Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"What does it mean if my heart skips a beat sometimes?"
I don't know how to explain it other than to say that sometimes my heart skips a beat. It seems to stop for a second and then keep going and if I pay attention to it I can feel it happen. What does this mean? Do I have a serious heart problem?
Feeling like your heart is skipping a beat is a very common medical problem. Most of the time, this is due to something known as a 'premature beat' which, as long as it does not occur too often, is not usually a serious medical problem. In most otherwise healthy people, premature beats are associated with stress, fatigue, and caffeine intake and smoking, so working on those things might help to reduce the symptoms. Also, you should definitely mention the issue to your primary care doctor, as sometimes skipped beats can be a sign of a more serious heart problem, especially if you are older or if you have other risk factors for heart disease, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or a strong family history. They will be able to examine you closely and make sure there is nothing serious going on. Also, if you experience any other more concerning symptoms, which would include things like shortness of breath, dizziness, fainting, palpitations, or swelling in your legs, those are all more likely to be associated with a serious heart problem, and they would be reasons for you to get in to see your doctor immediately. Talk to your doctor right away!
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