advertisement
Question
Posted by: emberg | 2011-10-11

physical or mental?

I was diagnosed two years ago with depression, i have two small kids and am happily married. I think I was depressed after the birth of my first child and it gradually got worse until I had constant paranoia and feelings of impending doom. My GP diagnosed major depression and put me on to Talomil, which we changed after a year to Wellbutrin 150mg x 1 and now has been increased to Wellbutrin 300mg x 1 per day. I feel great, no paranoia and lead an almost normal life. A year ago I had an increased heart rate, it felt like my heart was in my throat, after failing to get my heart rate down we phoned the on-call GP (we live in a rural area) and he suggested i went straight through to hospital (1 1/2 hours drive) by the time we got near town I felt like I was going to pass out (tingling and seeing specks of white light), my husband took me straight to the GP, and as I got there my heart rate decreased and I felt fine. My heart had been racing for about three hours at that stage. The GP diagnosed Arrythmia and said I should see a cardiologist as soon as i can. I saw my own GP soon after that, he listened to my heart, and said I had no need of a cardiologist, it was merely a build up of adrenalin, possibly a panic attack. He put me onto PukBloka 40mg x 1/2 daily and I have continued over the last year to have these palpitations regularly. I take the 1/2 pur bloka every morning and when I have palpitations i take a whole one and it usually brings my heart rate down. After the last ''''attack'''' a few weeks ago my GP did an ECG and said my heart was very healthy and gave me more pills to take, Atrivan, (a tranquilizer) when my heart rate increases. I understand I have a history of depression but I am not convinced these are panic attacks. Every time the palpitations come I am completely relaxed and not doing anything stressful, and have always, thankfully, been at home, not driving with kids. I had a hysterectomy last week and after the operation my blood pressure was very low (80/50) for long enough for the nurses to be concerned, which i think is now caused by the pur bloka. I have done some reading about panic attacks and I don''''t have the ''''panic'''' factor that comes with panic attacks. My heart races to over 200bpm, my hands and feet are very cold and I get a tingling in them and they feel like dead weight, often I see spots in front of my eyes and feel like I might faint, and I have a pain in my chest. My breathing stays normal and I feel quite calm, my hands don''''t tremble either and I don''''t feel like i can''''t breathe. Often I get quick palpitations like my heart is ''revving'' and then it quickly goes, other times it stays for longer, sometimes an hour. I am otherwise healthy, weigh 65kg and don''t smoke and rarely drink. I am 36 years old. I think if they were panic attacks I would have no doubt in my mind about the panic part, from what i have read. Do I go back to my GP after the ECG came back fine and ask for a referral to a specialist or take his word that I must just stress less?

Not what you were looking for? Try searching again, or ask your own question
Our expert says:
Expert ImageCardiologist

Hi Emberg

It is sometimes difficult to know whether a racing heart is racing because your body is telling it to do so ("adrenalin", etc - your heart just reacting normally to something outside the heart) or because you have a really abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia.)

The best way to tell the difference is to have an ECG during an "attack", (not afterwards) which I suggest you do. However, from what you've told me I suspect your GP is quite correct and your heart is just reacting as it should do, in other words it is an innocent bystander and not the culprit. If it will give you peace of mind see a cardiologist, but it sounds like your GP is on the ball. I hope things improve for you soon.

Best wishes

JT

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

2
Our users say:
Posted by: emberg | 2011-10-31

Hi Dr Tyrrell

Thank you for your answer. I have since been doing some research on Wellbutrin and it''s link to arrythmia and have asked my Dr to lower my dose, I am now taking a lower dose and only every second day, which seems to get me by. Since I''ve started this I have not had ONE abnormal heart rythm, so i''m pretty sure it was the wellbutrin.

Thank you again.

Reply to emberg
Posted by: Cardiologist | 2011-10-24

Hi Emberg

It is sometimes difficult to know whether a racing heart is racing because your body is telling it to do so ("adrenalin", etc - your heart just reacting normally to something outside the heart) or because you have a really abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia.)

The best way to tell the difference is to have an ECG during an "attack", (not afterwards) which I suggest you do. However, from what you've told me I suspect your GP is quite correct and your heart is just reacting as it should do, in other words it is an innocent bystander and not the culprit. If it will give you peace of mind see a cardiologist, but it sounds like your GP is on the ball. I hope things improve for you soon.

Best wishes

JT

Reply to Cardiologist

Have your say

Thanks for commenting! Your comment will appear on the site shortly.
Thanks for commenting! Your comment will appear on the site shortly.
advertisement