21 Years Old - Heart Palpitations

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-12-2003
21 Years Old - Heart Palpitations
4
Wed, 03-30-2005 - 6:31pm

Hello everyone,

I am 21 years old, and I have been experiencing heart flutters or "flip flops" for the past 4 years. They seem to have started when I started college. I am an Aerospace Engineering major, so you can imagine my stress level at times. I can go days or even weeks without feeling the flip-flop, and then sometimes I can have several in one day (4-6 is the most frequent I've felt in one day) They do seem to be much more frequent when I am stressed, or when I have caffeine (I cut out caffeine from my diet several years ago and I am now intolerant of it)

As I said, I'm 21 years old, I'm healthy (as far as I know), I exercise (tennis and walking), and I'm about 10lbs overweight (5'7" and 150lbs) I have no other symptoms with my palpitations other than a momentary feeling of panic when they scare me.

My problem is that I have a terrible phobia of doctors and hospitals that I have had for my entire life. When the time comes for me to have to visit one, I deal with extreme anxiety and panic attacks at times. I realize that this is completely ridiculous for someone my age, but it is a real problem that I have to deal with. Obviously, because of this, I haven't seen a doctor about these palpitations. I realize how possibly dangerous it could be for me to wait over 4 years with these things and not see someone about it.. but now I'm thinking that if they haven't hurt me yet, they aren't going to (false logic, I'm sure)

What do you think? Should I deal with the inevitable panic attack and see someone about this? Or do you think my condition is not bad enough to warrant a trip? What symptoms/occurances should be a red light to see a doctor immediately about this?

Thanks

PS - I'm very sorry if this gets posted twice. I am having a shaky internet connection tonight, and I wasn't sure if my first post made it or not.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-14-2003
Sat, 04-02-2005 - 4:49am

First of all welcome to this fine board.

Hugs,

Cecilia

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-04-2003
Sat, 04-02-2005 - 8:43am

Stress, especially among women, is very common.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-12-2003
Mon, 04-04-2005 - 2:59pm

I've decided to go to the doctor, more for my peace of mind than anything else. I'm tired of being afraid that I'm going to drop dead one day from these irregular beats. I have an appointment made for next monday morning (this was after calling Ask-A-Nurse to be sure that it isn't serious enough to get checked sooner than that)

Even though I have a history of fainting and panic attacks in hospitals or at doctor's offices, I think I'll be fine with this visit as long as no blood work is done.. otherwise I'll be out cold on the floor, white as a sheet. :-) Is blood work usually done when first diagnosing isolated instances of irregular beats?

I'll keep everyone posted after my appointment.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-14-2003
Wed, 04-06-2005 - 2:32pm

I am very pleased to see you decided to be checked out.

Hugs,

Cecilia