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Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Doctor (MD)
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Experience:  U.S. Physician/Surgeon in Neurosurgery
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My heart suddenly started pounding really hard and fast while

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My heart suddenly started pounding really hard and fast while I was on the phone and walking up the stairs at the same time.....I am 37 years old and female.
How is your heart now?

How long did this last?

Did you have any trouble breathing, or have any chest pain / squeezing?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Heart is fine right now....it only lasted about a mintue...maybe less.

No, I had no chest pain or squeezing but it made me feel very panicky until I talked myself down and went back to getting the kids ready for bed. I am just really tense right now but trying to relax.

 

Right before this started, had you been resting, or sitting/lying down, and then suddenly got up to walk up the stairs?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Prior to this all.....I was sitting on my neighbor's front porch...we had just taken a walk for about 30 minutes, which we do many nights and then we sat talking for about 30 minutes. Then I called the children to go inside and had just walked in with them. The phone started ringing and I grabbed it to answer it as I headed down the basement stairs to get to my husband and dog, who was whining and he was calling me to do something with her. She just had surgery yesterday. (the dog did). On the phone was my mother, calling to get my husband to come kill a snake that was on her fence, at her house. As I was still talking to her and telling him that he needed to go there to take care of the snake, my heart started to pound really hard and really fast. I was carrying the dog (20 pounds) up the stairs and talking to my mother on the phone at the same time, when the poounding happened.

 

OK.

I just wanted to get a bit more about the surrounding events, because the sensations you describe, with the heart pounding hard is called "palpitations".

Here is a great site that explains palpitations very well:

http://www.medicinenet.com/palpitations/article.htm


In your case, the isolated (less than one minute) with activity makes it sound like this could have just been forceful heart beating due to the sudden activity you were doing (perhaps exacerbated by some dehydration, or your recent illness).

Generally, these are just normal sensations that are temporary when your heart beats harder and faster during this activity, until the blood pressure gets back to normal.

Of course, should it continue to recur, having your doctor examine you, along with getting an EKG would be helpful.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

That answer actually made me relax some, almost immediately! I know that I have had heart flutterings and palpitations before, but years ago. I think the dizziness from this morning and the fact that I have kind of had a crampy and upset stomach too are what made this palpitation episode particularly scary, because I figured they were all related. I haven't had any diarrhea or vomiting but have had this nauseous feeling and the short boughts of dizziness and felt a little out of it, the past few days. Do you think that those things are indicative of a virus and also unrelated to the heart pounding?

 

Well, the dizziness and feeling out of it could be related to a mild viral illness, or really -- anything.

It in itself is probably not related to the heart pounding.

But a little dehydration could have contributed to it.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Well, yes, I did work in the sun for hours on Sunday and I had taken the kids to the pool for like 4 hours on Saturday, in the 90* heat, so I suppose a little dehydration could be contributing to that.

When you say the dizziness and feeling out of it could be related to anything, you are saying that those symptoms are not really anything to worry about, right? I don't think I have ever been dizzy before, except these few times this week, since I was a kid and spun around to make myself dizzy!

In case you couldn't tell, I really start to worry when I have anything strange healthwise that comes up.....I never did that before I had children. I don't remember even being sick very many times before having kids, but now if I get anything, I get scared that I won't be able to take care of them or help them and I am worried that whatever I have may be serious..

Well, as long as you are feeling better (as you should) then it probably is not too much to worry about, as long as you stay hydrated, and feel better.

Of course, should you continue to have such symptoms -- only an examination by a doctor in person can help to review these symptoms, get blood work if necessary, to make sure everything is OK.

But a simple single episode of these palpitations is usually not much to worry about.
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