Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Are heart rhythm problems a sign of heart disease?"
Sometimes my heart beats very fast for no reason. I wake up with it pounding even. I am a 28 year old woman. What's going on?
What you are describing sounds as if it could be palpitations. These are brief periods when your heart begins to run faster than the normal rate (usually around 60-100 beats per minute). You will feel these as a flutter in your chest, and your pulse may be abnormally elevated for a brief period of time. As almost everyone experiences these from time to time, it is important to know if you have risk factors for heart disease. For example, if you know that you have heart problems or have had heart surgery in the past, then these are something that you should discuss with your doctor or cardiologist. This includes those with a known history of cardiac valve disease or abnormality. Also, if you are at high risk of heart disease because of your diets or other medications that you may be on, you should speak with your doctor. If you have any other abnormalities or medical conditions that you deal with chronically as well, then these palpitations also could be more concerning. Otherwise, it is quite likely that they are similar to what everyone experiences occasionally, and you can discuss these with your doctor if you continue to have them regularly, have other symtoms, or at your next appointment.
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