Medical Questions > Conditions and Diseases > Chest Pain Forum

Weakness and intermittent pain following bouts of palpitations.

I've never posted on a board for something like this before, but I'm fairly desperate to get to the bottom of this and ascertaining some information is certainly a start. I'll try to cover all the necessary bases.

I'm a 28-year-old white male. I don't smoke (but I did - I quit almost two years ago). I drink socially (twice a week at best). I don't do any drugs. My only major health history involves a hernia operation I had done when I was 6 months old, during which they discovered testicular cancer and removed the left testicle to prevent it from spreading. There has not, to my knowledge, been any reoccurring of this, but I thought it deemed mentioning.

About 6 or 7 years ago, I started having sporadic bouts of tachycardia. This would happen approximately once every 6-12 months, I'd hit the hospital (if I couldn't break it myself), they'd push some Adenosine, and I'd go home. Eventually I went to a cardiologist. After an echocardiogram, transesophageal echocardiogram, blood work, and countless EKGs and chest x-rays, I was told that my heart was "structurally sound," had ablation explained to me, and put on Atenolol with a side of Digoxin. That all being said, the tachycardia episodes seem to have slowed down. It's been the better part of (if not) a year since the last one. My most recent issue has me almost yearning for them though.

Two weeks ago, I was sitting at work (I run a karaoke gig at a local bar), and I felt my heart start skipping a few beats a minute. This last for over an hour and only stopped after I laid down in the backseat of my car for a bit. This was on Saturday, the 9th. No incidents over the next couple days. The following Tuesday (the 12th), I'm back at my gig and it's almost an exact repeat. Only this time, I couldn't get it to stop after almost 2 hours, so I had my friend drive me to the ER. They were able to catch them on the monitor (a lot) as it was still going on, but there wasn't much they could (or wanted to, at least) do. They did a chest x-ray, ran some blood tests, and gave me a bag of fluids. Eventually, they stopped and I was released about 6 hours after getting there. However, no sooner than I touched the door handle of the car in the parking lot, they started back up. Considering what they had just done (read: not much), I told my girlfriend to just drive home. I immediately laid down and after tossing and turning for about 15-20 minutes, I was able to get them to let up and fell asleep. Again, that was the 12th. Fast-forward to the very next Tuesday (a week later - the 19th) and I had ALMOST made it through the night. It was about 1:35AM and I was getting ready to pack up and, you guessed it, palpitations. Fortunately, I was able to "sleep them off" when I got home again, so this one wasn't a long bout. So the tally is, three instances of palpitations (four, if you count immediately after leaving the ER), in exactly two weeks.

Here's the main problem though - throughout this entire ordeal, I've felt absolutely TERRIBLE 90% of the time. I have almost zero energy and I'm experiencing random chest, arm and shoulder pain. It never lasts long and never really exceeds "dull pain," but it's undeniably there. Plus a random shooting pain in my lower-left abdomen. And when I do feel okay for brief periods, it's almost always interrupted but just a short dull pain somewhere (usually my chest or arm), almost as if to just remind me that I'm not.

I've tried adjusting my diet, taking vitamins, and even stopped taking the OTC lactose intolerance medication I was taking just in case. I've all but completely removed caffeine from my diet. The only thing I've introduced into my body with caffeine for about a year now is Excedrin (or a generic equivalent), which I take about once a day, only because it's the only thing that works on my headaches.

I don't know what's going on, but it's sufficiently freaking me out. I don't have insurance, so I'm trying to limit it down a bit before going back to the doctor's (or ER). I hope I have provided enough information for someone to lend some advice. I really appreciate it and will be monitoring this intently. Thank you very much.
Did you find this post helpful?

User Profile
replied June 28th, 2012
This long rather detailed history describes episodes of recurrent supraventricular tachycardia and episodes of multiple premature beats in a 28 year old man. I gather that the latter premature beats were identified on an electrocardiogram and the decision was made not to treat them.
There are medications to treat supraventricular tachycardias and premature beats, but if the episodes are infrequent and not particularly troublesome such treatment is often omitted.
Zero energy, random chest, arm and shoulder pains, headaches - seem to have no relation to the cardiac arrhythmias. If these symptoms persist it would be worthwhile to see a physician about them.
Please keep in mind that I am unable to diagnose medical conditions online.

An easy-to-read book about the heart for lay persons. Available at major online book retailers and other fine bookstores.
Did you find this post helpful?

replied July 6th, 2012
Hey bud,

I'm a 32 year old male and I am experiencing a very similar situation. The symptoms sound almost exactly the same. The timing is a little different though.

I had an episode on the 24th of june at 4am-8am and went to the ER. They did blood tests and an keg and found nothing. They sent me home and told me to stay off caffeine. The tightness in my chest didn't leave completely but diminished.

I had another really bad episode on the 26th of june around 2 am and went back to ER, they ran blood tests, ekg, a chest x-ray, and gave me a pink lady drink. All came back normal. They said to rest for a few days and see what happens next.

I was slowly getting better but decided to see my family DR on saturday 30th. DR ordered an ekg, a chest X-ray and blood tests and referred me to a cardiologist. The blood tests came back normal, and so did the x-ray and ekg.

Saw the cardiologist on the 3rd of July in the morning. He listened to my story and said it didn't sound like any typical cardiac problems and told me to take 400mg ibuprofen 2 times a day for a week.

I got my 3rd and most intense episode on the 4th of july starting at 9am and lasting all day until about 6 am on the 5th of july. On the 7th and today the pain has been mild though the skipped beats continue, but I have felt so weak I am worried.

Did you ever figure out what it was? Is it indeed a virus?
Did you find this post helpful?
Must Read
What is pneumonia? Learn basic facts about pneumonia here, plus how doctors define the different types of pneumonia that people can get....
Some people are more at risk of getting pneumonia than others. Are you one of them? Learn more about how you get pneumonia and who is at risk here....
Chest pain is typical during cases of pneumonia. But what other signs and symptoms should you look for? Know when to seek medical help by starting here....
DISCLAIMER: "Ask a Doctor" questions are answered by certified physicians and other medical professionals. For more information about experts participating in the "Ask a Doctor" Network, please visit our medical experts page. You may also visit our Chest Pain , for moderated patient to patient support and information.

The information provided on eHealth Forum is designed to improve, not replace, the relationship between a patient and his/her own physician. Personal consultation(s) with a qualified medical professional is the proper means for diagnosing any medical condition.