Heart fluttering/palpitations

Hi i have noticed my heart fluttering sometimes which is unusual.
Im 37 years old, a vegetarian and am not over weight.
Does anyone else experience heart palpitations ?

I do, but I take a couple of pills (zoloft, gabapentin) that can cause palpitations . I also have pain from my syringomyelia and anxiety, which I’ve heard can cause heart palpitations, so…I’d hesitate to say it’s caused directly by the chiari.

Dear Tats, Oh my goodness! I had heart palpatations for several weeks once! Talk about terrifying! Actually, my very first symptoms of Chiari’s - back in 1995 - was a “fake” heart attack. I got severe chest pains, shortness of breath, irregular heart beat, etc. The whole 9 yards of heart attack symptoms. An EKG in the emergency room did show my heart was beating extra 40-50 beats perminute, but other than that, everything was ‘normal.’ I was sent to a cardiologist who had me wear a Holter monitor for a week. It showed I had thousands of extra, irregular beats that week. But, the heart doc didn’t find anything ‘abnormal’ about my heart, and just gave me Lopressor - a beta blocker to stop the nerve impulses to the heart. THAT should have been the clue right there… Nothing was wrong with my heart. It was the NERVOUS SYSTEM going wonky! I have had these palapatation 'fits" off and on for decades since then. Since my decompression surgery for Chiari’s, I have not had the week-long palpatation ‘fits.’ These palpatition episodes last more or less 30-seconds or so, now. Since I now know it is the Chiari’s playing havoc with my CNS, I don’t go into full-fledged panic attacks, thinking I’m going to die, anymore. So - take comfort you are a “normal Chiarian.” BethR

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I evidently have had this most of my life n no doctor put 2 n 2 together. When I was in my 30’s I had heart palpitations on n off for a long time. Then about 3 yrs. ago I had an episode like I was having a heart attack. I thought it was from stress. Got all checked out n it was chalked up to angina n stress. I don’t get the heart palpitations anymore. I do sufferer from profuse sweating n feeling like I am going too pass out. I never do but it’s an awful feeling. Just got word we are finally going to do chiari surgery. Thank God cause I can’t live like this anymore. I am 57 yrs. old and it’s taking it’s toll on me. Good luck to you!

Yes I have palpations and a fast irregular heartbeat due to deffective heart valve. Which ironically I was born with as well as the Chiari. I take blood pressure medication to keep my pulse down but since my decompression surgery two years ago the palpations have lessoned dramatically!

I was diagnosed with Posterial orthostatic taychardia syndrome (POTS) when I was about 16. Basically it makes my heart rate higher than its supposed to be between laying down and standing up, blood pools in my legs, and it can cause fainting spells. I was diagnosed with chairi when I was 18 and had the surgery that November. My POTS has gotten so much better after the surgery its basically gone. Has anyone else experienced this?

I had bad heart palputations directly linked with putting my head down on my pillow to go to sleep. The pillow pressure caused increase pressure to the back of the head, causing my heart to go into overdrive. Now am on meds controlling the heartbeat and has made all the difference.
Check what triggers it. Is there something specific, like position of head, neck when they start.

I had irregular heart beats set off by vibrations (being at a band concert and close to the speakers), and also by over exerting by running and power walking. The decompression took care of that problem, but sense my surgery I have found taking potent nutrients or using Nioxin 3 hair care products that have a lot of niacin in them will cause Tachycardia. This may be something to watch out for especially since our central nervous systems can still be touchy due to the Chiari.

Wow reading this and not realising that my chiari can be linked to all of these! I also have heart palpitations, anxiety attacks and more symptoms. But since having my baby 11 months ago the anxiety and palpitations have became worse. I am not a candidate for decompression surgery.

I became symptomatic with palpitations when I was 13 weeks pregnant. I went on a holter monitor and was found to have had 18,000 in 24 hours. (All before I knew I had Chiari) I went on a second monitor 2 month after delivery and had 16,000 in 24 hours. I was put on a beta blocker which helped subside them for a while. I began having breakthrough palpitations through the medication and underwent a cardiac ablation for PVC’s in the beginning of August.

I felt great for a month, but my irregular heartbeat is kicking up again. I even had two episodes of atrial fibrillation. I was diagnosed with Chiari in March of 2018 after experiencing occasional left sided numbness from my face to my foot.

My electrophysiologist does not think my heart condition is related to the Chiari but I find that hard to believe, especially when I read replies like these!


I was wondering do any of you folk ever experience the feeling of not being able to swallow at times.

I myself have also had heart pulpatations when increasing my medication but did not ever link the 2 together. This post really lifted a little anxiety off my shoulders.

As regards to the not beomg able to swallow it happens to me alot and causes anxiety and the need to take a drink to avoid actually choking.

Thanks in advance


Hi Sam, for me it goes straight to choking when i lay down. I cant have anthing touch my throat or neck anymore or the choking feeling is almost overwhelming.

Ouch! That doesnt sound nice.

I find it when im eating normally and i am unable to swallow.

Its almost as if ive forgotten how to and some times i really panic
And have to take a drink quickly.

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Unfortunately I have the same issue Sam. It’s very scary not being able to swallow especially when you are eating! Only thing that helps me as well is taking a drink. The swallowing thing did get better with surgery but now three years post op its worse than ever! Its like the swallowing reflex just disappears at times. I was on muscle relaxers a short while back for my shoulder but it seemed to make it worse and no matter how hard I try to force myself to swallow it’s not happening. I tend to mention this to my doctor Monday and see what she thinks and I will share that with you then.


This was actually one of my very first symptoms, long before I was diagnosed with Chiari. I had the heart palpitations from the time I was about 18 months old. After being diagnosed and realizing that this could’ve been a symptom, I asked since they could never find a reason for my heart issues growing up. After my decompression surgery, I have not had any heart issues…hoping it stays that way [/knocking on wood] :smiley:

Hi! New to this group! I’m not sure if mine are related but I have had a holter monitor show PVC’s and PAC’s. Sometimes I feel them in my throat. We opted not to use medication bc my heart rate runs so low.