Racing Heart

May 5, 2008 at 1:05 am


It sounds as though you are going thru a very tough time at the moment; I am sorry. It is very difficult to keep going when its just one thing after another. I am not a doctor, but I have one or two thoughts about this…I could be totally on the wrong track, but it might give you another thread for questioning…

1. I wonder whether the racing heart is simply a symptom of your other issues, such as the Diabetes or the blockages – perhaps your heart is not getting the blood flow it needs and the electrics (which manage the heart beat) are playing up? How long does the racing heart last?

2. Could it be anxiety about your current situation that is causing the heart beat changes? That is a very common symptom of anxiety.

3. I was diagnosed as a child with PAT – paroxsysmal atrial tachycardia after a virus (not unlike CIDP!) This is a syndrome that is caused by misfiring of the electrical signal that manages your heart rate — it behaves as though you are in a “fight or flight” situation, even when you are not. The adrenelin runs through your system, and the heart rate does not slow down once the adrenelin is gone. The racing heart can last up to 24 hours (which is what used to happen to me). It used to go very fast – up to 200 beats a minute – it felt like “fluttering”. The doctors said as an adult it is typically made worse by hormonal changes – such as pregnancy or menopause. My first problem with PAT was in puberty.

Anyway – the medication I was on was digitalis and propranolol – which is a betablocker. It blocks the flow of adrenelin in your body – keeping the racing heart away. The propranolol also keeps you more relaxed – but not out of it. Students were using it to be less stressed at exam time. I don’t know whether that might be of use to you?

That is my two cents worth – I hope that you are able to get things under control soon so that you are able to enjoy the springtime.

take care