Q. For the past four weeks, I have heart palpitations, shortness of breath, and fatigue. What to do?

Answered by
Dr. Muhammad Zohaib Siddiq
and medically reviewed by Dr. Hemalatha
This is a premium question & answer published on May 04, 2020 and last reviewed on: Apr 03, 2021

Hi doctor,

I am 33 years old. For the past four weeks, I have heart palpitations, shortness of breath, and fatigue. It becomes worse after eating foods with carbohydrates. After eating, my symptoms last for an hour. I can do exercise without any issue. These symptoms never happened to me before. I went to the hospital before a week and the doctor told me that my heartbeat is racing with slightly raised temperature. My blood reports are normal and my chest X-ray was normal. Will this stop automatically?



Welcome to

Faster heart rate can occur due to fever. It can also occur due to vagal atrial fibrillation and it is uncommon to occur in young individuals. This is an irregular fast heartbeat that occurs in bouts after eating and during rest. Please mention in detail regarding the results of your ECG (electrocardiogram). Please mention whether you got a result of sinus tachycardia or atrial fibrillation in your ECG. Usually, fever causes tachycardia. It is a normal response to fever.

When fever subsides, the heart rate slows down. Sometimes, it occurs due to gastrointestinal problems. In this, eating leads to insulin gush and lowers blood sugar, and causes blackout, weakness, palpitation, and fatigue. But the chances are low. Please send me your ECG strip. You can do some blood tests such as CBC (complete blood count), U&E (urea and electrolytes), TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone), and ECG.

There are some rare disorders that cause a sudden rise in heart rate, fever, shortness of breath, and high blood pressure. This condition is called pheochromocytoma and it is extremely rare. Please mention the other symptoms felt along with it. This will help to reach a diagnosis. If the above tests are normal, I suggest you do holter monitoring for 24 to 48 hours to catch the fast heart rhythm.

Thank you doctor,

I do not have an ECG strip but there were no irregular rhythms. I had normal blood results. I had a high fever before four weeks with shortness of breath, and irritability. Can I have a panic attack or hyperventilation syndrome?



Welcome back to

A panic attack lasts for a short time and it can occur randomly. You can have a slight fever. A chest infection can cause abnormalities in CBC. Hyperventilation can occur in a panic attack or sudden anxiety. If you have persistent tachycardia, I suggest you do CBC or TSH.

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