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Heart & Cardiology/Chest Pressure, Sweating, Etc..


Thank you so much for taking my question. I am a 27 year old female, slender/average build though not athletic.

Three days ago, I started having intense heart palpitations/fluttering/pounding hard/barely pounding symptoms three days ago, mostly just when I stood up. Every time I stood up, I felt dizzy and light-headed and my heart would essentially freak out. It felt like it would beat very hard and then fast and then almost not at all before it would skip a few beats and then beat kind of normally again. By that evening, I was experiencing pressure and tightness in my chest along with hot and cold flushes and intense sweating and often feeling like I wasn't getting enough air, feeling like I needed to take deep breaths. I was recovering from being sick (diarrhea for almost two weeks which is STILL going one and vomiting during the first week of the illness) so I thought it was just because I was still weak. The next day the pressure was constant and my heart rhythm would beat so irregularly that I ended up going to the ER that night because I was really frightened. They ran an ECG, did an x-ray, did blood tests and checked my thyroid. I was actually able to see the ECG readout and it said that my right... something- I don't remember what the word was... was "borderline abnormal." They gave me IV fluids and the doctor told me that "everything came back perfectly normal" and that he was sending me home with "great reassurances" (his words). He said everything came back perfectly normal when I saw with my own eyes that something did not.

Here I am now, exactly 48 hours later and the pressure in my chest is still there, though my dizziness and heart palpitations seem to be subsiding, my incredible fatigue and inability to do simple things like scooping the cat box persist and seem to be getting worse as well as the hot and cold sweats.

I am also burping a lot (very badly today) and having weird... burping is the only thing I can call it coming from my esophagus. I keep breaking out in a hot sweat only to be shivering a few minutes later. I'm sweating so much that it's soaking my clothes. I drank 2 liters of water yesterday since the doctor said that it was simple dehydration and heart palpitations and that I should be better in a few days but that had no effect.

Why did he disregard and refuse to discuss the borderline abnormality that was on my ECG? And why am I seeming to get worse when he insisted I was perfectly fine and should feel better in a few days? I'm am so terrified and this pressure is turning into actual pain now, mostly on my left side. I can't breath when I lie on my back and laying on either of my sides is uncomfortable. It's mostly on my left side though sometimes feels like it comes from the center of my chest and can radiate to both sides.

I'm so afraid that I'm going to be another one of those women who isn't taken seriously by a doctor only to die of a heart attack a few days later. The soonest appointment I could make with a doctor is one week from now since I don't have a primary care physician already (due to not having health insurance for almost ten years) and I'm becoming less assured by the doctor's words since there is something seriously wrong with me.

Have you heard of anything like this?

Thank you so very, very much for your time and thought. Any help you can afford me will be so appreciated.

Hello Karen,

Borderline EKGs are not a threat or a problem at all.  Breathlessness when lying on your back raises the question of heart failure.  You WILL NOT die of a heart attack in the next 30 years.  Please call the doctor and explain about breathless lying down, fatigue and sweats.  If you get nowhere with the doc, go back to the emergency room.

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

David Richardson

Heart & Cardiology

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David Richardson


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


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.

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

Circulation, American Heart Journal, Hypertension.

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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