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HomeAnswersCardiologyarrhythmiasI suffer from frequent palpitations and dizziness. Why?

Can frequent palpitations and dizziness lead to sudden cardiac arrest?

The following is an actual conversation between an iCliniq user and a doctor that has been reviewed and published as a Premium Q&A.

Answered by

Dr. Isaac Gana

Medically reviewed by

Dr. K. Shobana

Published At January 22, 2023
Reviewed AtOctober 12, 2023

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

I suffer from frequent palpitations and dizziness. I am very worried. I have no diabetes and my blood pressure is normal. Can I get a cardiac arrest?

Please help.

Answered by Dr. Isaac Gana

Hello,

Welcome to icliniq.com.

I went through your query and understood your concern. I went through your reports (the attachment removed to protect the patient's identity). Arrhythmias are the most common cause of dizziness and palpitations in people your age. So, I suggest you do an ECG (echocardiogram) test for 24 hours. 24 hours ECG monitoring can detect arrhythmias that normal ECGs might not detect. I also suggest you visit a specialist soon. I hope this has helped you.

Thanks and regards.

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

Thank you for your reply.

I have a few questions. Are CLVH or arrhythmias serious enough to give me sudden death? If my dizziness subsides, does it mean I do not have an arrhythmia? Can I get a sudden cardiac arrest or a sudden stroke?

Please help.

Answered by Dr. Isaac Gana

Hello,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

CLVH (chronic left ventricular hypertrophy) can not lead to sudden death. This is a change in your heart as a result of aging. However, arrhythmias can be life-threatening. Most of the time, arrhythmias come as a periodic attack and might not be seen on a traditional ECG. That is why we need a 24-hour Holter monitor (24-hour ECG). Your risk of sudden death depends on the type of arrhythmia you have. Not all arrhythmias are life-threatening. For example, premature ventricular complexes and ectopic beats are not life-threatening, unlike atrial fibrillation. If you do not have any life- threatening arrhythmias, there might not be a need for treatment. So, the chances of cardiac arrest or stroke depend on test results. I hope this has helped you.

Thanks and regards

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

Feeling faint and having palpitations does not mean I have arrhythmias, right?

Please help.

Answered by Dr. Isaac Gana

Hello,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

If there was any dangerous arrhythmia, it would have been detected on the Holter monitor. LVH and mitral valve prolapse can not cause a heart attack. You do not need to worry, your heart is fine. The most important thing at the moment is to investigate the possible cause of your dizziness. There are lots of other causes of such symptoms in people your age.

1. Do you experience strange or ringing noises in your ears somethings?

2. Any associated lightheadedness?

3. Do you have eye problems?

4. Is there medications you take on a regular?

Kindly update with the answers.

Thanks and regards.

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

Thanks for your reply.

I have tinnitus. I can hear my heart beating in my ear. I have attached my test reports.

Please help.

Answered by Dr. Isaac Gana

Hello,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

I went through your reports (the attachments removed to protect patient's identity).

Your heart rate, oxygen levels, and respiratory rate are all within normal limits. There is nothing that indicates heart disease in your investigations. Stop worrying about sudden death or heart attack. Chances of both have been ruled out. Besides, do you still have tinnitus sometimes? Dizziness is very common in the elderly. During the cause of your investigations, did they check your thyroid function test or full blood count?

Kindly update with the answers.

Thanks and regards.

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

I had a stress test done and it came out abnormal. There are changes reported in my ECG also.

Please go through them.

Please help.

Answered by Dr. Isaac Gana

Hello,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

I understand your concern and worry.

I can not see any changes to suggest a blockage in the ECG. Where is the result of the stress test? A stress test can not say for sure if you have a blockage or not. Hope this helps.

Thanks and regards.

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

I do not have stress test results. I am in fear of getting a stroke, heart attack, or sudden death. Can amyloidosis be a cause?

Please help.

Answered by Dr. Isaac Gana

Hello,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

The ECG you attached is normal. The ECG that was stated to have been abnormal is the one from the stress test. ECG is attached to the treadmill to know if there are changes. You will not be stable if you had a blockage or clot. You would have been in an unstable state clinically.

1. Why did you think of amyloidosis?

2. Are you experiencing any body rash, face swelling, or pain?

3. Do you have a family history of amyloidosis?

Kindly update with the answers.

Thanks and regards.

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

The reason I mentioned amyloidosis is because I noticed my tongue enlarged and scalloped. I am attaching reports of my carotid, abdominal aorta and chest X-ray (atherosclerotic calcifications of the aorta).

Please help.

Answered by Dr. Isaac Gana

Hello doctor,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

I meant if you had a clot or blockage by this time you would have been in a more critical state. Tongue swelling is not a typical symptom of amyloidosis. We can not suspect amyloidosis because of tongue swelling. Both results of carotid and aortic scan shows some level of calcification due to arteriosclerosis. These changes are common in elderly people. Your total cholesterol levels have to be checked. Do not worry. There might be a need to start you in statins.

Hope it helps.

Thanks and regards.

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

My cholesterol is normal. I have been on statins for several years. Is the atherosclerosis level to the point that I can have a blockage already? Is it serious? Does the diffuse atherosclerosis in aorta mean it is serious? Is carotid atherosclerosis (1-39 %) enough to cause stroke? The chest X-ray mentioned atherosclerotic of arch of aorta. Does that mean it is very narrow, or blocked, or severe? I am very scared now that the stress test was abnormal. What to do?

Please help.

Answered by Dr. Isaac Gana

Hello doctor,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

Diffuse atherosclerosis means that there is deposition of fat all around aorta. We can only know how serious it is after the nuclear test is done. Carotid atherosclerosis of 39 % has a lower possibility of stroke but can sometimes cause symptoms. The dosage of statin might have to be increased. X-ray can not determine level of narrowing in the arch of aorta. Nuclear stress will give a better view. Please stay calm and do not allow worries to get to you. All your cholesterol levels are within a good range.

Hopefully there would not be significant blockage when you do the nuclear test. That test will determine the next line of action.

Thanks and regards.

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

My nuclear stress test was fine as said by the doctor. Do I have heart disease?

Please suggest.

Answered by Dr. Isaac Gana

Hello,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

The fact that your nuclear test came back negative, is good news. He most likely did not address the results because there was nothing abnormal. PCVs and mitral valve prolapse are common changes we see in the general population. The presence of these changes in no way endangers your life. The stress test is pretty good, there is nothing of concern in it.

All you need to do is to stay calm and relaxed. There is absolutely no reason to be anxious. You will be fine

Hope it helps.

Thanks and regards.

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

Thank you for answering my questions promptly.

So if there was nothing of concern on regular stress test why did he have me go get a nuclear test? What conditions besides blockages would nuclear stress test detect?

Please help.

Answered by Dr. Isaac Gana

Hello,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

The nuclear test was just to see if there was a significant blockage in the aorta. If there was a blockage, the nuclear test would indicate so. Nothing in your test result indicates a heart disease that could put you at immediate risk.

PVCs can not cause a heart attack or lead to one. Nuclear stress can show blockages, valve problems, and problems with the muscles of the heart.

Hope it helps.

Thanks and regards.

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

My oxygen levels dip into the low levels during sleep. I wonder if this could be the reason that I wake up with my hair drenched in sweat. Maybe I had that near passing out episode and feeling of dizziness because of that. I often hear the heart beat in my ears which is annoying. Are my sleep oxygen levels bad enough to go to the hospital? Can I die if it dips lower than 88 again?

Please help.

Answered by Dr. Isaac Gana

Hello,

Welcome back to icliniq.com. I understand your concern. It is normal for everyone to experience frequent changes in oxygen levels. The levels recorded are not bad. You do not need to go to the hospital. 1. How long have you noticed heavy sweating at night?

2. Any history of prolonged cough?

3. When did you attain menopause? Or when did you last get your menstruation?

4. Do you get palpitations often or have you been loosing weight?

5. Have you checked your thyroid hormone levels of recent?

The tests you have done has shown that your heart is in good condition. Do not worry about sudden death, it is anxiety.

Kindly update with the answers.

Thanks and regards.

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

I have experienced sweating at sleep at the age of 65 years. I had a total hysterectomy around 58. So that is when my periods stopped. This is very concerning to me. My blood pressure also fluctuates. I do have goiter in my thyroid.

Please help.

Answered by Dr. Isaac Gana

Hello,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

The hysterectomy explains why you are having this excessive sweating. Drastic decrease in the amount of estrogen will cause you to sweat a lot. Although other diseases can also leads to this, for example thyroid disease. Thyroid dysfunctions can not be seen on routine tests. You need to specifically do a thyroid function test to check for thyroid dysfunction. Oxygen saturation fluctuates a lot from minute to minute. Getting a once reading of 86 does not mean there is a problem. Your blood pressure rage is actually good. You do not need medications.

1. When was the thyroid lump discovered?

2. Have you done a biopsy?

3. Any past thyroid function test results?

Kindly update with the answers.

Thanks and regards.

Same symptoms don't mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Dr. Isaac Gana
Dr. Isaac Gana

Cardiology

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