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Is it dangerous if your heart sort of flutters?

What does it mean if your heart sort of flutters? Like sometimes it seems to beat fast for a second and then it is fine and sometimes it feels like it stops but then it is fine. Is that pretty normal? Should I get it checked out? Is it dangerous?
The likelihood that this is a serious problem depends a lot on your risk factors. For example, in otherwise healthy young people, this is most likely just premature contractions of the heart, that can be brought out by stress, fatigue, or caffeine but that are not usually very serious. However, in an older person, someone with multiple medical problems, or someone with a history of heart disease in the family, there is a stronger likelihood that this could be a more serious rhythm problem in the heart. My suggestion is always that every person who experience fluttering of the heart should be evaluated by their primary care doctor as soon as possible. They can examine you for signs of heart disease and perform an electrocardiogram to see if there is evidence of a rhythm disturbance. Make sure to mention to your doctor if you have any other concerning symptoms, such as history of fainting or dizziness, shortness of breath, or chest pain, as these are important warning signs. Based on what your primary care doctor finds, they can help you decide if this is a benign problem or if it is something more serious that requires further workup and treatment. Good luck!
This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.
If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under ZocDoc’s Terms of Service.
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Answers are written by doctors from top institutions:
  • Cleveland Clinic
  • Boston Children's Hospital
  • NYU Langone Medical Center
  • Brigham and Women's Hospital
  • Johns Hopkins Hospital
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  • Beth Israel Medical Center
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