I am a 30 year old, slim healthy male and for a few years have been experiencing heart "palpitations" which are experienced as a fluttering/quivering sensation under my chestbone that lasts for anything from half a second to 10 seconds. The events have been very painful at times when they happen even tho each incident lasts for such a short time. My doctor did lots of tests - an ECG and heart monitor (and an MRI as my family has history of right-ventricular dysplasia) and found nothing. He put me on atanalol which seemed to help at the time (I wasn't having any problems the week I wore the heart monitor - typical!)
They went away for about a year, I stopped taking the atenalol and I didn't notice anything and thought they had gone. However over the last couple of weeks they have returned and are being experienced like a fluttering/quivering sensation under the breastbone in the centre, followed about a second later by a deep (lower down in the chest) hard/forecful heart beat.
Any ideas what may be happening? I have read up about the atrium (top of the heart) and ventrical (lower in the heart), and it does seem that something is happening higher up in my heart (the quivering sensation), followed by this hard/thud of a heartbeat just after, before the heart goes back to beating normally. The last week I have been experiencing this (sometimes very badly, sometimes more subtley) about once every 20 or so minutes.
There is little doubt that you are experiencing heart palpitations. I cannot understand why they would be "painful at times" and wonder whether you are using this word to indicate they are distressing or causing anxiety. The doctor prescription of atenolol was certainly appropriate and did help in the past. I gather that there was no evidence of right ventricular dysplasia.
You are now describing episodes of rapid heart rhythm, followed by a pause and a strong subsequent heart contraction. By all means again consult with your physician. In order to define the appropriate treatment it would be desirable to determine exactly what is going on, and that merits electrocardiographic monitoring for 24 or 48 hours (so-called Holter monitoring). If that technique doesn't catch the abnormal rhythm, a procedure can be used which requires placing a small device under the skin.
Please keep in mind that I am unable to diagnose medical conditions online.
By "painful at times" I mean that sometimes, when my heart does a "flutter" or "quiver", sometimes it is so quick/hard under the chest that it actually hurts. Sometimes makes me sit up in bed, or breathe in quickly as it jolts me. It's almost like the sensation of a very localised (mild) electric shock. Each episode isn't like this, sometimes I feel the flutter/quiver sensation under the chest but it doesn't hurt, but there are times when it is very quick and forceful that I would definitely describe it as painful for a split second as it happens.
Anyway, I am having Genetic tests done to determin if I have inherited the Right Ventricular gene that they found my Uncle has. This hopefully will rule THAT out.
Are there any general conditions that can often give rise to rapid heartbeat, followed by a pause and then a strong contraction?
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