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I have had this problem for about a week it is extremely strange and scary. I am 25 years old and pretty healthy/athletic. I have had slight  shortness of breath during the day but when I lie down to go to sleep it is amplified. As I doze off I am awoken by what feels like my heart almost getting shocked. It shakes me awake and I then have trouble going back to sleep. I begin to doze off again I can feel my heart palpitating and then when I finally fall asleep I am awoken again by the electric jumping feeling in my heart. During this lying down state my shortness of breath is at its worse. I need to take extremely deep breaths to feel like my body is getting enough oxygen. I went to the doctor and had a normal ekg and blood test looked fine. Could this be sleep apnea? Could this be a lung problem that is affecting my heart? I dont think it anxiety because I am not having trouble falling a sleep rather I am getting jarred awake as soon as I do fall into sleep.

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I have these exact same symptoms, but its been going for a month and I had it before 6 months ago and it went away after 5 or 6 weeks. But now its back.
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Hello,

It brings considerable relief hearing about a near IDENTICAL syndrome that I've been experiencing lately. But first, a brief history:

I'm male, 25 years old, about 10-15 lbs overweight, a smoker of 4 years (though, after my first bout of breathlessness and palpitations about a month ago, I quit successfully), and I've exercised somewhat regularly for the last 2 months.

As it would happen, these symptoms corresponded with serious life challenges, both a month ago and this latest occurrence (turning 25, and the stress of finding a new job, respectively). Because of this, my GP quickly wrote it off as anxiety/panic, wrote a script for Xanax, and sent me on my merry way - "just another hypochondriac," I imagine she thought.

The trouble I have with this, however, is I KNOW what anxiety/panic feels likes; I've lived with it for the better part of my adult life. THESE symptoms (breathlessness at rest, violent palpations, parasthesia in the trunk radiating into the extremities) WERE NOT the symptoms I had grow intimate with over the last few years suffering from panic attacks (if anything, these symptoms emerged once an attack was in full swing, but never preceded it).

What's more, these symptoms, both then and now occurred daily like clockwork, are in no way alleviated by benzopiazipines. The proof is in the pudding: this isn't anxiety.

I'm not sure what to do now. I've heard horror stories about young people developing congestive heart failure due to poor lifestyle choices (God knows, I've made many...) I'd like to see a cardiologist and get an echo and rule out the most grave of conditions, but having to navigate the heath care system gives me little hope (to get a referral, for one, I'll have to go back to see the GP that handed down the WRONG diagnosis).

I hope this helps others who are suffering from these strange and frightening symptoms and fear the worse. My advice would be (and let's hope I follow it...): if you think there's something sinister going on in your chest - heart, lungs, or otherwise - go DIRECTLY to a specialist, then specifically request certain tests that you have researched, and above all, don't take s*** from lazy GPs.

Cheers.
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I suffered the same symptoms you've explained; heart palpitations and a jolting feeling through my chest when trying to sleep at night. By day I would feel like I was in a fog and quite light-headed. Sometimes I would feel like I was about to pass out. I felt a pressure pain in the center of my chest both day and night. These symptoms just hit me out of the blue. I'm in great physical shape so these symptoms really scared me.

After seeing my GP, a neurologist and an ENT all of whom carried out a full cardo workup, blood workup, urinalysis, head/neck MRI, and ENG/VNG testing, my GP diagnosed anxiety and prescribed Xanex and Lexapro. After about a month it was apparent that anxiety wasn't my problem because my symptoms didn't change. I didn't think that was it to begin with.

I went to a Cardiologist a couple of weeks ago and he administered a tilt table test. Well I failed the test. I've been diagnosed with Neuro Cardiogenic Syncope. Basically, there's a problem somewhere with receptors in my heart that send signals to my brain about my blood pressure. My blood pressure is dropping when it shouldn't (light headedness) and my heart is responding inappropriately (palpitations). I was prescribed the beta-blocker Zebeta which is used to treat high blood pressure. It's just about eliminated all my symptoms. I feel much better. My Cardiologist believes it to be a transient condition that will likely correct itself after about 6 months of treatment with the beta blocker.

Search the web for "Neurocardiogenic Syncope" and "tilt table testing". Then you may want to talk to a cardiologist about this.

I hope this helps you guys and many others. Not being able to find an answer to symptoms that mimic heart attack and heart failure is emotionally exhausting.

Good luck.
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I suffered these similar conditions last nnight . I believe however that it might be that I am in a high altitude area and this could be negatively affecting my condition. When I started to fall asleep I get suddenly woke up by shortness of breath. Each time I tried to sleep it happened. I never had these symptoms before but now after being several thousand feet above sea level thats when this got to be a problem.
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Get your thyroid checked immediately- i had the same problem and blew it off for a long time. It could be hyperthyroid.
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thanks to google... i was able to see this articles about this problem... actually i had the same symptoms.. as far as i remember, a few months ago i always wake up at night, awaken by a big pump/beat on the chest, and i just ignored it, but now, this night, its my second time to have palpitation attacks, and it really woke me up... i am 24 i do play basketball, and i smoke, irregularly... i think i might need to save this articles guys... thanks, hope doctors can help me cure this, because its really bothering me, and i dont wanna miss work..
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....I can't believe I'm actually seeing this post, This EXACTLY what I've been going through for the past year. I'm 30yo male, and have always been in very good shape, and last month I got blood work (thyroid/ekg/basic initial stuff) all neg. and my doc prescribed xanax/ambien, nothing works, just got a sleep apnea test done but I could tell apnea wasn't the problem, they didn't even test me with the CPAP mask or anything. I'm waiting for the results.



My question is to you mtch_h (you're a godsend btw!) I'm assuming that beta blocker helped you with those palps that came when you got to sleep, but I also have the exact same palps right when i get UP from sleep which is always only after about 4 hours of sleep which is my biggest problem. Did you have these symptoms too? And also, what dosage are you on with that beta blocker, does it half a long active half life? Thx so much again I've been suffering for so long with only 4 hours sleep / day. ....
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This is one of the WORST feelings in the world and it, for me, was all because of my thyroid!!!
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stop taking creatin and supplements...thats what its coming from.
Took me more that 10 years to figure it out.....and only time will tell what I have done to my body in the long term...
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Hi:
It sure sounds exactly like sleep apnea. However, because your heart is involved you should see a cardiologist. A cardiologist would refer you from his/her office if necessary. I'm sure this is very scary for you, especially since you've been a healthy, athletic person to this point. If you are continuing to engage in vigorous activity, it would be important for you to see a doctor, just in case this is not sleep apnea. The vigorous activity may not be advisable until other things are ruled out. Try to stay calm about it and make an appointment. You may have more success sleeping if you prop yourself up to sleep. Lying flat on your back aggravates cardiac and respiratory problems. I hope you will be feeling better very soon....Let me know what the doctor says. It might be helpful to other community members.
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I have a mitral valve prolapse which causes all of these symptoms. Beta blockers have not worked very well so I stopped taking them. The important thing is to learn to manage your palpitations and not get too worried as this will make them worse. Learn the things that trigger them and do your best to avoid those situations. I have found my worst attacks happen when I'm having allergy problems. I must also avoid caffeine, alcohol, illness, extreme temperature changes and stress. PMS also seems to make them worse. I sleep propped up on pillows and never sleep on my left side. Deep breathing helps send the signal to your autonomic system it's time to settle down. And lastly, a relaxing bath and some melatonin before bed time works great too.

Hang in there!
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So I'l give my narrative. My problem started with the same breathing spells that you have described, accompanied by the adrenal rush and the heart pounding or beating fast. Initially coming one or two nights in a row and then ceasing for a week or a month. I'm 26, and at the time I had been training for the ironman, so you can bet I was in the best shape of my life. (ran cross country and did swimming in grade school) I started having problems with swimming. I could hold my breath and swim just find under water for 50m, but then I started floundering, like I couldn't get enough air. Started going to the doctor, they did x-rays and blood test. All normal (except for early repolarization, but that I have had all my life, and is fairly common in athletes) Then one day, i had a sudden, unexpected and unexplained case of severe and sustained left ventricular tachycardia. It decked me, and I was rushed to the hospital. My pulse and vitals had returned to normal within 60 seconds of the attack. All ekgs, stress test, stress echo were fine. (blood work got lost....) About a month later I started having the spells when I was falling asleep, and mild unsustained Vtachs. Eventually I started having problems laying on my left side, and I have lost gi motility when I eat. (I am on laxatives to keep me moving)
It's been 9 months now, and I've started having small groups of muscles that are involuntarly pulsing or contracting.


Was put on Beta blockers, which initially controlled heart symptoms very well (50 mg atenolol), no more V tach, sleep problems reduced. Alcohol works synergistically with the beta blocker to reduce heart and "adrenal rushes". I never used to drink at all, now if I don't have just a little bit to drink everyday I pay for it when I try to go to sleep.
However i've been getting worse just about every week, (some weeks I get relief from the onslaught of symptoms) Now I take 100 to 150 mg of atenolol. I am taking 10 mg of amitriptylin which really worked well and made me much better for about 2 weeks, until the effect faded. I am going to try a alpha blocker (amitriptylin does a lot, but it has a weak non specfic alpha blocker quality)


Test that were performed, stress echo (normal) 24 hour haulter (normal) chest xray (some scaring, probably from exposure to histoplasmosis, live in the ohio valley, considered normal) 2 month event monitor (aberrant heart rhythms, vtach) Electrophysiology heart cath test, (normal) heart catheritization (normal) chest mri (normal) chest ct (some coronary spasm in the LAD but otherwise normal) abdominal echo (possibly enlarged spleen) kidney echo (normal) CBC (normal) Abdominal CT (small lesions on the kidneys (less than 7 mm) numerous mesenteric adenopathys unexplaned)

I have had low potassium and low alkline phosphatase in one or two test, but not very low. My temperature has been constantly 97.1 degrees. I have lost weight, despite the fact that I eat lots of fatty foods, and drink often.

Possible relevence?!
I have a history of suffering from muscle cramps in the calves and feet. I had a mild bike accident a few months before this started happening, just road rash, and aches from the collision.

Diseases I have researched : Roemheld syndrome, polychromocytoma, ion channel defects, dis-auto-nomia,

Test I'm having done soon, or am waiting for test results : Sleep study, catecholamine study, free plasma metanephrine test.

Please post the test you have had, and other relevent facts, maybe we have a similar "rare" disease.
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That's quite a story! I do not share your affliction but I would like you to keep me updated on what the tests say that you have done. I'd like to hear how it goes. Please let me know, okay?
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My wife has been having shortness of breath, that varies in seriousness for about 1 month now. Her lungs have checked out fine, and she's had an EKG, and an echocardiogram that all turned out fine. Her thyroid has been checked and that is fine.

Her symptoms of a shock or thump in her chest right after she's fallen asleep (or very relaxed) sounds exactly like what you have.

Our current plan is to get to a cardiologist and dig deeper.

Thanks,
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