Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors

"Should I be concerned about my heart ?skipping a beat??"

ZocdocAnswersShould I be concerned about my heart ?skipping a beat??


I'm in college and 20 years old. I feel my heart sort of ?skip a beat? sometimes and tighten up. Is this serious? What is it?


There are many reasons that your heart could feel like it is "skipping a beat." The first thing, of course, is to reassure yourself that there is no serious problem with your heart. If you have any concerning symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, passing out, or if you have a family history of heart rhythm problems or "cardiac arrest" then you should see your doctor to make sure that things are ok. If, however, the symptoms are brief and self limited, then these are likely just to be premature beats, which are very common even in otherwise young and healthy people! They can often be brought out in times of stress or sleep deprivation or by ingesting too much caffeine (coffee, tea, soda). You may want to try to reduce your caffeine intake and make certain to sleep well; this may resolve the issue completely! If you do have any of the serious symptoms I mentioned, or if the skipped beats persist, then your doctor will likely do at least some basic tests, including some basic blood work and an electrical tracing of your heart, called an electrocardiogram. Based on these results, they may decide that you need a referral to a cardiologist, but if the results look reassuring you likely will not need a referral.

Zocdoc Answers 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 (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.