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Faster than normal heart rate; should my friend get a second opinion?

(12 Posts)
Justrestinginmyaccount Fri 29-Aug-14 23:30:00

A dear friend of mine went to the GP's today about a problem he has had for years, and I am not happy with the GP's response at all. I'm wondering what others think?

Basically he gets really short of breath very easily; to the point were I find it quite concerning. Any sort of heightened emotion can bring it on, and sometimes he really struggles to breathe! He also gets shooting pains around his chest and lung area when he breathes (even when he i jut sitting around doing nothing) He says he has been like this since childhood, so didn't even realise it wasn't normal until I pointed it out to him.

His GP said he has a faster than average heart rate, but says that it i down to anxiety. He has given him Sertraline, and also said to him that it "Can't be that bad, because if it was you'd be dead"

Am I wrong in thinking his attitude is shockingly dismissive and cavalier? I really feel my friend should get a second opinion. He is only 19, so (imo) should be in the peak of health...

Justrestinginmyaccount Fri 29-Aug-14 23:30:41

he is just sitting around

FabULouse Sat 30-Aug-14 10:36:19

What is the pulse rate out of interest?

Has the GP done an ECG?

Yes to second opinion.

He would be justified in going to a&e with those symptoms.

It may well be a manifestation of anxiety but there are many other things it could be. If not addressed at the moment it happens he should be referred to a cardiologist for further investigations eg ECG, echo, stress testing.

Justrestinginmyaccount Sat 30-Aug-14 11:04:52

I don't even know if the GP told him what his pulse rate was to be honest. I will message him and check. I think he just said his heart rate is faster than normal, but his blood pressure is fine.

He just got told it is anxiety. He tried to explain that he is nearly always short of breath/gets chest pains, and has been like this for years, but said the GP just told him to calm down! He hasn't been referred for an ECG, the GP just gave him Sertraline. Apparently he didn't even ask him any lifestyle questions' like whether he smoked etc.

When I think about it; he also always has really sweaty hands and his body temperature always seems really high. He literally radiates heat sometimes. Plus he gets very tired and breathless really easily.

He needs a second opinion doesn't he? I am so annoyed at his GP for fobbing him off like this!

wfrances Sat 30-Aug-14 16:11:10

i have a faster than normal heart rate ,ive been dx with Inappropriate sinus tachycardia -
i did try beta blockers but it gave me too many side effects .
ive been told its harmless, its just not nice when your heart beats 170bpm
its quite disabling on times.
but i have had - ecgs, echos ,blood tests, holter ,treadmill tests and have a cardiologist.
your friend needs referral to cardiology and an ECG asp.

He does need a second opinion. I thought I was a really anxious person until I was diagnosed with a medical problem that elevates my heart rate and makes me feel faint (PoTs). Now that I have it well treated most of my anxiety symptoms have gone.

Justrestinginmyaccount Tue 02-Sep-14 08:49:28

Thank you to the people who have responded. Your advice is much appreciated.

Yesterday my friend went to the walk in centre near his home for a second opinion. The doctor there examined his breathing, and told him he has a swollen pleura?! He then told him it will go away on it's own and he will grow out of it because the lungs aren't fully developed until you're 21.

I am confused because I thought a swollen pleura means you have pleurisy? Which surely can't just be left to go away on it's own? They have given him no painkillers, nothing; despite the fact that he is in quite a lot of pain when he breathes. How can you just send someone in pain away basically untreated? I don't know whether I am being an over anxious friend, or whether he is just getting fobbed off.

No mention on an ECG, an X-Ray, nothing! Surely this cant be OK? Neither of us are the type to cause a fuss, but we are not happy right now!

FabULouse Tue 02-Sep-14 15:45:53

Poppycock.

He needs proper investigation/exploration.

Justrestinginmyaccount Tue 02-Sep-14 18:47:04

That's what I think Fab. He has now been sent away twice with no real treatment; despite being in pain.

I am going to go to the walk in centre near my house at the weekend, and possibly shout at people until something is done. I'm starting to worry there is something really wrong with him, and it is just going to get left undiagnosed...

Justrestinginmyaccount Tue 02-Sep-14 18:47:52

He's coming with me to the walk in centre of course. Going on my own might be slightly pointless!

SecretSpy Tue 02-Sep-14 18:50:44

walk in centre isn't really appropriate for ongoing problems needing investigation.

a different gp or changing practice would be the more suitable route.

FabULouse Tue 02-Sep-14 19:45:53

Secret spy is correct; he needs a GP to refer for cardio respiratory assessments as an outpatient at hospital. Or he goes to a&e at the moment the fast heart rate + shortness of breath is occurring and he will be seen as an emergency.

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