemed to me that I had some trouble breathing. This lasted around 30 seconds until I began to relax a little. I really wanted to just stand up and yell that I was having a heart attack of some sort, but I was surrounded by too many people that didn't care and would just laugh at me because they thought I was faking or making a scene.

Since then, I've become VERY aware of the way my heart beats and I worry a lot about when something like this may or will happen again.

Unfortunately, this type of "attack" has happened to me around 5 times since the first experience. I believe the cause may be partly because spend my time often worrying about this happening again, which may lead to hyperventilation. But, I truly believe that this is more serious than me having a bad case of random hyperventilation.

Today November 12, 2008, it happened to me again, and I now seriously feel I have some sort of heart problem. And as you can imagine I am very worried about the situation.

In addition, to my increased awareness of my heart beat, I have noticed it has been very high. Today, when i got home from school i checked my heart rate, and it was around 100 beats per minute, after sitting and resting for a couple of minutes. This feeling of a high heart rate has bothered me throughout the day. I am also feeling some sort of pressure in the right center chest area which has been a bother to me as well. Other symptoms I feel are a slight dizziness and tiredness. When I just recover to a slower heart rate, I have began shivering slightly for around 30 minutes while still thinking about what had just happened.

I also would like to include i haven't been running/ conditioning much for 3 weeks except for Wednesdays due to the fact football season is over. (The first experience did happen during football season) Today I was required to run 9 laps around a large scale gym for a conditioning day and my heart didn't seem to cause me any problems during or after the run, that I had to pay attention to.

I thank anybody who has spent there time reading this whole thing. And yes I know some of you may say "try and put your mind on something else to fight the symptoms", but I have tried this and it hasn't had much success."
I also know I have to go make a visit to a doctor as well.

Thanks to anybody who can help diagnose my problem or give me advice on slowing the symptoms until I visit a doctor.

8 Responses
177337 tn?1310059899
Hey there,
Mine started just like yours.  When I was 17 years old, I woke up in the middle of the night and my heart was racing.  I could even hear it!
The best thing to do is see a doctor.  They will determine if your heart is structurally normal.  If it is, then this is a benign condition.  Unfortunately anxiety fuels the problem.  I, like you, kept careful watch over my pulse and heart rate.  This just made things worse.  I'm still here today 30 years later.  I'm sure you are fine.  Really...dwelling on this just makes the problems so much worse.  Get piece of mind by seeing a doctor.  This will help with the anxiety which in turn will help with the heart racing.  Stay away from drugs and alcholol too!  Pot really sets hearts off!
Avatar universal
I have a similar problem. My heart rate goes up over 100 almost every morning when I get out of bed. This morning it was at 109 and stayed that way for about 4 hours. I felt really dizzy like I could pass out. After the high heart rate ended I felt very tired. I have no idea what is causing this but it scares me to death. I have been to several doctors, wore a heart monitor for 24 hours, had a echo done, and used an event monitor. The doctor says this is all related to anxiety, but I am having a difficult time accepting that. I have finally been referred to a cardiologist, who I will see in less than 2 weeks. This has been going on for 5 months. I noticed my first episode while sitting at my computer. I just felt this bad neck pain and then a rapid heart rate. After that first episode I have been experiencing  this almost every day.
Avatar universal
Wow, thank you so much for that reply, it really did relieve me! I have spent the past hour reading about how much longer these people have had to live with these type of symptoms and it makes me feel like a very healthy person.

And the last bit of advice helps me too because I forgot to mention I did do pot within these last two weeks and the attack came upon me stronger and longer than ever. I was with a large group of friends and they just laughed at me while I was worried out of my mine (literally) Never a better time to quit then now! Thanks jkfrench
Avatar universal
Thanks Lisa, now that you've mentioned it. I definitely did realize a soreness in my neck (eve now) with slight dizziness that is very bad during the episodes i get as well. I agree that we do have similar symptoms.
177337 tn?1310059899
Yep, my first episode in the middle of the night was after I smoked some pot at a party.  I never touched it again, nor any other drug for that matter.  If pot could set my heart off just imagine what stronger drugs would do.   I also stayed away from alcholol for my entire 20's.  It seemed to make my heart race too.  I did have a doctor finally put me on tenormin.  This is a great drug because you can take it only as you need it if you want to take it that way.   I prefer to take 1/4 of the tablet every night and it seems to help.  If my heart has a tachy day, then I just take another 1/4.  I think I started taking it in my late 20's.  Just some additional information if you care to discuss it with your doctor.
My heart is fine as I'm sure yours is too.  I wish this forum would have been around for me when I was 17.  It really helps to read about how many people do have to deal with some sort of benign heart issue.    Take care and don't worry, BUT see a doctor.  That is really the only way to help with the anxiety.  At this point your nervous system is kicked into "overdrive" and very sensitive to your thoughts.  It takes time for all that to calm down again.  
Avatar universal
My heart has been beating fast for over 10 years I never told my parents because I'm scared of getting surgery and I don't want them to worry I'm 17 and its just starting acting up again I guess because I'm thinking about it a lot I'm on the verge of telling my parents but I don't want to live on medication at my age I hope it stops these answers gave me a little bit of closure thanks! :)
1423357 tn?1511085442
Just how fast is it beating?  Have you attempted to measure your pulse?  Depending on the diagnosis, there are many drugs that can be tried.  Most likely "surgery" is not something to worry about. If a "procedure" is required, it's really no big deal.  Think "donating blood through your leg" rather than your arm, and that gives you a very rough idea of the extent of the "surgery".  It's nothing more than a small puncture on each side of your leg.  You should really get this looked at now rather than later.  It could be something trivial.  But you could get it resolved, and move on with your life.
12492606 tn?1459874033
Do not stress about this but do let your parents know.  The procedure for fixing arrhythmia is minimally invasive.  The heart is accessed by catheters through your femoral vein and it is not your "cut and sew" type surgery at all.  In most cases, you will stay overnight after the procedure for observation and released the following morning.  Success rates are high and complications rates are low.  You should tell your parents about it and see a electrophysiologist (a cardiologist that specialize in electrical conduction of the heart) about your condition.  If you decide to go ahead with a procedure, pick a center that does a decent volume of RF ablations each year (minimum 200).  
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