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Is my heart the cause of my rhythm problem?

12/22/2009 - Questions and Answers

Is my heart the cause of my rhythm problem?

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Is my heart the cause of my rhythm problem?

September 25, 2006

Question

My uncle died from a heart attack in his 40s. I am a male of 45 years who exercises fairly frequently who smoked for 9 years up until 6 months ago when I stopped completely. Occasionally i notice that my heart races and seems to thump in my chest when at rest for no reason. This can last from a matter of seconds to hours. I also occasionally have semi-sharp pains in the heart region. I also feel that my heart skips a beat and can be irregular. Please tell me what is wrong.
 

Answer

We can understand your anxiety, especially as your uncle died in his 40s, of a heart attack. You would be best advised to consult your own doctor with your concerns, be examined and have laboratory tests performed. If everything is alright with your heart you will then have peace of mind bout this.
 

An arrhythmia is a change in the regular beat of the heart. The heart may seem to skip a beat or beat irregularly or very fast or very slowly. Many arrhythmias occur in people who do Not have underlying heart disease. Other causes of arrhythmias include: Stress or anxiety, caffeine, tobacco, alcohol, diet pills, and cough and cold medicines. The vast majority of people with arrhythmias have nothing to fear. They do not need extensive exams or special treatments for their condition, but your doctor would need to confirm this.
 

If there is no medical diagnosis discovered, what we can tell you is that stress can cause physical symptoms. -------- Anxiety is a physical as well as a psychological reality. The person becomes intensely activated and many symptoms can be present, including a racing heart rate, palpitations and chest pain. These symptoms are a response of the person's nervous system to un-managed stress. Anxiety is a response of the person's nervous system. If indeed, anxiety and/or stress are your problem, you may require professional guidance to help you learn to cope with this, and you will see links below which may be of added assistance to you.
 

Related Links
Heart palpitations
Causes of palpitations
Physical symptoms of Anxiety
Tips for reducing or controlling stress

Created on: 09/25/2006
Reviewed on: 12/22/2009

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