/ Where can I get URGENT health consultation in London (heart)?

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OneLifeOneHeart - on 26 Feb 2013
I realize my nickname is quite ironic now...

I will be very quick:
I am in mid 20s and need to know whether I did something wrong to my heart ASAP.

I live in London since 2 years and have been generally quite sedentary due to my work. About a year ago I started hiking and brisk walking at least once a week as I felt it would keep me fit. I also have an issue with my back but that's not the problem. I soon started climbing.

But I have been overweight for the past 2 years now and I realized that my walking and hiking however was not enough. My weight pulls me when climbin.

This weekend I started a new routine hoping it would help me burn more fat for the rest of the week (I have no time for fitness during weekdays):
- brisk walking during morning (cardio)
- climbing wall for 3-4 hours right after that (anaerobic)
- midnight walking up and down stairs for an hour.

Saturday was great and I felt invincible on Sunday.

Sunday after finishing I felt good, too, but at night my heart rate stayed the same... and I feel very weird, lightheaded, difficult to breathe...easily tired.
And Monday too.

I dont know what to do. I started reading some info online and it's written that it is very dangerous for people who are normally to suddenly do strenous exercise.

I am scared as hell now, really really afraid, and I need to talk to a doctor as soon as possible - no matter the money, I just want to make sure all is ok....

Please if you have any info please help!
OneLifeOneHeart - on 26 Feb 2013
In my anxiety I wrote some sentences wrong:

*but at night my heart pounding stayed the same as during the exercising

*I know it's dangerous for people who are normally sedentary to suddenly start strenuous exercise.

icnoble on 26 Feb 2013
In reply to OneLifeOneHeart: I think a visit to your gp is the first thing you should do
Dan Arkle - on 26 Feb 2013
See your GP in the morning - for serious heart worries they should refer you to an urgent hospital cardio appointment very quickly, or advise you on a private option.

Or go to A&E now.

or
http://www.privatehealth.co.uk/hospitaltreatment/find-a-treatment/emergency-hospital-treatment/londo...
(just googled it -don't know anything about it )

best wishes
Caralynh - on 26 Feb 2013
In reply to OneLifeOneHeart:

As long as you don't feel like that NOW and don't have chest pains at the moment, just lay off the exercise and ask your GP for an appointment. If you DO feel breathless and light headed now, and/or have chest pains, then go to A&E.
JJL - on 26 Feb 2013
In reply to Caralynh:

What she said.
Jimbo W on 26 Feb 2013
In reply to OneLifeOneHeart:

If you're feeling like that, you need to go to A+E. It could be any number of things, and you can't diagnose anything over the internet. Go to someone who can check you out today, at least a GP. However, I should add a well done for tackling your fitness, its really difficult, but try not to be too obsessive about it, just enjoy it!
cuppatea on 26 Feb 2013
In reply to OneLifeOneHeart:

http://www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk/

their usual advice (ime!) is either

take an aspirin and call your GP in the morning
or
go to A&E

both bits of advice might be good in your case!*





*or they might not. none of the above is medical advice to be relied on or believed. get advice from a trained person, or the internet.
JayPee630 - on 26 Feb 2013
In reply to cuppatea:

Like has been said; in pain/shortness of breath/history of cardiac problems call an ambulance or go to A&E, otherwise get a GP appointment.

Let us know the outcome.

BTW, very unlikely to be a heart problem, despite what you might read on the internet.
Neil Williams - on 26 Feb 2013
In reply to JayPee630:

I *think* low blood sugar (from all that activity) can cause that sort of thing. But to be sure, go to the doctor.

Neil
balmybaldwin - on 26 Feb 2013
In reply to cuppatea:
> (In reply to OneLifeOneHeart)
>
> http://www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk/
>
> their usual advice (ime!) is either
>
> take an aspirin and call your GP in the morning
> or
> go to A&E
>
> both bits of advice might be good in your case!*
>
>
>
>
>
> *or they might not. none of the above is medical advice to be relied on or believed. get advice from a trained person, or the internet.

When I called NHS direct with very minor discomfort (I thought heartburn or similar) they had fast responder ambulance with me before I put the phone down.

Give them a call, and they will advise you what to do. Do not panic if they take it very seriously (I was in the cardiac care unit for 3 nights - despite being given the all clear after a range of tests - I have been fine ever since)

cuppatea on 26 Feb 2013
In reply to balmybaldwin:

That's a good response! Glad to hear that you're well.
Jimbo W on 26 Feb 2013
In reply to balmybaldwin:

> When I called NHS direct with very minor discomfort (I thought heartburn or similar) they had fast responder ambulance with me before I put the phone down.
> Give them a call, and they will advise you what to do. Do not panic if they take it very seriously (I was in the cardiac care unit for 3 nights - despite being given the all clear after a range of tests - I have been fine ever since)

Yes, always better to play it safe. Likely to be better doctors in A+E than in GP land in London.
NickD - on 26 Feb 2013
Personally I think you should log on to an internet forum where people chat about climbing. Definitely that's the first thing I'd do if I thought I had a serious medical complaint.
tlm - on 26 Feb 2013
In reply to OneLifeOneHeart:

Also, stress and anxiety, caused by worry about heart conditions can cause your pulse to race.

http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Heart-palpitations/Pages/Introduction.aspx
Only a hill - on 26 Feb 2013
In reply to tlm:
Something like this happened to me recently and caused me to pass out. It felt very real at the time although when I got to A&E I was told there was nothing wrong with my heart! Going back to the GP on Friday to make absolutely sure nothing is wrong.

To the OP, get yourself to hospital. It's best to be sure.
Neil Williams - on 26 Feb 2013
In reply to Only a hill:

It can be stress. It can also be drinking too much coffee!

Neil
OneLifeOneHeart - on 26 Feb 2013
Thanks for all your suggestions.

I first asked the GP who told she was booked for the following two days (...I kinda expected this...).

Then I went to an A&E. After waiting a bit, a doctor and a lady came and held my wrist/pulse, then said I am completely fine and look good, and if I wanted to I could go to a walk-in center elsewhere just to make sure.

I went there as well and after waiting a bit again, the doctor there measured my pressure, pulse and used the stethoscope. She said everything was fine, but to go to the GP if it happened again and ask for "further investigation". She said she "could not comment" on what exactly happened as I was totally fine when she checked me.

I am half reassured, half not. I am a bit worried that these doctors might not know well about how the body reacts to changes in physical activity such as what I described (and explained to each doctor the same way I wrote here).

This is not the first time I speak to a doctor and it seems like I talk to a wall...

As of now I still feel/hear the blood being pumped around different parts of the body in a very "deep" way, which also causes a little bit of anxiety.

I truly hope it is nothing bad.



P.S.: I think the main reason I came to ask here is because, for some reason, I feel I can relate to people in this community more than with anyone else online - and I want to as informed opinions as possible.
marsbar - on 26 Feb 2013
In reply to OneLifeOneHeart: I think that you have a combination of anxiety and maybe a bit of a cold. A cold can make your ears funny, which can make you hear your heart etc. You are fine, if you are worried then next time you exercise take it more gently. Avoid having lots of caffeine and especially energy drinks, red bull, pro plus etc as they can make your heart race and will make you feel worse if you are already anxious. Also they will make your blood sugar out of control which can make you feel like you did.

http://www.mind.org.uk/mental_health_a-z/8001_understanding_anxiety_and_panic_attacks

balmybaldwin - on 26 Feb 2013
In reply to OneLifeOneHeart:

During my experiences, and still now sometimes if I've felt a twinge, I think I can hear my heart pounding away, especially if I'm trying to sleep. I think this is just a symptom of being worried about my heart - an anxious/paranoid reaction, possibly exacerbated by adrenaline (released due to stress)

If you are not in pain, try to take your mind off it by doing something else. When trying to sleep put some music on or even better a talking book at a volume you can only just hear, and concentrate on listening to that.

If the docs have listened to your heart, checked your BP and pulse and are not concerned, then it really is nothing to worry about. It would take them all of 10 minutes to have put you on an ECG if they were at all concerned, and they didn't.

IF your original symptoms return, then phone NHS direct and they will advise you (and they are more cautious than anyone else as they can't actually examine you)
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balmybaldwin - on 26 Feb 2013
In reply to OneLifeOneHeart:

Re reading your OP, those symptoms could well be just post exercise fatigue especially if you aren't used to it. Looking up symptoms on the net is generally a bad idea, and very easy to convince your self you have something nasty.

HTH
Jimbo W on 26 Feb 2013
In reply to OneLifeOneHeart:

I'm not going to say what, if anything, is wrong with you over the internet, because its just impossible to be in anyway accurate - and you have to realise that. However, marsbar raises a genuine possibility, and I'll enlighten that further with a personal anecdote. When I was in my later teens I started getting ectopic heart beats (basically a premature ventricular contraction followed by a compensatory pause). Sometimes they would occur every other beat, sometimes frequently and randomly, sometimes only sporadically, but whatever the case I found them deeply unnerving. Having seen a specialist and been noted to have small abortive runs of these beats (ventricular ectopics), I was offered a beta blocker, which I turned down. Incidentally, as an aside, I still wonder whether climbing may have caused these, in particular because of a bad tendency to breathhold (which appears to me to simulate a valsalvas manouever - see wiki) particularly when training on overhanging 30deg steep boards for power or power endurance and exacerbated by body tension (this is only a hypothesis). Anyway, alone at uni, I found it difficult to concentrate on work and difficult to sleep, because being skinny, I could always feel my heart beat whacking against my chestwall and hearing it in my ear. I therefore had a constant reminder of this irregularity, and frequently had the thought, "what if my heart stops" etc. Well it got to the point where I became very anxious about it, and started feeling breathless, and light headed. One night, it got really bad, and I thought I would keel over. Then this strange thought occured to me that if this breathlessness and dizziness was due to my heart, if I tried to run I wouldn't be able to. So I went on a 3 mile run, and realised that my heart must be fundamentally working if I could do that!! I did some relaxation techniques and it seemed to help. Now I'm not suggesting this course of action for you, but just that it is possible that the mind can be rather non-constructive when it wants to be. I'd agree that avoiding sugary caffeinated drinks is a good idea, and limit the tea and coffee. Try not to get too tired as well. These things, as well as alcohol, can really make you feel anxious. Eating alot of simple sugars can result in sugar highs and lows, and the lows can feel quite anxiety inducing - try to switch to more complex carbs. Don't suddenly diet either, as that can make you feel pretty weird! You can also try "diaphragmatic breathing" first and then "progressive muscular relaxation" which you may find helpful. Indeed, its pretty helpful thing to do anyway. As you said, follow up with the GP, and try to be reassured by the doctors you have seen. I hope that helps, but remember, that as informed as people are over the internet, if you can't speak to interactively, and examine / test a patient, you really can't give an accurate opinion as to what might be happening.
altirando - on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to Jimbo W: Back last autumn I had an ache in my chest under the pack straps, thought I had a chest infection. The gp gave me antibiotics but I went again when the ache got stronger. I was sirened off tothe nearest CCU for an angioplasty, tiny stents in an artery. Turns out I had a clogged artery, but hadn't recognised the symptoms of unusually being out of breath up hills (heart not circulating enough oxygen). Not sure I would be reassured by doctors after the mistaken diagnosis though! The stents are a much better alternative to actual surgery if the problem is confirmed early enough. You could even try the A and E. Don't delay.
abseil on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to Jimbo W:
> (In reply to OneLifeOneHeart)
>

Nice post: interesting, and helpful.
JayPee630 - on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to abseil:

Sounds like you are really anxious about this, and I'd say that was causing the problem most likely. Listen to the doctors not peoples scare stories on here.

It sounds like you're fine, try and relax and stop reading the internet!
JayPee630 - on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to OneLifeOneHeart:

"Then I went to an A&E. After waiting a bit, a doctor and a lady came and held my wrist/pulse, then said I am completely fine and look good, and if I wanted to I could go to a walk-in center elsewhere just to make sure."

Did they really say this? As in they weren't sure, or is this either your interpretation or because you hassled them so much and you were obviously very anxious so they said go somewhere else for another voice to set your mid at rest?
JayPee630 - on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to JayPee630:

Also a bit surprised they didn't do an ECG. Like someone said, it takes a few minutes and gives you details a taking of the pulse won't. If they didn't they were either being very remiss, or 100% happy you were fine.
OneLifeOneHeart - on 03 Mar 2013
Meanwhile, I was at the GP who sent me to have an ECG. She said I likely overexerted myself but doesn't see anything wrong. She suggested to start again slowly.

When I had the ECG done at an NHS centre, the technician/operator said she saw nothing either, but that I can "discuss the results with my GP in 2 weeks".
(Does anybody know what is the rationale for such long waiting times? I mean, if they already have the photo/snapshot, does it really take 2 weeks to process it?)

Meanwhile, I tried doing some brisk walking again, for about half an hour today. And I got the same symptoms again... :(

Anyway, thanks for all your suggestions. I am going to research into this a bit more and might ask my GP to let me do a blood test or similar.
ben b - on 03 Mar 2013
In reply to OneLifeOneHeart: Depends if your GP is happy reading ECGs - they will be able to do a basic screen but some of the subtleties are pretty tricky for a non-specialist, and computer algorithms for interpretation can be dreadful. So some poor sod has to sit and report the ECGs requested from the community. It's about as exciting as watching paint dry, so 2 weeks is probably reasonable in a massively overburdened system where it is pretty low on the priority list.

If you don't mind me asking, what were you hoping to learn from the blood test?

b
rurp - on 03 Mar 2013
In reply to OneLifeOneHeart:
If you felt the abnormal heart rate and the unusual symptoms at the exact time you had the ecg, and the ecg is normal then there is no rhythm abnormality and the problem is anxiety/psychological.

If you felt fine when you had the ecg then it tells you only that when you feel normal, your heart rate is normal.

bloods would check if your thyroid, calcium, potassium or magnesium levels are normal. Take a close look at yourself, any coke, amphetamines, ecstacy high alcohol or caffiene levels any of these could cause your problem.....

Lets say you have no bad habits and you feel weird only after exertion and when your heart is beating fast.

If so we need to record your heart tracing after exertion.

Options exercise ecg-run on a treadmill whilst attached see if rythm goes funny.

Two ask your gp for referral to cardiology for a 24 or 72 hour tape or a 'king of hearts'. These are rhythm recording devices that either record your ecg for 24 or 72 hours or in the case of king of hearts, when you press a button.

If you experience the abnormal sensation or heart rhythm whilst attached your cardiologist can analyse and tell you if it is a problem.

Do get it investigated as above. A small proportion of young fit people have dangerous heart rythm issues. e.g fabrice muamba etc


cheers, you have spoken to a doctor and don't worry about the money!
wercat on 03 Mar 2013
In reply to OneLifeOneHeart:

I am not a doctor but I'd say don't panic! As an example of something less serious that can cause you to put on weight and have a low heartbeat and one which will not pick up enough to allow full exertion I suffered these symptoms when my thyroxine level was too low as I have a thyroid condition. My metabolism could not keep up with the demands exercise required. Also going too long without eating and it took excessively long to get my energy levels back which left me feeling weak.


This may not apply to you but it shows that non life threatening conditions can affect drastically how you feel and how your heart behaves too.

Good luck.
wercat on 03 Mar 2013
In reply to OneLifeOneHeart:

btw thyroid dysfunction is surprisingly common so might be worth getting tested for it
altirando - on 03 Mar 2013
In reply to OneLifeOneHeart: If you want to scare yourself, get the British Heart Foundation to put you on their Heart Matters magazine mailing list. Actually you might find reports of similar conditions. I assume the blood tests will be for lipids, that is, cholesterol.
OneLifeOneHeart - on 04 Mar 2013
I want to ask for the bloodtest because I would like to rule out cholesterol and/or high blood pressure. BTW I forgot to mention that when my GP checked, she said it was likely normal "for my age" (mid 20s) to have blood pressure of 144/85.

My uncle has high blood pressure at 140/90...
altirando - on 05 Mar 2013
In reply to OneLifeOneHeart: Seem to be a lot of different opinions as to what is high blood pressure. Mine is usually between 100 and 110 over 60 something. But I have had to resist attempts to give me blood pressure reducing drugs. After my angioplasty I mean. I think normal is supposed to be 120 over 80.
ben b - on 05 Mar 2013
In reply to altirando: There are some drugs that will drop blood pressure but are not used for that primary reason: ACE inhibitors after damage to heart muscle, for instance. Yes, they are BP lowering agents but that is not the reason for using them in this situation: rather, the beneficial effect on regrowth or remodelling of heart muscle fibres and improvements in heart function with time.

b
ben b - on 05 Mar 2013
In reply to OneLifeOneHeart: On a one-off reading in a probably somewhat anxious individual 144/85 is not sufficient to diagnose hypertension. The top figure is slightly higher than expected for your age group though and your BP should probably be rechecked at some other stage.

A blood test won't diagnose hypertension, but as mentioned above there are some situations where they can be helpful in ruling out other issues. However, the maths behind the definition of a "normal result" means that often sending multiple blood tests can throw up "out of normal range" results in completely normal people. Which in itself can cause all sorts of trouble, depending on the test.

Happy to discuss by pm if it would help.

b

OneLifeOneHeart - on 05 Mar 2013
:(

I just keep feeling worse and worse every day.

As a precaution I adopted a strict diet. No fastfood, etc and only home-cooked food for the past 2-3 days. Also checked on what food is good to reduce cholesterol and blood pressure just in case.

I feel the palpitations are getting harder and harder, even when at rest and before sleeping, and my body feels like it's burning.

I would like to believe what the doctors said, but the last time a doctor told me "don't worry, you're young" my spine got disabled, which is one of the reasons why I couldn't do any heavy physical activity, which indirectly also contributed to my sedentary life...

And now I feel worse and worse, my heart pumping louder even when I am being calm and happy, even at work, even when thinking about entirely different stuff - and once again the doctors are telling there's nothing wrong...

I thought this wouldn't happen again yet I feel helpless and angered by this whole situation.
Timmd on 05 Mar 2013
In reply to OneLifeOneHeart:Go to A+E now?
Graham T - on 05 Mar 2013
In reply to OneLifeOneHeart:

What TimMD said.

If you are that concerned either get to an A&E ASAP, or at least call NHS Direct
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Sir Chasm - on 05 Mar 2013
In reply to OneLifeOneHeart: How are your knees? Brittle?
Static - on 05 Mar 2013
In reply to OneLifeOneHeart:

Mate your posts are wicked even if you are definately taking the piss.

How do you manage to do scientific experiments of walking into fit girls when you have a "disabled spine?"
Static - on 05 Mar 2013
In reply to OneLifeOneHeart:

PS how is the "midnight walking up and down the stairs for an hour" going?

altirando - on 05 Mar 2013
In reply to ben b: Yes, so I have been told. But four months on drugs like Bisoprolol? And Ramipril which my wife takes for high blood pressure? I was starting to get momentary dizziness. I am staying with the two drugs specified in my discharge plan for one year.Of course it would have been good to have discussed this with the consultant but I have never seen him since the procedure - he even approved my discharge by phone from a 'conference' in Miami.
M0nkey - on 06 Mar 2013
In reply to Static:
> (In reply to OneLifeOneHeart)
>
> Mate your posts are wicked even if you are definately taking the piss.
>
> How do you manage to do scientific experiments of walking into fit girls when you have a "disabled spine?"

^^^^what he said

Neil Williams - on 06 Mar 2013
In reply to OneLifeOneHeart:

Do you drink coffee? If so drink less or give it up.

If not, go to A&E when it is happening.

Neil
Steve John B - on 06 Mar 2013
In reply to Static:
> (In reply to OneLifeOneHeart)
>
> Mate your posts are wicked even if you are definately taking the piss.
>
> How do you manage to do scientific experiments of walking into fit girls when you have a "disabled spine?"

Dr OneLife and Mr Hyde
OneLifeOneHeart - on 09 Mar 2013
Not sure if some of you skipped parts of the topic, but I've been to A&E - twice after counting yesterday.

They checked ECG, blood pressure, heart rate, did a blood test - all fine again (I am not unhappy about that, but still unsure...).

After repeating my story many times, they suggested I could try doing a test where I wear something the whole day so they can check how the heart works while I am exercising. That way they could rule out physical exercise. But I need to ask the GP next week.

How can I walk, hike and climb with a disabled spine?
Maybe my words were misleading, but a part of my spine is definitely irreversibly injured/damaged (it cannot heal itself naturally) and a source of chronic pain that persists since 6 years.
I learned to live with it quite soon, but had to stop any kind of sport involving hard stress on the back (anything involving running).
JayPee630 - on 09 Mar 2013
In reply to OneLifeOneHeart:

My opinion is you really need to calm down and stop worrying. You've been told your heart is fine.
OneLifeOneHeart - on 10 Mar 2013
I do stop worrying. The palpitations don't :(

Last night I tried to completely forget everything, and tried to eat outside at a restaurant. My heart started beating really really hard again (I say "hard", not "fast", i.e. I literally feel the blood being pumped into the body, brain, neck, and with strong pressure).
Jim Fraser - on 10 Mar 2013
OneLifeOneHeart - on 15 Mar 2013
Here we go again... I try to fall asleep and my heart starts pumping so hard that my whole body is shaking!!!!
I feel the blood all inside me, very hard.

FYI I am not worried, just describing what's happening :( :( :(
OneLifeOneHeart - on 15 Mar 2013
It's hard, heavy - literally feels like hammers trying to break out of my body.
ben b - on 15 Mar 2013
In reply to OneLifeOneHeart: OK, what you describe is almost certainly not dangerous to you (other than psychologically). I'm assuming from your posts you are from overseas originally? This does have some bearing on the chances of certain obscure heart issues.

You need to get a routine appointment with your GP, and I suspect you will need to see someone who knows about cognitive behavioural therapy, as even if you describe not being worried about it, you are clearly very preoccupied with it.

Let things wash over you and get some sleep. Avoid alcohol, caffeine and ALL recreational drugs, and pop along to see your GP next week - good luck

b



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