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Heart pounding? List of appropriate heart tests?

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Posted (edited)

Does anyone have strong heart pounding sensations from meds? It does not feel like it's racing, just beating really strong sometimes, I notice at bedtime. I wonder if its the combo of Ritalin + Effexor? I've been taking a 2nd Ritalin in the afternoons. I usually have low blood pressure, but wondering if meds can really change that as well?

My parents both had heart attacks quite young (50's) If I get an EKG is that really enough to assess that my heart is perfectly fine? Are there other tests to get? I heard that an EKG cannot always predict that you have a heart condition. It did not predict my mothers problems - her EKG never detected anything wrong, yet she would experience missing heart beats and/or tachardia sometimes during the night.

 

Edited by Blahblah

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I have not had this from Ritalin, but I do know that it is a side effect of Effexor along with increased blood pressure.

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Blahblah said:

 If I get an EKG is that really enough to assess that my heart is perfectly fine? Are there other tests to get? I heard that an EKG cannot always predict that you have a heart condition. It did not predict my mothers problems - her EKG never detected anything wrong, yet she would experience missing heart beats and/or tachardia sometimes during the night.

A regular EKG or ECG (electrocardiogram) only measures the heart activity for a brief point in time, so it may not detect everything....It's just a general screening test.

There is a device called a holter monitor that could possibly be more accurate in determining any heart problems...It is a device that you wear for 24-48 hours and records all heart activity within that time:

http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HeartAttack/DiagnosingaHeartAttack/Holter-Monitor_UCM_446437_Article.jsp#.Wp6FpGrwYnQ

Wearing a holter monitor has no risks, and it's not painful at all, IME........At one point, I had to wear one for 24 hours because I felt my heart was skipping beats, and the regular ECG didn't show any problems........My holter test didn't show anything bad, either, so I'm guessing in my case it was just anxiety.

The only annoying thing for me was that I couldn't take a shower while wearing the holter.

Edited by CrazyRedhead

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Thanks @CrazyRedhead This is what I recall - that the EKG is nearly useless because it will only detect something happening within that particular 5-10 minutes that they test you. Seems pointless, unless something is happening constantly.

My heart does feel it is beating stronger & a bit erratically also. I feel much more tired too, I am stressed and overworking (on computer) myself the last 2 weeks. I just feel a bit scared bc I take Ritalin (2x per day) + Effexor + 3 coffees per day to keep going. The coffee helps wake me up in the morning - I can't deal waking up before 10am it's awful. No matter when I get to bed, I hate mornings.

Do you have to be having heart pain or something serious to get the holter? I don't know if they think it's being paranoid if you want one for double-checking?

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I think your symptoms and concerns are enough to get a consult with a cardiologist.

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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, Blahblah said:

 Do you have to be having heart pain or something serious to get the holter? I don't know if they think it's being paranoid if you want one for double-checking?

I agree with notloki above........Just tell your GP the symptoms you've been experiencing, and that you're concerned because your parents had heart problems at a relatively young age.........That should be enough for a GP to refer you to a cardiologist.

You can let the cardiologist know that you would like to have a holter test done.....I don't think you will have any problems getting it.

Edited by CrazyRedhead

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The stress echocardiogram is another test everyone should have at least once, It measures the heart's function while stressed over approx 30 min. by echocardiogram and EKG, This is the real information you want; how the heart functions at full load and not just idle. 

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Thank you both.

I did have a "fitness test" 3 years ago. I don't know how thorough it was. It was given by my GP, I rode on a stationary bike for like 15 minutes with electrodes on & hooked to the computer and a breathing mask on. (The computer showed my heart rate, oxygen level or something I guess). He said there were no noticeable issues, only asked my to pedal as hard/fast as I could at the end - then he asked if i was feeling more pain in my legs or just out of breath. I felt no pain, I was just having a tough time getting a full breath at the end of the "sprint"

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