Medical Questions > Mental Health > Anxiety and Stress Forum

Very Scary Heart Palpitation, Please Help!!!

I was sitting in my office yesterday at work on my computer and had a very scary heart palpitation. It felt like they normally do at first, a skipped beat which kinda takes away my breath, and then a forceful thump before it returns to normal. I have had them since I started having anxiety about 6 months ago. I had an ekg, chest x-ray, etc. And the doctors all say that they see nothing for concern. I hadn't had any for awhile, so I forgot about them... Until yesterday. When I started to feel it, it didn't return to normal with a forceful beat, it left me in the breathless state for a couple seconds (maybe 3?). I swear it felt like it wasn't beating for those couple seconds. Has anyone ever felt like you heart has stopped beating or skipped a couple beats or something? It was racing afterwards, but it could be that it just scared me so much... I have been very stressed out lately. I had also gotten finished with a hard workout about an hour and half before. I am very concerned and I don't want it to do it again. So please, any advice or comments from anyone would be greatly appreciated!!! Thanks in advance.
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First Helper edward93
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replied February 22nd, 2006
Experienced User
Hi!
I know what you are going through. I, too, suffered that missing heart-beat that would take my breath away. You are suffering stress so that could be a cause. I cut out all my caffeine-no coffee no soda no tea..I have had not one irregular heart-beat since then. The scary thing is sometimes when the heart flutters it can send a clot and that's how certain strokes happen.
I notice that you wrote you just had a "hard" workout. Do you have a cooling down period? You know after,maybe, fifteen minutes of intense workout you slowly come down a bit. When you are working out hard,sometimes, the heart is going at 170 beats per minute..That's fast and combine that with anxiety and you might find the cause. So you need to slowly bring the heart down-that means no slumping or sitting so keep moving around (walking) many heart attacks happen during a workout. Many people don't know about this
i suggest buying a watch that monitors your heart beat when you are working out..Most workout stores carry them. Your gym should have your heart range during workouts-that means the safe range for your heart during workouts.
Watch your diet and maybe cut out the caffeine-it raises the blood pressure and heart-rate.

I know that scary feeling-drink tons of water and maybe try mediation. It's been over three months and I feel better!! If it continues go to your doctor and try a stress test there.
You will be fine
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replied February 22nd, 2006
Experienced User
Hi. Thanks for your advice. I have currently cut out caffeine from my diet as well. I noticed the connection awhile ago. I always tell myself afterwards that I am going to be fine. I tell myself that I am a 20 year old female athlete in otherwise great health. But deep down, I hate those heart palpitations so much and am so worried about having another one. I realize that the chances of them being a serious problem are not very good. Its just the way that they feel that has made me so afraid of them. In fact, they were the start of all my anxiety which I am trying so hard to get rid of right now (without meds.... I don't want to take any medications for my anxiety). I just wish I understood why they come and what they really mean. I have spoken to several doctors about them but none of them seem to think they are a problem. Thanks again for your advice. I really appreciate it. Do you suffer from anxiety?
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replied April 16th, 2012
Hey scrdat20, I am a 30-yr old male; I do weightlifting since about 15, bicycle, play sports (basketball, soccer, tennis) and yet I have exactly the same symptoms you are describing.
It first started around 2005, when I had a couple of panic attacks and even checked in to the hospital for chest pains/tightness, rapid heart beat and etc. Neither the hospital staff, nor my primary physician found anything wrong with me. In fact, quite the opposite.
Recently, I started having anxiety symptoms again and feel the things you were describing - missing heart beats, rapid heartbeat, chest pain/tightness, inability to fall asleep and etc etc. And like you, every time it happens, I tell myself that this is prolly nothing more than anxiety and that usually calms me down.

I was prescribed some meds before, but I never took them and don't intend to. I think dealing with these things naturally is better in the long term and healthier.
I admit I drink coffee - 2-3 times a day, on regular basis. But I doubt there is a link between caffeine and my symptoms.

Just yest, I went biking for 1.5 hrs, and was very exhausted afterwards. And I made my exhaustion much worse by worrying about my increased HR, which is perfectly natural when you bike for 12-13 mph.

So in sum, I totally understand how you feel, but it's very unlikely that you have any underlying heart condition, as neither do I, especially after several doctors already checked us both.
I hope you deal better with it now. I do, but occassionally I still fall for it. Good luck!
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replied March 2nd, 2006
My partner is currently going through a divorce and custody of his 2 children, and has been experiancing the same thing!!! His doc told him to cut out caffinee and to quit smoking...Which he finds difficult...Did you find anything that works to help relax when he feels really stressed? He spends a lot of time worrying about things and is very tense! And had alot of palpertations
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replied March 2nd, 2006
Experienced User
What I did was cut the caffeine and I started walking. I know am jogging and feel great (but at night I still feel anxiety) sometimes life isn't always perfect. When someone takes the first step things begin to change. (also no alchohol-that always makes life worse in the end)

he should go see his doctor-most important-get blood work and his blood pressure taken!! Then start from there
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replied March 2nd, 2006
Anxiety Or Whatever It Is!
Hi,

I have had all of the same symptoms...Palpitations, like a swimming feeling in my head, chest pain, all of it. I went to the doctor too, checked everything, nothing physically wrong. I took zoloft for a while, and that really helped, I recently switched to wellbutrin, which i'm not sure about yet. I thought I was going crazy, and I hated that feeling when I felt it coming on. I would just take deep breaths and try to calm myself down...I wish there was something else we could all do to get rid of this...
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replied March 2nd, 2006
Hi jennys11 my boyfriend went to the doc...Had blood work, ekg and an echo, they said everything is fine...He had a heart monitor on him for 24 hours on tuesday too. He is worried becuse he is almost 34 and his dad had a heart attack his age doing a stress test at the hospital!

Do you think the palpertations are stress or anxiety? I have come over to canada from the uk to be with him, but my 6 months is almost up! So he have to go back for 2 weeks then come back for another 6 months im not allowed to work so he has to pay for everything!

When his divorce is complete we put in for immigration as a spouse and everything is happening at once he is worried about money !!!!
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replied December 15th, 2008
anxiety and high rate of heart beat
I had often suffered and anxiety often scared ofdeath
My starts starts beating like a double beat and I battle to breath
This si a real worry for me- i have been to the GP many times and he said it is anxiety i have been on my tablets I now feel even the medication does not help me any more. This feeling is so bad- my heart beat together with severe chest pains is actually getting serious . I really dont know what to do anymore
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replied December 15th, 2008
Community Volunteer
Hi Shirley and welcome to ehealth:

I have had this happen for years....Stress...worry...It seems the more that you think of it the faster it goes....Try relaxing...Think of pleasant things..Get your mind off of what you are thinking that is bothering you...Go to another place in time...A vacation when you were young and relaxed and had no worries...Just try and put yourself at ease...You can do it if I could do it....Many times you are making your own chest pains from the anxiety itself....

If anything just think I am OK....I can relax....I am just fine and see if this helps...I asked the Internal Medicine doctor the last time I was there about this and I think I am doing the right thing...Sometimes at night you can actually hear your heart beat...In a quiet room the valve makes a noise...Scared the devil out of me at first until I talked to him....Now I feel better...

Now you take care and have a wonderful Holiday Season....

Regards,
Caroline
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replied March 8th, 2009
palps
take 1mg of diazapam chill out n sleep 1/2hr b4 bed
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replied November 16th, 2011
Same Symptoms
I'm going through a divorce and custody battle and I have a lot of these symptoms...quit drinking alcohol, but still do caffeine. Don't sleep some nights at all. I imagine the stress is what this is all about. Bill
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replied March 14th, 2012
My heart issues started in June 2011. We were buying a house, had an altercation with a co-worker, doing infertility treatments, and having husband issues. I was sitting on the couch one afternoon when my heart started fluttering. I went to the ER and they said everything was fine (ekg, blood work). I kept having them though and then I started getting chest pain and weird feelings. I went to a cardiologist and did the stress test, heart monitoring, and ultrasound of my heart. Everything came out normal. She now wants me to go to a sleep study so see if I am breathing normal when I sleep. I don't think that is the reason...I think I am very stressed. Although in the past when I was stressed, it was not like this. Now every time I am stressed, I have these heart feelings that scare the bejesus out of me. I think I am going to die and my daughter will be without a mother. I am very worried.
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replied June 26th, 2012
Stress Palpitations while idle and not while engaged.
Has anyone else noticed that it doesn't happen when you aren't thinking about it? I just realized as I was reading some of these threads that I wasn't having them and after I got consumed in the reading I didn't have one and then when I realized this, I had a couple. I know that's a mouthful.

It sucks! I attribute mine to stress, but at the moment, I have nothing to be stressed about and I can't think of anything stressing me out. Very strange. I have had them before when I know I am stressed but not this time. See...there we go...not a one while I wrote this...wait..wait...for it.

I don't get them when I am working, talking, exercising. Just when I am idle. It makes me want to constantly be doing something and then when it is time for sleep. Bang! Palpitations. Mine seem to be confined to a few days and then they go away not to return for a week with the smallest and shortest one and a year later, a week long idle palpitation stress ball!

I don't worry anymore. When this first started happening, I thought I was dying and lost 100 pounds...literally, and all the forums and med info says that it is rather common and for the most part, not life threatening. For myself and others, just very annoying. Oh well, just going to wait it out as usual because trying to make myself relax, especially while not aware of being stressed, is like trying to own a dragon. Good luck peoples.
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replied September 13th, 2013
Hi, I'm 20 years old and I have very serious anxiety issues. I have a history of panic attacks. My anxiety issues are mainly caused by excessive worry about my health especially my heart ever since I started having heart flutters. These occasional heart flutters I have are scary and most times annoying. These heart flutters increase my health anxiety. I only have these heart flutters when I am anxious. I find out that when my mind is distracted from worrying about my body, I never have them. My breathing is perfectly normal, no chronic chest pain, no feeling of fainting or dizziness, no sweating.
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replied July 4th, 2016
I know this is back from 2006, but I'll post my experience here. I am a 29 year old male. Slim. Don't smoke, dink ocassional alcohol. Drink coffee every morning. I eat properly. I have been suffering from anxiety and panick attacks since an incident about 6 years ago. I had 3 poundings of my heart that felt like someone punched my chest from the inside. I kind of ignored that, however, a week after my bp went really low... I though I was about to die. Back then I used to drink too much, I used to smoke a lot and that served as a reality check for me to quit those habits. Since then everytime I feel hear palpitations I get scared. A few things to keep in mind:

- I am very sensitive to injustices and things not done well.
- I am very afraid of dying.
- I am even more afraid of dying suddenly.

Everything has been under control. Last thursday I was talking with my boss. Nothing bad or extenuating, just a conversation. And suddenly I felt my heart beating differently. When that happens it usually resolves after I change my position. This time it didn't. I lasted for about 5 - 8 seconds. I was scared to death. I felt my heart pumping really slow and I felt pressure in my head. I could feel every heart beat in my whole body. My body was pulsing, especially my head. I was taken to the ER and everything normal. I still have to do an echo and holter, but EKG and bloodwork was perfectly fine. Except for white cells which were high, but the blood markers for heart disease were normal. I'm pretty.sure it was a very scary palpitation, but its better safe than sorry. Since then I am very afraid of having these things again. Its so bad it makes me cry when Im alone. I've had therapy, psychological therapy. I am better, but everytime something like this happens I feel it brings me back. Heart palpitations occur very often, never like the last one. I've cut the consumption of alcohol completely to see if it helps.

If you have these things and havent died yet, most likely you are not having a heart attack. The truth is when heart failure is bad enough to kill you, there is nothing no one can do. You can be right there at the hospital, with heart equipment right by yourside. If it is your time, not even that will save you. This is somewhat comforting to me at times. Also know that everyone gets heart palpitations. For some reason, people like us tend to get more worried. We share usually some traits: like being over sensitive, people that overanalyze, we put pressure on us to do things right, etc, etc.

Just change your lifestyle, and try to be logical. That will help. I hope this helps and reassures everyone who feels this way. However, always go to the doctor if you feel like you have some condition. First thing to do is rule out anything wrong physically.
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