Treating the Root Cause of a Racing Heart: A Case Study -- By Conner Keyeski, APRN

Updated: Jun 28, 2021

Mary*, a 40-year-old woman, experienced two episodes of palpitations with a racing heart rate and heavy chest sensations that sent her to the emergency department. She came to Atma clinic for a second opinion and to get a different perspective on these health challenges.

Mary's path to us was long and complicated, yet didn't bring her the relief she sought. She had already, in working with her primary care provider, ruled out an acute cardiac event. Labs had revealed that she was anemic and was given a prescription for iron, which made her very nauseated and caused her to stop taking it.

She was referred to cardiology to have an echocardiogram, ECG, and Holter monitor placed, all of these tests came back negative. She was then prescribed a beta blocker to help regulate her heart rate, which she did not tolerate and stopped taking. She was sent to another cardiologist, an electrophysiologist for a second opinion, who repeated the home Holter monitoring, which revealed a one-time event of an elevated heart rate. She was then offered an ablation procedure (costing upwards of $25,000 and a 4 year follow up period) to block the abnormal heart rate.

Up until these episodes, Mary did not have many health issues, and she did not have high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes. She ate a healthy diet and exercised routinely. But now facing the ablation procedure decision, she decided to see what Atma could offer her.

Mary’s hour-long physical appointment allowed ample time to gather information and determine the next best steps for her, which included necessary labs to obtain and gave us the opportunity to discuss contributing factors.