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daxrrr
@daxrrr

Posts: 4
Joined: Aug 10, 2018

Palpitations triggered by cocaine

Posted by @daxrrr, Fri, Aug 10 2:26am

Hi to all, I explain my problem. I’m a 24 year old male and I had a very occasional use of cocaine for the past two years (I used it every 4-6 months). But the last time I used it (a month ago) I had chest pain and a sensation of tingling/electric shock in the arms. From that episode I already performed 3 EKGs that resulted normal but I started suffering of heart palpitations: now I can feel my pulse in parts of my body where I didn’t feel it before. For example if I join my thumb and my index, I can feel the pulse between the two fingers, or I can feel it in the fingers if I cross my hands, or I can feel it between my feet if I touch them with each other. Obviously I don’t want to touch that stuff again! I just wanna know if I will have these sensations for the rest of my life or if they will go away sooner or later. Does anybody had a similar experience? Thanks in advance for your replies and sorry for my bad english.

REPLY

Hello @daxrrr

Welcome to Mayo Connect. I can certainly understand your concern regarding your heart problems relating to cocaine use. I'm glad to hear that you have stopped using, that is so important.

While I don't have any personal experience with this, I did find an article about it on the American Heart website. Here is the link, http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/Cocaine-Marijuana-and-Other-Drugs_UCM_428537_Article.jsp#.W217aOhKiM8. If you read the article you will see that cocaine is considered the "perfect heart attack drug" in terms of its affect on blood pressure the aortic valve and the thickening of the heart wall.

As to the long term effects of your heart involvement, that would be best discussed with your physician. Since you mentioned having had numerous EKGs I would ask the doctor who did the EKGs what the long term effects of the cocaine use might be on your heart.

As you are still very young, I would encourage you to have a complete cardiac work-up with a cardiologist (a doctor who specializes in the heart). Please make an appointment as soon as you can to evaluate any heart damage that might be present. There are wonderful heart meds available now to strengthen and protect the heart from further damage. It will take an appointment with a cardiologist in order to find this out.

I am sure that other Members will offer suggestions as well. Will you make an appointment with a cardiologist?

Teresa

Liked by cj115

I've seen 3 cardiologists that performed the 3 EKGs… They said that if the EKGs are normal, my heart is fine. But, if it's fine, why from that episode I suffer of palpitations? They all said it's just anxiety but I'm sure that the problem is something else.

Hello @daxrrr

You don't mention if any of these cardiologists did a complete cardiac work-up. This might include a stress test, ECHO, heart monitoring device, etc. If not, you might request it, or find another cardiologist who would be willing to do so and put your mind at ease. An EKG is good but some of these other tests give a more complete picture.

You should tell the cardiologist about your concerns and see if he/she would be willing to do a more extensive work-up.

Teresa

Hi @daxrrr. Glad to see you come aboard. I have been treated for several years for atrial fibrillation and irregular heart beats; perhaps my experience can be of some help to you in comprehending your palpitations. Like you, I got anxious when I got my diagnosis four years ago, but that soon went away and my only reminder has been on the EKG performed with my annual physical examination.

Which makes a point for me: Would you consider taking up your problem with your primary care doctor in the context of a regular annual physical? As a general rule, these preventive exams are covered by health insurance with little or no copayment required. Moreover, the customary set of routine rests might disclose the "something else" that you suspect. I have done some research in this area recently and found that heart palpitations usually resolve themselves within a few days or weeks. Also palpitations can be caused by stimulants, Vitamin D deficiency, unbalanced electrolytes (especially magnesium or calcium), dehydration, and lack of exercise (in addition to drugs and anxiety).

Have your doctors said why the palpitations are so obvious to you? Having suggested anxiety, did they mention it might cause surging adrenalin that would promote palpitations? Did they mention anything about common medications that might help?.

Before you see the doctor, would you consider studying the problem by Googling "how to stop heart palpitations due to anxiety" and scrolling down to "People also ask" and checking each of the questions that follows — and all the questions that open up as you go down the list? If I can help with any of this, just say so and I'll get right on it. Martin

@predictable

Hi @daxrrr. Glad to see you come aboard. I have been treated for several years for atrial fibrillation and irregular heart beats; perhaps my experience can be of some help to you in comprehending your palpitations. Like you, I got anxious when I got my diagnosis four years ago, but that soon went away and my only reminder has been on the EKG performed with my annual physical examination.

Which makes a point for me: Would you consider taking up your problem with your primary care doctor in the context of a regular annual physical? As a general rule, these preventive exams are covered by health insurance with little or no copayment required. Moreover, the customary set of routine rests might disclose the "something else" that you suspect. I have done some research in this area recently and found that heart palpitations usually resolve themselves within a few days or weeks. Also palpitations can be caused by stimulants, Vitamin D deficiency, unbalanced electrolytes (especially magnesium or calcium), dehydration, and lack of exercise (in addition to drugs and anxiety).

Have your doctors said why the palpitations are so obvious to you? Having suggested anxiety, did they mention it might cause surging adrenalin that would promote palpitations? Did they mention anything about common medications that might help?.

Before you see the doctor, would you consider studying the problem by Googling "how to stop heart palpitations due to anxiety" and scrolling down to "People also ask" and checking each of the questions that follows — and all the questions that open up as you go down the list? If I can help with any of this, just say so and I'll get right on it. Martin

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You said they usually resolve within a few weeks but a month is passed from that bad episode and I still have them. I will do more exams with the cardiologist, but I have the feeling they will never find what the damage is, so I will be considered a paranoid and have to live with these palpitations for the rest of my life.

@predictable

Hi @daxrrr. Glad to see you come aboard. I have been treated for several years for atrial fibrillation and irregular heart beats; perhaps my experience can be of some help to you in comprehending your palpitations. Like you, I got anxious when I got my diagnosis four years ago, but that soon went away and my only reminder has been on the EKG performed with my annual physical examination.

Which makes a point for me: Would you consider taking up your problem with your primary care doctor in the context of a regular annual physical? As a general rule, these preventive exams are covered by health insurance with little or no copayment required. Moreover, the customary set of routine rests might disclose the "something else" that you suspect. I have done some research in this area recently and found that heart palpitations usually resolve themselves within a few days or weeks. Also palpitations can be caused by stimulants, Vitamin D deficiency, unbalanced electrolytes (especially magnesium or calcium), dehydration, and lack of exercise (in addition to drugs and anxiety).

Have your doctors said why the palpitations are so obvious to you? Having suggested anxiety, did they mention it might cause surging adrenalin that would promote palpitations? Did they mention anything about common medications that might help?.

Before you see the doctor, would you consider studying the problem by Googling "how to stop heart palpitations due to anxiety" and scrolling down to "People also ask" and checking each of the questions that follows — and all the questions that open up as you go down the list? If I can help with any of this, just say so and I'll get right on it. Martin

Jump to this post

I understand your disappointment that the palpitations are hanging on, and it's possible that they are going to be with you longer — maybe because of some problem in your system other than your heart. I won't try to guess at that. Only a doctor with access to the best laboratory and physical exams can home-in on the cause. The estimate of "usually within a few weeks" is sometimes longer than a month, perhaps several more weeks.

In the list of possible causes I provided, I forgot to mention a deficiency in your potassium as a possibility, along with calcium, magnesium, and Vitamin D. But I hope you won't try to track down the specific cause by yourself. I also hope that you can reach beyond the tight focus of a cardiologist and get examined comprehensively by a GP Internist.

Mostly, I hope you will get the encouragement you need so that nobody will treat you as paranoid and you will become more optimistic about your future. You are a young man, and your problem — which is bothersome, worrying, and inconvenient — will interfere with your activities for a while, but you'll come through it — especially if you develop a partnership with a strong and devoted medical team. Could you check out the information I suggested you Google up and let me know whether you can see a path with that information to help you? Martin

@daxrrr

You said they usually resolve within a few weeks but a month is passed from that bad episode and I still have them. I will do more exams with the cardiologist, but I have the feeling they will never find what the damage is, so I will be considered a paranoid and have to live with these palpitations for the rest of my life.

Jump to this post

Hello @daxrrr

As it has been a few weeks since you last posted, I was wondering how you are feeling now. Are the heart palpitations still as bothersome as they were when you first posted?

@hopeful33250

Hello @daxrrr

As it has been a few weeks since you last posted, I was wondering how you are feeling now. Are the heart palpitations still as bothersome as they were when you first posted?

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Hi, sometimes feels better, sometimes feels like the first day. Anyway I think they will never go away. I believe I permanently fucked something in my brain and/or cardiovascular system.

@daxrrr

Hi, sometimes feels better, sometimes feels like the first day. Anyway I think they will never go away. I believe I permanently fucked something in my brain and/or cardiovascular system.

Jump to this post

I am sorry to hear that you still have a lot of concern regarding permanent heart damage, @daxrrr.

Have you ever worn a heart monitor to check out the heart rate problems during a several day period of time? Are you aware that there are doctors called Cardiac Electrophysiologists, who specialize in heart rhythm problems? I think it would be good to put your mind at ease regarding this and make an appointment to see a Cardiac Electrophysiologist.

Here is some information from Mayo Clinic regarding this, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heart-arrhythmia/doctors-departments/ddc-20350677

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