I'm seventeen, I don't smoke and I hardly ever drink liquor (twice this year) so my heart shouldn't by at a large risk, but sometimes I feel like it shakes, sometimes it beats extremely fast and sometimes it beats very heavily. The other day I suddenly felt dizzy and nauseous so I had a glass of water and took my pulse, the first minute it was 96 beats per minute, a minute later it was 80 beats per minute, and minute after that it was a 100 beats per minute. I have no idea what's going on in there and I know very little about heart diseases. I admit I'm not very healthy, I am overweight, but I have never had any heart problems and always had a little bit low blood pressure. There are no heart conditions in my family but I think my grandma had diabetes and so far I haven't looked that much out for sugar. I do drink too much soda and caffeinated drinks but I am more careful about my diet now than I have ever been. I have been a little bit stressed these last few months, but probably not enough to do something to my heart. I hope someone can give me some advice on what it might be.
Thanks for your question.
First let me assure you that I doubt there is any serious problem with your heart.
Normal heart rates for an adult are 60 to 100 beats per minute. My concern is the palpitations you are experiencing off and on. This could be one of several possibilities which include: stress; anxiety; too much caffeine; hormonal problems (including thyroid); or simply minor, insignificant early heart beats called premature atrial contractions (PACs) or premature ventricular contractions (PVCs).
To find out what exactly the problem may be, you must make an appointment with your doctor for an evaluation. He/she will ask you many questions, examine you, and perform an electrocardiogram. Then he/she will be in the best position to determine what may be the problem. Further testing may be requested to fully ascertain the cause of your symptoms.
Best wishes and feel better.
Martin Cane, M.D.