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Muna from Singapore asked a question

What should I do if I'm having intermittent palpitations and can feel my heart racing?

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I’m 31 years old this year and have been trying to conceive for more than 2 years. Over the last 1 week, I have been suddenly experiencing a fast heartbeat-like pulse that comes and goes, in the middle part of my lower abdomen. Is this a cause for concern, and what should I do next?

DOCTOR’S ANSWER (3)

Hi Muna,

How long did the sensation of heart beat going fast last? Does it feel regular or irregular? You may try to use a BP machine or an android phone app to measure your pulse rate during the symptom. If is it less than 110 bpm, it is usually not abnormal heart rhythm based on my experience.
 
Other possibilities including endocrine cause will need to be explored. Abdominal aneurysm, although possible, is unlikely at your age group.
 

If the symptom lasts more than 30 minutes, you can try to get an ECG during the attack at the nearest clinic or emergency department. If it is shorter but happens fairly frequently (daily or every few days), an event recorder or Holter may be useful.

If you are worried, you should consult a doctor who can advise what to do next. Many of the abnormal heart rhythm at your age group is curable. In some cases, no further treatment is required.

0 237 views 0 Doctors agree Tue Mar 20 2018 01:11:06 GMT+0000 (UTC)

Hi Muna, as Dr Israr mentioned, your on and off, heartbeat like pulse is known as palpitations. Abdominal aneurysms are one of the most important causes to rule out for palpitations that are felt in the abdominal area. 

However, it feels more like a "pulsating feeling" close to your belly button, rather than an awareness of the heart beating, which you seem to be describing. It would be a good idea to see a doctor sooner, rather than later, to have this checked out.

There are many other less worrying causes of palpitation felt around the stomach area:

  • Indigestion
  • Caffeine/alcohol on an empty stomach
  • Stress/anxiety
  • Dehydration

If you are also experiencing heart palpitations, with symptoms such as:

  • Feeling faint
  • Fluttering in the chest
  • Pounding heartbeat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Light-headedness

You may have an abnormal heart rhythm, and again will need to be seen to rule this condition out (again, there are many other none-worrying causes for heart palpitations, such as stress, caffeine and alcohol intake).

If you have a family history of pre-existing heart conditions/sudden death/aneurysms, it’s particularly important for you to consult a doctor without delay. All the best!

0 282 views 0 Doctors agree Tue Feb 20 2018 01:59:51 GMT+0000 (UTC)

Hi Muna,

What you are experiencing is likely palpitations in your abdominal area (which would likely point to the abdominal aorta ).
 
It would be good to visit a vascular surgeon for a detailed consultation to rule out conditions like aortic dissection and aneurysms. 
 
You may also benefit from a 24hr ecg monitoring if the abdomen is cleared by the vascular surgeon and your looking for more systemic or cardiothoracic / endocrine causes of the palpitations.
 
Abdominal aortic conditions can be life-threatening, so an earlier visit to see the doctor may be warranted. 
1 297 views 0 Doctors agree Mon Feb 19 2018 20:33:43 GMT+0000 (UTC)
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