Anxiety and palpitations

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Submitted by Dr T on February 24, 2012 – 10:25am

Question: 
Hi Dr!  I am 32 years old, about 35lbs overweight and have 2 kids, 1 (3.5yrs.) and 1 (18mo)  For the past 6 months I have been having a flutter feeling in my chest, small zaps of pain in my chest, short period of rapid heartbeats, a lump in my throat feeling and slight tightness in my chest, causing it to be a tad harder to breath.  These don’t happen all at once but cause me to get nervous, anxious and scared. I’ve been to the Dr. but they think it is Anxiety.  My blood work came back normal but with a slightly elevated T4 level.  I have not had my cholesterol or blood glucose levels checked.  I have also had an ultrasound of my thyroid and it was normal. About 5 years ago, I had a short spell where my heartbeat would skip a beat or two here and there and I would get light headed.  I had an EKG and wore a monitor for a few days but it didn’t show anything abnormal.  I really don’t think it is anxiety because of the onset 6 months ago and I have gone through much more stress in the past and recently have been taking it easy, exercising and taking more time for myself. Do you have any thoughts, I feel like something is wrong with me but I don’t know what.  Any advise?

Hi Julia,
Your doctors need to determine whether these palpitations could be dangerous (they don’t sound like it):
Depending on test results, they may determine that there is indeed a rhythm problem, most commonly an extra or skipped beat:
In the meantime, you may want to lay off on coffee, tea and/or smoking depending of course whether you use any of these.
You may also want to talk about diet & exercise. That alone will help you feel better!
Hope this helps,
Dr T

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