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Heart & Cardiology/Intermittent Heart Palpitations with Body Vibration

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Question
Dear Dr. Richardson,

I am a 45 year-old male, don't smoke and lead a simple lifetsyle. I am not obese and have borderline BP (130/90) but well-controlled through natural supplements.

For the past 2 months or so I have become sensitive to my heartbeat, particularly at night. I would get intermittent palpitations but without an increased heart rate (probably below 100bpm), causing mild vibration of the body. I feel nervous about the situation and the more I think about it, the more I would get those episodes. This disrupts my sleep and I often get poor sleep due to this condition. I try controlling it through breathing and it helps but as soon as I focus on my heart, the palpitation begins. I get this less during the day due to ongoing activities. I don't have headache, chest pain, breathing difficulty or lightheadedness.

I am under some stress and am prone to anxiety, e.g. I do have white-coat hypertension. I even think I may have electrolyte imbalance or thyroid.

Please advise.

Thank you.

Answer
Hello Mike,

Pakpitations are usually skipped beats or premature beats. These are normal heart activity, Occur in about half of us, and don't mean you have heart disease or will ever develop heart disease or any cardiac catastrophe.  Stress and anxiety make them more frequent, but not dangerous.

Please write back if this note dioesn’t answer all your questions.

David Richardson

Heart & Cardiology

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David Richardson

Expertise

Adult heart function and disease. Not very good about children lesss than 12. Hypertension is o.k. Heart rhythm a special interest.

Experience

Certified in cardiology by the American Board of Internal Medicine. Was chairman of division of cardiology at the Medical College of Virginia. Am now mostly retired.

Organizations
Fellow of American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology and member of American Physiological Society..

Publications
Circulation, American Heart Journal, Hypertension.

Education/Credentials
M.D. from Harvard Medical School. Residency training at Yale Uhniversity School of Medicine and Medical College of Virginia.

Awards and Honors
Gold Heartt Award from American Heart Association in 1995.

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