Angina, palpatations, fluttering

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-12-2009
Angina, palpatations, fluttering
Sun, 07-12-2009 - 6:27pm

Hi everyone, I am new to this board. Here's a quick summary of my situation:

I am a 40 year old guy. Last year in May, one day at work I felt symptoms of a heart attack. I considered going to the ER that day but blew it off because I had a huge project at work that I had to finish. I ended up going a couple of weeks later, and I was referred to a cardiologist. They did a stress test, and when it came back abnormal, I had a heart cath done. I was very relieved to find out that I did not have heart disease - I have a condition I was born with known as a "myocardial bridge", which means that one of my coronary arteries goes into the heart muscle instead of running on the surface of the heart. It's not uncommon, and they told me it most likely started to show symptoms because of stress and too much caffeine.

So, I followed the doctors orders and felt better, but about a month later I began to feel these lightheaded spells, and sometimes a "fluttering" feeling in my chest. As you can guess, this really scared me and made me think something is wrong with my heart.

To make a long story short, I have been back to the cardiologist at least

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Sun, 07-12-2009 - 11:46pm

Welcome, Eric!! It's nice to meet you!

For some reason, we tend to not be believed when our symptoms first begin. And for that reason alone, we need to get a second opinion. After the first of my symptoms began (high blood pressure and high cholesterol), my heart disease wasn't found until much later. The first doctor "poo-poo'd" it off and just kept treating the cholesterol issue. The second doctor was concerned enough to send me to a specialist. I had a heart cath and an echo and low and behold! I've since had a stent placement and a cardioversion. My point? Anything out-of-the-ordinary is NOT normal. No one knows your body like you do and if something doesn't feel right, go with that gut feeling.

An arrhythmia can be quite "normal".... Most of us have them and most are non-life threatening. But some ARE. And some arrhythmias can be the first red flag. With your high triclycerides and low good cholesterol, it's time that a doctor became more serious in treating you. Are you on blood pressure meds? I don't know about you, but I don't think any of what you're described is all in your head. As for stress, yes, some of the problem may be caused by it. Stress can play havoc with our health in a number of ways. Still, it pays to be safe rather than sorry.

Here are a couple of links for you...

Angina is a type of chest discomfort caused by poor blood flow through the blood vessels (coronary vessels) of the heart muscle (myocardium. Related topics: Chest pain; Stable angina; Unstable angina; Variant angina.

Palpitation is an awareness of a strong, fast, irregular, abnormal or galloping heartbeat that tends to be unpleasant. While typically lasting only a few seconds, they may be forceful or even violent. Palpitations are frequently described by pat...

Good luck to you and please do let us know how you're doing from time to time, okay?

Heart Hugs, Geri



iVillage Member
Registered: 07-12-2009
Mon, 07-13-2009 - 12:11pm

Thanks Geri,

Those links are fantastic. Really some very good information. I have done a lot of online research myself in the last year but those are better than most.

Yes, I have been taking Trilipix, which is a medication to help with cholesterol numbers. The channel blocker I am taking is really for angina, since without medication my BP was good. However, it is a medication that also works to lower BP (and it also is supposed to help with irregular heartbeat).

The thing about all of this is how suddenly it came on. The angina doesn't bother me too much because it can be explained -- the heart bridge. As long as I know it's harmless, which they say it is -- then I am fine with a little mild discomfort once in a while. It's the other stuff that has bothered me.

Thanks for the advice. At this point I am going to follow doctors orders. I could stand to lose 10 pounds, and I need to cut the fat and lower the trigs, while exercise is supposed to be great for raising the good cholesterol. If I continue to feel this way, I migth try to get a second opinion.


Community Leader
Registered: 10-22-2001
Fri, 07-17-2009 - 10:40am
Hi I just want to say if you are feeling things are just not right continue to seek out medical attention.
If at all possible try to reduce your can't be eliminated totally but reducing it substantially will definitely help.
After my heart attack a year ago it changed me.
I think you are more aware of your own body and also our mortality is so much more in our face.
It's scary...and add into the mix I lost my beloved mom to a heart attack...and the fact you have had this since you were born and it was discovered until now it's no wonder we are feeling a little vulnerable and concerned.
Have you told your doctor how you are feeling?
Is there any damage to your heart or the muscles around it?
Could it be a side-affect from the medications you are on?
Are you eating?...Exercise is usually good for someone but are you over-doing it?
I have other health concerns and the RA can affect organs like my heart and my lungs...I think we take for granted our health.
I had told my doctor I felt my blood pressure was up..."boiling"...but until some blood-work came back he wasn't seemingly too concerned.
Until he found my cholesterol was through the roof...literally.
I was put on medication and about a month later ended up in the ER at the hospital.
I went because of the "chest pains". I know that my mom had a problem and I guess it's common to have a fluttering or fluctuation in your heart beat for some people.
After leaving the hospital it took some time to feel like my old self and honestly I don't think I ever really will.
Now I try to educate myself and also advocate.
I think having questions or concerns is a good thing.
I love my heart guy...he told me my lungs are what concerns him.
I don't smoke and am a non-smoker...have asthma and I guess something I might have to deal with in the future is COPD.
I went back to my job within a couple of weeks but it was too soon I realize that the end I lost my job as we were laid off permanently.
Since having the heart attack I am learning I need to reduce the stress as much as possible and sometimes for US we just have to say NO.
I would talk to your doctor about your concerns.
i don't think they think that it's ALL in your mind either.
It's a traumatic experience.
Hope this helps a little.
Take care!
Community Leader
Registered: 10-22-2001
Fri, 07-17-2009 - 10:53am
Awesome post thanks for ALL the info!
I love my heart guy...he was there at the hospital with me and then at the hospital for the the other tests.
He has helped me more than words can say.
Thorough, caring, and sensitive...he doesn't poo-poo anybody.
I wasn't ALONE for either of the tests and he has ordered more blood-work in the past year for me than my own family doctor has ordered in more than the ten years I have been going to him.
He never dismisses anything I have to say...he listens.
When my own family doctor wasn't making me feel validated when I was explaining to him the pain I was in he said no one should be in pain...and suffer needlessly.
I am happy and feel safe in his hands.
When I had the stress test he understood my concern...I have psoriasis on the soles of my feet and combined with the RA was in agony.
At any time he would stop the test he said if I needed him is done gradually.
I had taken my asthma medication before but ended up having an asthma attack...they were excellent the doctor and the nurse.
I will never forget their kindness toward me.
Both of the nurses/technicians and my doctor...the heart guy explained the tests and were very supportive throughout them...because it is scary.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Sun, 07-19-2009 - 11:08pm

You're very welcome, Eric! I've been away a lot for the past 2 weeks, so I'm just now seeing your reply. Sorry about that!

And, yes, do get that second opinion should you feel it's necessary. Nothing but nothing is worth the risks to our health!



iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Sun, 07-19-2009 - 11:11pm
You're very welcome! :) My cardio is one special guy, also. If you call his office with a compaint, he asks you to be in his office asap. He doesn't behave as if it is all nonsense, as some doctors do. He also returns my calls HIMSELF - not a nurse or someone in his office. He's a wonderful cardio and I wouldn't still be here if not for him.



Community Leader
Registered: 10-22-2001
Mon, 07-20-2009 - 1:44am
I was blessed to to have had both the doctors that were on call that day and the other hospital staff to.
It made a difference...I am so grateful.
Thanks for sharing that with us.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-10-2006
Tue, 07-21-2009 - 9:04pm

I can only speak from my experience.