Heart flutterings


#1
I have read many times on the forum that other members with PD suffer from what has been described as "heart flutterings". As my symptoms worsen I have noticed that I too have this now and then, and it is very unpleasant. I feel as if my heart misses a few beats, and it can be quite frightening. It is often accompanied by a real feeling of dread.I do not have any known heart problems.
I mentioned this to my neurologist and asked if it was part of PD. He said most people get this and it has nothing to do with PD. I have asked non PD friends and family if they get this and they don't.
I was wondering how many others get this symptom, and if my neuro could possibly be wrong?
Regards, Butterfly

#2
Hello Butterfly19553,

I have not got pd but have had these flutterings for many years now I think they started in my fifties. I have been checked out several times and I have not had to go on any medication as yet. It is definitely worse with stress and I have had to sit on the side of the bed and wait till it settles down before now especially when my husband was still at home. Having said that you should get it checked with your GP and they may decide to do an ECG to get a trace of what is going on, but I don't think it is because of PD as such.
best wishes
vivian

#3
Hi vivian and butterfly
I have these heart flutterings regularly.i thought they were like a panic attack coming on.but I didnt have the flutterings before dx.
John

#4
I had this too, also a fast heartbeat at times. I was on Repinerol and Requip at the time then i was taken off them because of swollen legs and after a few weeks I realised the flutters had gone, In my case it must have been the medication.

Val

#5
Thank you for your replies V, P and J. I will mention it to my GP Vivian.It is interesting that others experience it, although I realise it might not be related to PD. I am not on any meds at the moment.
I have noticed it has been mentioned a lot over the last couple of years on the forum.

#6
Hi butterfly

I don't have pd and have had these for a decade or so. I am pretty sure they are related to coffee consumption. I now only drink coffee socially:disappointed:, about 4 times a week, and hardly ever have them.

#7
Hi
I had these. They began when I started taking l-dopa medication -in my case madopar. They gradually got more and more frequent, builfing up to many tiimes a day. Ihad a heart scan and it was fine. i felt the sensation was like a baby kicking and hiccuping inside when you're pregnant,but in the chest! It was very disconcerting. Initially I took 125 mg of madopar every 4 hours. This amount caused severe sidee effects - dyskenesias, sudden sleep etc- and i changed it to half the dose every 2 - 3 hours. The dyskenesias and sudden sleep disappeared as did the heart flutteriing. Gradually the heart fluttering returned. I had previously taken a very low dose atenolol to control mograines which re-appeared at this stage. I cautiously started atenolol at 25mg pd(can lower blood pressure so you musy take care) this has really helped the heart problem and not affected the b.p. If i forget it within hours my heart starts 'crashing about'.

I was lucky at the time to have a very interested GP and very expereinced neurologist . I do wish one could rely on one's doctors to have the knowledge needed to understand the many and varied effects of PD. The variability and inconsistency in knowledge amd treatment of PD within the NHS is really quite shockingand, I think, pretty unforgivable. Hang in there!

#8
Hi this heart fluttering thing, I first experienced it several years before PD lurched up over the horizon. Mine was described as an ectopic heartbeat, typical causes too much caffeine, too much alcohol or too much anxiety.

I cut out the majority of my caffeine intake and now I rarely get it at all. The explanation I was given is that the heart drops a beat, realises what it's just done, then thumps in big with the next beat. I had an ECG. That was back in 2005. Nothing to worry about now unless I ramp up the caffeine intake!

Regards Tractorman.

#9
"People with high blood pressure or autonomic nervous system disorders like Parkinson's disease, may experience arrhythmia after eating. "
http://www.buzzle.com/articles/irregular-heartbeat-after-eating.html

"parkinson's is... also a dysautonomia, with norepinephrine loss in the sympathetic nervous system of the heart."
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1474442203005556

"Along with epinephrine, norepinephrine also underlies the fight-or-flight response, directly increasing heart rate, "
wikipedia

just to point out there ARE connections between pd, digestion and the heart. but i don't think it is understood yet.

#10
Like tractorman I had flutterings or palpitations long before PD was diagnosed. I have had an ECG and heart scan and the conclusion was an ectopic heartbeat. I don t drink and have very little caffeine but do get very anxious which my consultant says is the cause of the palpitations and nothing to worry about (!) as long as they only last a few seconds

#11
hi butterfly, i have the heart flutterings but mine started after diagnosis and i was put on a 24hr heart monitor the result came back that i have ventricular ectopic my gp said it was nothing to worry about and no treatment was needed, he did,nt say what the cause was but when i went in to hospital for a minor op the anethetist told me it was the meds that were the cause since then have had a full investigation scan ecg everything and it came back fine so just have to put up with it but it is very frightening at times and it does hurt my chest its like someone has thumped me in the chest, so i dont believe a doctor who says its nothing to do with pd,sue.

#12
Thank you all, for your input. It has certainly made interesting reading. Turnip, your first link was very informative, and shows that perhaps my Neuro is not as informed as he should be. Unfortunately I couldn't draw up the second link.
I agree with you Lily, I don't fully believe what my doctor said. I wonder if anyone else who doesn't take meds yet has experienced this?

#13
i had 'flutters' before meds for many years and ended up having an incident of atrial fribulation - very unpleasant. i associated it with Gastric problems and constipation. i recommend reduced caffeine or excessive chilli,but possibly extra potassium and magnesium and fruit and nuts (~fresh or dried).(ALWAYS TAKE MAGNESIUM WITH food!)

#14
PS = NO GP KNOWS EVERYTHING - IT AINT POSSIBLE. I'VE HEARD NEUROS SPEAK CRAP TOO. ULTIMATELY WE HAVE TO LOOK AFTER OURSELVES.

#15
About a dozen years ago I peaked at over a dozen cups of coffee a day. Even then I didn't experience the palpitations that I have in the last year (before PD diagnosis). Before diagnosis, my GP said the palpitations were related to digestion, or something similar. But now I'm diagnosed, and I'm reading this thread, and the list of symptoms grows.

#16
Hi turnip my gp has got to read up about pd because she doesn't know enough
John

#17
i got a little overexcited in my last post, but it is true that its impossible for any one person to have in depth knowledge of every disease. you would hope that a good gp would do something about it when they acquire a patient with an unusual disease.

#18
found this very interesting site on atrial fib
http://www.afibbers.org/faq.htm