Palpitations - how often?

lynne_walesAugust 31, 2009

Found this site a few months ago when looking for info on possible causes of palpitations. Started having them in June 2008, very minor & occasional, accompanied by tiredness. Diagnosed with low thyroid levels in October 2008 & thought that this could be the cause. However they returned in May 2009, getting gradually worse over several days(loud rather than fast with an odd jump every now and then)finally resulting in nausea, a prickling feeling all over my scalp and in my arms and chest. This scared me enough to send me to A&E where they kept me in over night and referred me for an echocardiograph. This showed that all was normal however I still have no explanation for the palpitations etc. I've experienced them a few times a month since May including several more noticeable attacks which have caused me to sit up for 3 hours at a time over night (not good when the next day is a work day!) and have been tying it in with my cycle which led me to believe that it may be hormonal (I'm 47). I'm off to the doctor again next week (still waiting for an appointment from the hospital following my earlier referral) to see whether I can get any more information as August has been the month from hell. Instead of occasional palpitations they started in week 2 and have been with me almost constantly since i.e. over 3 weeks. This has been no fun at all as I went on a family holiday to Greece with my husband and son and had a couple of severe attacks which again, surprise, surprise, scared me especially since I was not at home. I've been home 4 days and apart from about a six hour break when they eased slightly they have been almost constant with one more incidents of nausea, prickling & headaches. My period was also a 7-8 days early this month.

Anyway - has anybody else experienced this sort of pattern & symptoms with palpitations & nausea etc. progressing from intermittent to almost constant?

I'd also like to thank everyone for sharing their experiences as sometimes at 3am when I've been feeling really ropey it's the only thing that has kept me sane!!

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Hi lynn wales im 46 and started with palps out of nowhere in sept 08 i was very freaked out when they started i get big thumping palps not a racing heart but sometimes its like a flip flopping but mostly a hard thumping it also makes me nauseous and extreeemly tired i just sleep a lot when they start i too went on holiday in may this year and had a horrible time being so far away from home with the palps came the most awful panic attacks ive had 2 ekgs done bp apparently nothing wrong with my heart even tho i was having the palps at the time the last ekg was done at the A&E how puzzled was i and how upset was i very , anyway i came on this forum and found someone saying that magnesium n calcium helps so i went and got some from the healthfood shop i got a bottle of FSC CALCIUM MAGNESIUM & ZINC 90 tablets for £7.55 and they really have turned this situation around for me i still get light palps at certain times of the month but they are a lot less frequent and definatly im more able to cope when they come they are either not there now or when i get the hot flushes they are only barely there i swear by the mag n calcium now i wont be without it also i take 500mg of evening primrose oil with vit e and i take a b vit complex i take these every morning and i think it helps with my symptoms the flushes are less severe you can take up to 3 of the mag a day safely they give you a bit of energy dont worry if your bowels get a bit loose for the first few days or so that will stop once you get the stuff in to your system trust me i wont be without the magnesium now im off to turkey this month and ill be taking them with me and im not dreading it this time cut out the caffene red wine and rose wine that seems to make mine worse , i know what your going through tho believe me im right up there with you and it does help to know you are NOT ALONE i get a prickly scalp as well i feel like im scratching my scalp a lot some days anyway be well feel free to come on and chat im on here every day it really helps to talk ok shelly

    Bookmark   September 1, 2009 at 4:42AM
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Thanks for the info. Shelley, as you say it really helps to find out that others are experiencing the same. Your description could be me to a 'T', I too have recently read about calcium & magnesium so have just ordered the supplement that you have used, fingers crossed! I gave up caffeine & alcohol when I had the first bad attack in May this year. Managed to stay off the caffeine (coffee, diet coke, minimal chocolate - good job I like white chocolate) but stayed off the alcohol for 4 weeks and my sanity could take no more!! I have given up red wine, stick to white and make sure my consumption is much more moderate and you're right it does help.

My palpitations finally calmed down last Thursday (3rd Sept) after almost 4 weeks so at the moment I'm feeling vaguely normal!
Thanks again for the advice and I will post again when I've started on them.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2009 at 3:39PM
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I have had them fairly often through perimenopause, which for me started around age 47.
As long as you have your heart checked out and your thyroid is being checked, I feel that its just one of those really irritating things we have to put up with until our hormones straighten out.
I take Caltrate Plus and magnesium and it helps somewhat.
I think the magnesium is especially important. If I were you, I'd take as much as you could, just short of getting diarrhea from it.
You might also try B12 sublingual tabs too.
Caffeine definitely can make it worse.
Good luck to you!

    Bookmark   September 6, 2009 at 9:10PM
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Hi catherinet ive had my heart checked out and thyroid also both came back fine im 46 but started with peri last year how long have you been peri now ? and what do you take the caltrate plus for ? and how much do you take daily ? what strength do you have ? i have been taking the mag n calcium daily 1 a day 166mg bowels are fine but wondered if i might be having too much what do the B12 sublingual tabs do i do take a b complex every day , do you find that alcohol makes the palps worse? if i know what the caltrate is for i will get some and give that a try thanks chick

    Bookmark   September 7, 2009 at 2:11AM
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Hi beauty,
I think I'm finally out of perimenopause and IN menopause. At least I hope so. But I still have times of having symptoms. My OB/GYN said that we can have funky symptoms 10 years after we quit having periods.
You don't want to know how long I had bad symptoms!
But since you asked......I would say the worst of mine lasted from age 47 to age 56-57. I had absolutely horrible symptoms for a long time. I had every test in the book.
When it started, I also developed fibromyalgia with irritable bowel syndrome, severe fatigue, reflux, buzzing legs and scalp and tons of palpitations. I actually started taking calcium when I quit taking hormone replacement and discovered that it really helped my diarrhea. You're always supposed to take magnesium with calcium, so I started that too. I take Caltrate Plus (since it has other minerals and vitamins). I take 600mg twice a day. Then I take about 400-500mg of magnesium.
There have been times when I backed off the calcium/magnesium, and I would get more palpitations, so that made me think it was helping with them.
They say we shouldn't take more than about 1,500mg of calcium a day, and it should be in divided doses.
So you need to be taking more calcium. If it causes you constipation, you can go up on the magnesium (since magnesium can loosen your stools).
Also....a low magnesium can cause palpitations. I had them horribly once and went to the ER, and the doc gave me IV magnesium and I didn't have any palpitations for 2 weeks after that. its hard, though, to get enough magnesium sometimes, since it can give you diarrhea.
I like B12 because it helps with muscles twitches. Your heart's a muscle, so it might help there too.
I don't drink alcohol. I just can't tolerate it.
But it wouldn't surprise me if it gave you more palps.
It makes me so mad when a doctor says he's never heard of women getting alot of palps during perimenopause, cause I've heard probably hundreds of women say that's when they got them.
For many women, they get them when they lay down at night.
Its funny you mentioned the prickly scalp. I used to get that all the time and it drove me nuts! If I leaned over, it would get all prickly. If I touched it, it would get prickly. Gosh I hated that!!
I can't believe how many weird symptoms we can get during this time!
And you're right. Even after I've had my heart checked out and tested, its still very frightening to get those palps. Mine thump very hard and make me cough.
Isn't it fun being a woman??

    Bookmark   September 8, 2009 at 9:36PM
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Hi lynn how ru now ? i hope your feeling better than you did last time you were on , did you get some magnesium n calcium tablets?, do you have any problems with breast pain cos ive had the most awful breast pain for the last 2 weeks in my right breast and armpit ive been to the docs numerous times about this and the doc noticed some swelling in my right armpit but says it is swollen glands no lumps nothing to worry about , anyway ive now asked my doc to send me to see someone at the breast clinic to try to find out if its simply hormonal or something else im worried about it though i must say i seem to have it all the time now so i gonna have it checked out thoroughly once i know its hormonal i think il tolerate it better than i am doing now , this perimenopause thing is bloody awful isnt it i think this must be the most worrying time of my life to be honest .anyway i hope your feling bettr chick ok

    Bookmark   September 12, 2009 at 3:35AM
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beauty......He said you have a swollen gland in your armpit? That means that you might have an infection somewhere. I wouldn't settle for "nothing to worry about". I think you need a second opinion. It could be something simple, so don't get scared. Swollen armpit lymph nodes usually mean an infection in the upper part of your body, and swollen groin lymph nodes means its lower down.
Really, get another opinion.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2009 at 7:29PM
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Hi catherinet thanku for your reply i tend to agree with you actually i seem to have had nothing but chest infections this year since the pain started and im actually beginning to feel like the two things are linked , im now on yet another course of gut killing erythromicin anti biotics steroids and av now requested an appointment with the breast clinc my doctor has said he will arrange that so hopefully ill get that fairly soon and then get to the bottom of it ive had 2 opinions already and they both just putting it down to swollen lymph nodes related to peri i agree with you i dont think its that at all i think that something is perhaps not quite right im gonna get it chescked out anyway thanks chick i have felt like the bad chest wheezing and swollen armpit n pain are linked for some time now but i didnt know that lymph node infection and swelling was related ta for that feel better now im wondering if this could have something to do with my palps as well

    Bookmark   September 14, 2009 at 4:04AM
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Hi beauty
Yes I did get the magnesium & calcium tablets & have been taking them for the last week so probably too early to tell whether they are going to help. The last two weeks have been great as I've felt 'normal' - well more like myself anyway! Then last night I started to sense that it was all about to start again and a couple of hours after I'd gone to bed it did - all the usual culprits, palpitations, nausea, aches and pains. I spent the early hours of this morning sitting up as I can't sleep until it has all eased off a bit so consequently this morning I feel like c**p again. Still - as many people have recommended on here I do note dates etc. in my calendar and the dates all tie in. Hopefully I won't be as bad as I was last month which was completely OTT.

You mention breast pain which I've not experienced apart from my usual monthly tenderness although I do find that my left shoulder aches really badly (like toothache) when I am experiencing symptoms (I've had another trace recently and the doctor has checked me & assured me that it's not my heart). The fact that you have had chest infections and swollen glands does suggest that there is something more than menopausal 'stuff' going on - it sounds as if whatever chest infections that you have had have not been completely cleared up by the antibiotics. As far as I'm aware if your glands are swollen then your body is fighting off something.
Hope that you get some answers soon, take care

    Bookmark   September 21, 2009 at 3:15AM
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Hi catherinet ive had a mammogram and an ultrasound done at the breast clinic and ive had the all clear they cannot explain the swollen armpit thing which appears to have subsided at the moment so im presuming that the doctor was correct and its a hormonal thing i just have a few small cysts in my right breast which are so small they are less then a inch or centemeter in size cannot remember what size he said they were but anyway i feel a lot better now knowing i dont have any cancer my chest infection has cleared up now also thanku for your input im back on the mag n calcium now as well so havent had any palps for 2 weeks ,ive had another blood test done to see if my FSH and LH levels have changed but i doubt it i am feeling a lot better in myself and im definatly sleeping better now as well anyway take care and thanks for talking ok x

    Bookmark   October 3, 2009 at 8:16AM
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Hi lynn wales how are you have the palps eased off yet? i hope so ive been really pleased cos i havent had any now for 4 weeks and it feels so much better not having to deal with them every day the sweats have eased off as well recently dunno why that is and the breast pain and armpit swelling have gone for the time being so apart from feeling tired a lot i feel a lot better in myself ive had another blood test done to check my FSH LH levels and they are in normal range again but the doc reckons it only shows up when your fully menopausal or post meno anyway take care hope your feeling better chick shelly

    Bookmark   October 8, 2009 at 10:45AM
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Hi caterinet how are you well ive had the breast checks done and the doctor at the breast clinic couldnt give me any sort of explaination as to why im gtting the pain in my armpit with the swelling which seems to come and go ive just had another course of antibiotics and my chest feels much clearer however ive noticed when the hot sweats started up againn a few days ago the pain in my armpit became a dull ache in my chest right arm and neck wierd eh the doc at the breast clinic reckons its hormonal im not so sure since the mammogram and ultra sound have shown up nothing not quite sure what to do about it now it does bother me a lot what would you do my blood tests for menopause have come back normal again doctor reckons that im perimenopausal and thet blood wont show anything until im in menopause or post is that right do you think would appreciate your opinion shelly

    Bookmark   October 16, 2009 at 7:08AM
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