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"Is it normal for the heart to skip a beat during exercise?"
I'm a 30 year old woman who has been weight training extensively for more than a year. I've always been very healthy, but I noticed recently that on rare occasions, if I'm straining during weight lifting or other very intense exercise, my heart skips a beat. Is this dangerous?
The feeling of the heart skipping a beat can be very distressing. The feeling of a skipped heart beat can mean several different things and it is not always an actual skipped beat. The best type of physician to see for this type of problem is a cardiologist. Interestingly, skipped heart beats are not felt, however pauses in the hearts rhythm will cause the beat after the pause to be greater in intensity. This causes the feeling of your heart jumping which is perceived as a skipped beat. This feeling can come during strenuous exercise and may be a normal sensation in your case. However, premature ventricular contractions, abnormal heart beats that feels like skipped beats can be dangerous. Exercise can sometimes unmask heart disease that was otherwise not apparent. I suggest you get seen for this soon. In order to determine what is going on, you will likely need an electrocardiogram (EKG) done. If nothing is seen on the EKG, then you may need longer term heart monitoring in the form of a Holter monitor that can be worn outside the doctor's office. This way your doctor can see what your heart is doing while you are doing your daily activities. This should be able to tell you whether you are having any skipped beats.
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