6 doctors weighed in:

My heart is pounding so hard it is making my upper back hurt. Is this normal? My chest feels heavy and it makes me slightly short of breath. This has been going on for nearly 2 months off and on. Is it possibly just stress related?

6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Stephen Christensen
Family Medicine
4 doctors agree

In brief: It

It sounds like you may have a dysrhythmia (abnormal heartbeat) that is occurring intermittently.
There are several types of dysrhythmia that can cause the symptoms you describe, but paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia, or psvt (see link below), is a fairly common dysrhythmia that can cause your heart rate to increase far beyond normal. Whenever your heart beats faster, it requires more oxygen to compensate for the increased workload. If your coronary arteries cannot supply enough blood to meet this demand, chest or back pain (angina) can result. If this situation persists, you could have a heart attack. Stress, caffeine, alcohol, and certain medications can increase the irritability of your heart and make a dysrhythmia worse, but in most cases the "trigger" for the abnormal rhythm is already present somewhere in the tissues of your heart. Other conditions, such as anemia, could contribute to your symptoms, as well. In healthy, young adults, psvt is typically well-tolerated, but any time a dysrhythmia causes angina, chest pressure, shortness of breath, or fainting, urgent medical evaluation is warranted. All things considered, i think your body is sending you a message. Whatever is going on here, your heart doesn't seem to be tolerating it. Call your doctor as soon as possible for an evaluation. Good luck! http://www.Ncbi.Nlm.Nih.Gov/pubmedhealth/pmh0001235/.

In brief: It

It sounds like you may have a dysrhythmia (abnormal heartbeat) that is occurring intermittently.
There are several types of dysrhythmia that can cause the symptoms you describe, but paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia, or psvt (see link below), is a fairly common dysrhythmia that can cause your heart rate to increase far beyond normal. Whenever your heart beats faster, it requires more oxygen to compensate for the increased workload. If your coronary arteries cannot supply enough blood to meet this demand, chest or back pain (angina) can result. If this situation persists, you could have a heart attack. Stress, caffeine, alcohol, and certain medications can increase the irritability of your heart and make a dysrhythmia worse, but in most cases the "trigger" for the abnormal rhythm is already present somewhere in the tissues of your heart. Other conditions, such as anemia, could contribute to your symptoms, as well. In healthy, young adults, psvt is typically well-tolerated, but any time a dysrhythmia causes angina, chest pressure, shortness of breath, or fainting, urgent medical evaluation is warranted. All things considered, i think your body is sending you a message. Whatever is going on here, your heart doesn't seem to be tolerating it. Call your doctor as soon as possible for an evaluation. Good luck! http://www.Ncbi.Nlm.Nih.Gov/pubmedhealth/pmh0001235/.
Dr. Stephen Christensen
Dr. Stephen Christensen
Thank
Dr. Joy Jackson
Family Medicine
1 doctor agrees

In brief: This

This could be stress related.
However a cardiac cause needs to be ruled out. Please visit your primary care provider for an evaluation/work up. You will likely need an ekg (test that checks the electrical activity of your heart) and blood analysis. Your doctor can then make a presumptive diagnosis and start treatment for whatever the problem may be. Good luck.

In brief: This

This could be stress related.
However a cardiac cause needs to be ruled out. Please visit your primary care provider for an evaluation/work up. You will likely need an ekg (test that checks the electrical activity of your heart) and blood analysis. Your doctor can then make a presumptive diagnosis and start treatment for whatever the problem may be. Good luck.
Dr. Joy Jackson
Dr. Joy Jackson
Thank
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