Palpitations



J

James Kilton

Guest
Hello,

I'm a healthy (I think...) 25 year old male, non-smoker, non-drinker. Two days ago I noticed heart
palpitations during/after lunch. They occured a handful of times for 5-10 seconds at a time over the
period of about a half hour. Along with them were a few occurances of dizziness, not to the point
where I was about to faint, but significant enough for me to notice.

The same thing happened yesterday during/after dinner so now I'm a bit concerned. I've never had any
heart problems (I had never even heard the term 'palpitation' before until I started researching
this online). As with anything else the possible causes seem to be all over the map, so I'm
wondering where to start.

The cause that seemed most likely off the cuff was caffeine. I drink iced tea pretty much like water
during the day, so I imagine I get a good amount of caffeine in me that way. I was drinking some
with lunch the first time this happened. After that, however, I stopped drinking it to see if the
symptoms would go away (going with just water instead). But then it happened again yesterday
evening, so I'm leaning away from caffeine as being the cause.

Next on my list is MSG, though not for any particular reason. I've never read much about it and have
never worried about it, but I happened to see palpitations listed as a common side effect in a few
places. What I don't know is just how often MSG causes problems. I gather that some think it's a big
problem while the government claims it's safe. I did go through what I was eating the two times that
I've had these palpitations and there seems to have been MSG in both meals. But it's all
coincidental at this point I suppose.

What would be an advisable next step here? Should I see a general physician (I don't currently have
one as I stopped getting yearly physicals about 5 years ago), a cardiologist, or someone else? Or is
there something else I should do?

Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks a bunch, James
 
D

Dr. Andrew B. C

Guest
James Kilton wrote:

> Hello,
>
> I'm a healthy (I think...) 25 year old male, non-smoker, non-drinker.

So far so good.

>
> Two days ago I noticed heart palpitations during/after lunch. They occured a handful of times for
> 5-10 seconds at a time over the period of about a half hour. Along with them were a few
> occurances of dizziness, not to the point where I was about to faint, but significant enough for
> me to notice.
>
> The same thing happened yesterday during/after dinner so now I'm a bit concerned. I've never had
> any heart problems (I had never even heard the term 'palpitation' before until I started
> researching this online). As with anything else the possible causes seem to be all over the map,
> so I'm wondering where to start.
>

Would suggest you start be seeing your doctor.

>
> The cause that seemed most likely off the cuff was caffeine. I drink iced tea pretty much like
> water during the day, so I imagine I get a good amount of caffeine in me that way. I was drinking
> some with lunch the first time this happened. After that, however, I stopped drinking it to see if
> the symptoms would go away (going with just water instead). But then it happened again yesterday
> evening, so I'm leaning away from caffeine as being the cause.
>
> Next on my list is MSG, though not for any particular reason. I've never read much about it and
> have never worried about it, but I happened to see palpitations listed as a common side effect in
> a few places. What I don't know is just how often MSG causes problems. I gather that some think
> it's a big problem while the government claims it's safe. I did go through what I was eating the
> two times that I've had these palpitations and there seems to have been MSG in both meals. But
> it's all coincidental at this point I suppose.
>
> What would be an advisable next step here? Should I see a general physician (I don't
> currently have one as I stopped getting yearly physicals about 5 years ago), a cardiologist,
> or someone else?

The former.

> Or is there something else I should do?
>

Start writing down these episodes. What should be helpful for your doctor would be your pulse rate
during these palpitations.

>
> Any advice would be appreciated.
>

Hope the above information proves helpful.

>
> Thanks a bunch, James

You are welcome.

Humbly,

Andrew

--
Dr. Andrew B. Chung, MD/PhD
Board-Certified Cardiologist
http://www.heartmdphd.com/