Bellin Health Heart Blog

I think my heart skips a beat


Ask Kelly Question:
I am a healthy 45 year old with good cholesterol etc.  However, both my parents died of heart disease in their 50's and 60's.  I have had SVT's in the past but have found them hard to record.  Just recently I did a heart calcium scoring(which was 0) and a cardiac monitor.  This was because I can feel my heart doing something at times but thought maybe it was my SVT's.  Now however, I am beginning to narrow down that when I feel the big flutter in my chest it is an actual heart beat I skip.  Is this serious and is there a different test I should ask for?  It is very uncomfortable when it happens.  

Ask Kelly Answer:
So, by summary of what you have said, you are healthy but you do have a strong family history of heart disease. Calcium scoring was GREAT, just what you want to have. No build-up was evident by calcium scoring.
So you have had documented SVT (super ventricular tachycardia) in the past? The recent heart monitor did not pick up any rhythm problem though? It is difficult to catch that on a 24 hour monitor. You could very well be having a skipped beat. What usually happens, is that when the rhythm starts to go too fast or is beating irregular, the electrical conduction actually "resets" itself to get back to normal. During the resetting, it skips a beat, or pauses and then picks back up normal. So, that is a good mechanism to prevent the SVT or what ever other rhythm may have been happening. I would say that this skipped beat, is not something to worry about at this time. Do watch how often this is occurring though. If it is infrequent, even though it feels uncomfortable, the body is correcting itself. If this is frequent, it would be wise to go on a longer monitor to catch what exactly is happening electrically in your heart, so they can treat it appropriately.
Pay close attention when you feel fast, irregular or skipped beats. Write it down when they happen. Then think about what you were doing, were you stressed at the time, relaxed, at rest, exercising, etc. What did you have to eat or drink in the last 24 hours: paying attention to alcohol, caffeine, sugar. These things could be potential triggers, so if you can identify that "everytime I drink _____, I notice the skipped beats later that day." So write these things down if you have not done that already, because it may be helpful to pinpoint what exactly is happening and give you tools to work with (ie: avoid things that trigger).
I hope that is helpful, let me know if you have other questions.

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These medications can have

These medications can have the side effect of causing a fast or irregular heart beat. If this is occuring, be sure that you are taking the correct dose of your medication and call your medical provider to discuss the symptoms.