pacemakers

When Your Heart Skips a Beat

Dr. Kirk Laman: Wholehearted Cardiologist Health Pro August 19, 2009
  • Not a week goes by that I don’t see someone in cardiology consultation for skipping, jumpy heart beats.   It is a common problem- a problem that worries many people.Why?  It’s unnerving to feel your heart beating.  Most people are rarely aware of their heart’s mo...

20 Comments
  • Sabrina
    Oct. 17, 2011

    Hi! My brother said his hear skipped a beat and he had to cough to get it going again. Is this bad? If so, what should we do?

  • Miguel
    Feb. 21, 2011

    I've been experiencing a scary heartbeat.. I have like 4 days feeling like my heart is coming out of my chest and i can feel my heartbeat, When I feel like my heart is skipping a beat I feel kinda weird and scared, anyone has any idea what may cause this?

  • sunny123
    Feb. 17, 2011

    I think the problem is that doctors say it is normal but it really isn't normal FOR ME.  So, I guess I'd like to know what caused it to start?  I had doctors tell me it was hormones, one doc said it may be a reaction to a new type of antihistimine?, others say it is lack of sleep, others say caffeine, others say "unknown."  I just feel like there...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    I think the problem is that doctors say it is normal but it really isn't normal FOR ME.  So, I guess I'd like to know what caused it to start?  I had doctors tell me it was hormones, one doc said it may be a reaction to a new type of antihistimine?, others say it is lack of sleep, others say caffeine, others say "unknown."  I just feel like there should be a better explanation than all that.

  • betdy134
    Feb. 14, 2011

    I just  read all the posts on this page and am a little more at ease about the skips, but still have a notch of stress because the skips happen sometimes as frequent as 4 to 8 times a minute for a couple hours. Sometimes I get a split second drowning feeling at the time of the skips. When it catches me off guard it's really difficult to come back down...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    I just  read all the posts on this page and am a little more at ease about the skips, but still have a notch of stress because the skips happen sometimes as frequent as 4 to 8 times a minute for a couple hours. Sometimes I get a split second drowning feeling at the time of the skips. When it catches me off guard it's really difficult to come back down from breathing or not. My biggest concern is the job I have is Landscaping. That gets pretty physical and makes for some long days. with the economy the way it is I currently do not have health insurance to afford the tests and to this day have not had any tests done. Is there anything availible over the counter at pharmacies that I could do to help determin how urgent it is to see a doctor about?

     

    Thanks      B.

  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Jan. 14, 2011

    Hi.  For the past several weeks, I have had a fluttering, skipping, and bubbling heart beats.  When I was 21, I was told I have mitral valve prolasp, and that pain, and feeling of the heart beat is common, and not to worry about it, but the skipping and fluttering are new.  I do not know what is happening, and am very worried.  I am...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    Hi.  For the past several weeks, I have had a fluttering, skipping, and bubbling heart beats.  When I was 21, I was told I have mitral valve prolasp, and that pain, and feeling of the heart beat is common, and not to worry about it, but the skipping and fluttering are new.  I do not know what is happening, and am very worried.  I am now 59 years old, recently retired from teaching, and am now working from home sitting at my computer all day.  I am afraid that I am going to go to sleep, and not wake up, but my health insurance is not the best, and I don't want to go rushing to the doctor, be put in the hospital, spend a ton of money, and then told to go home, and not worry about it.  I have so many people depending on me right now, I don't want to die, but I can't afford to go in, and be wrong.  I just do not know what to do. 

    C

    • clevelap
      Feb. 01, 2011

      I am a 55 year old male. I had the first symptoms about 6 months ago. When I rest in bed or lying down (in a quiet dim lighted room) I experience very slow heavy heart beats and then every 3 -5 minutes a pause for 2 - 5 seconds. It was very startling when it began. I had trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. I went to the Dr and they did many test (stress,...

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      I am a 55 year old male. I had the first symptoms about 6 months ago. When I rest in bed or lying down (in a quiet dim lighted room) I experience very slow heavy heart beats and then every 3 -5 minutes a pause for 2 - 5 seconds. It was very startling when it began. I had trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. I went to the Dr and they did many test (stress, EKG, ....). They found that at night my heart rate goes down as low as 37 BPM but I do not black out or have dizzy spells. I exercise at a normal level (walk / run 2 miles 4 days a week, lift moderate weights 2 days a week and bike 8 miles 1 day a week). So I am in fairly good health otherwise. Dr said not to worry that it comes with age. Unless it gets worse he only wants to check once a year. I was relieved but sometimes I still have trouble sleeping. I guess time will tell if he was right or not.

  • estella27
    Nov. 08, 2010

    They are occurring fairly regularly for me now.  At first they came with a vengence when I was put on a different contraception.  Then they came when I had a chest infection and was taking Phenylephrine.  I have them now constantly and have a strong feeling it is to do with my hormones.  Many doctors and health professionals seem to completely...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    They are occurring fairly regularly for me now.  At first they came with a vengence when I was put on a different contraception.  Then they came when I had a chest infection and was taking Phenylephrine.  I have them now constantly and have a strong feeling it is to do with my hormones.  Many doctors and health professionals seem to completely disagree with this theory, however many women seem to have the same problems relating to hormones and heart problems.  I am trying to get more opinions about this issue.

  • Anonymous
    Brian Kozmo
    Oct. 06, 2010

    would be great information if only you had some sources to back up your information.. what kind of a statistic is 10-70% of normal people have PACs? And I thought they were really called PVCs (premature ventricular contractions).. what's the difference between PVCs and PACs then?

  • Anonymous
    Rudy Martin
    May. 26, 2010

    I thank the Almighty God for sending Dr. Kirk Laman to this big world, for without him, I would have beem scared stiff why my heart skips once in a while particularly towards the evening hours; and let me tell you I feel quite abnormal whenever this happens.

       My guess is my heart had been practically dormant over more than 5 years since I became...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    I thank the Almighty God for sending Dr. Kirk Laman to this big world, for without him, I would have beem scared stiff why my heart skips once in a while particularly towards the evening hours; and let me tell you I feel quite abnormal whenever this happens.

       My guess is my heart had been practically dormant over more than 5 years since I became unemployed (partially retired); I mean my heart has not been used in any physical exertions because I was too lazy to exercise. Besides, I had always philosophized that exercise was nothing but a waste of energy. Well, what I have begun doing now is do some straneous exercises: fast-paced walking in the park, bedroom free-hand exercises such as jugging, shadow boxing, twisting, bending, pushups, jumping, etc. a few minutes three or four times a week. Time of day is immaterial. I also have cut down on my fat intake. It has only been a few weeks now and I already feel my heart is responding positively. Pulse rate is quite fast, but I surely feel that this old heart is reviving itself to my younger days. My nasal passages used to be almost always congested during sleeping hours, so I had been using nasal spray for years (may be more than 5 years) as though I would not last a day without it. Now this nasal conjestion has disappeared and I have never used nasal spray for over two weeks now.

       I was an engineer by profession and I know plumbing and circulation systems. The circulating pump must be clear of scales and sludges if it were to perform its functions flawlessly and so are the pipings or tubings as well as capillaries. The pump must be run at full or maximum speed periodically (exercised) and the system flushed also periodically. The system will be trouble-free when this procedure is done without fail as scheduled. I see my heart, very similar to this pumping circuit. The old heart must be run like a horse on a regular basis, lest it becomes dormant and sick. Now I feel my heart will be good for another 20 or 25 more years before it quits beating.

     

    Thank you again Dr. Laman, for the very enlightening internet article.

     

    Rudy Martin

    • Charley T
      Jul. 14, 2010

      Hi Dr Laman and Rudy,

       

      To Rudy, I must agree with your description of the heart and the plumbing analogy.  I think even further (from my blue collar look on things) it's like this.  There is structure, electrical, and plumbing.  For myself I'm suspecting these palps I've been having may be due to staying in bed most of the day for many...

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      Hi Dr Laman and Rudy,

       

      To Rudy, I must agree with your description of the heart and the plumbing analogy.  I think even further (from my blue collar look on things) it's like this.  There is structure, electrical, and plumbing.  For myself I'm suspecting these palps I've been having may be due to staying in bed most of the day for many months as well as poor sleeping habits. 

       

      I too have recently had bouts of palpitations that have worried me as my father died at 46 from a heart attack, and I myself am now 42!  In the past few years I've had multiple tests done due to various random chest pain and all have come back clear =)  My last treadmill echo was in 2/09 and I passed with flying colors. 

       

      This past Sunday I had 3-4 episodes of palpitations at different times that lasted approximately 2 minutes each.  Needless to say that was freaky and not "normal" for me.  I've had the random irregularity every now and again however these were quite different and led me to an after hours appointment.  While at the Dr, they did an EKG and found I had a PVC and a PAC.  The EKG also "over-read" my heart and showed that I had a previous heart attack.  The doctor explained that this is common unfortunately and she put my mind at ease =)  Luckily I knew quite a bit about this as I read way too much online lol.  I remained calm as the doctor reinforced that these PVC's and PAC's are typically benign (meaning nothing serious), and I'm getting a Holter monitor today to investigate whether there is more to this or not. 

       

      Last night (Tuesday) I had another episode and it made me feel "slightly" light-headed yet it passed and I'm still alive.  Yay me! 

       

      To Dr. Laman or anyone else that can assist, provided my heart rate remains 60-100 bpm while these are occuring, should I relax and lean more towards these being relatively safe considering my last treadmill echo etc?  I've had no tachycardia while experiencing them and in fact in the evening while laying down for quite some time, I've noticed my pulse even going as low as 45 =/-.  That itself shocked me as I'm a smoker, fairly inactive, and usually high strung.  I'm not overweight and eat fairly good as well, though I'm a smoker (yes that will be stopping like ASAP). 

       

      Any input is welcome and thanks in advance!

       

      Charley T

    • Anonymous
      Rudy
      Jul. 14, 2010

      Hello Charley,

       

      Best of health to you.

       

      It appears to me you already have all the professional inputs you need concerning your condition except for the oddly slow pulse beat. There is one thing though, unless caused by drug prescription, the pulse rate normally slows down when you are at rest especially on waking from sleep. I guess you know this....

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      Hello Charley,

       

      Best of health to you.

       

      It appears to me you already have all the professional inputs you need concerning your condition except for the oddly slow pulse beat. There is one thing though, unless caused by drug prescription, the pulse rate normally slows down when you are at rest especially on waking from sleep. I guess you know this. I could not be more assuring than your health advisors, I wish I could, but I must say, and I mean no offense, that you are being overly conscious and sensitive to your heart (circulatory system for that matter).

       

      Come to think of it, your doctor(s) has already given you all the necessary advise. There is nothing else better that you can do. I'm not sure if you believe, just as I do, that any form of life (human or non-human) has its destiny. For example, a fish which by nature is very agile and vigilant of dangers is cruising pleasantly in the sea and yet all of a sudden is swallowed up by a predator; or caught in a fisherman's net or hook. There was nothing that fish could do to evade its destiny.

       

      You and your doctor(s) have done every conceivable and available means to care for your heart except evade your heart's destiny, and so have I and everybody else with similar condition.

       

      I don't anymore worry as much as you do. If I remember correctly, my first and last EKG was about 12 years ago.

       

      Enjoy your normal life and best regards,

       

      Rudy

    • Charley T
      Jul. 14, 2010

      Hi Rudy and thanks for the quick reply!

       

      No offense taken at all ;)  I'm for sure a bit of a worrier to put it mildly.  In fact I've been looking at this situation in a positive way.  If this hasn't caused an anxiety attack at this point, my techniques may actually be doing the trick finally. 

       

      I'll take a bit of my own...

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      Hi Rudy and thanks for the quick reply!

       

      No offense taken at all ;)  I'm for sure a bit of a worrier to put it mildly.  In fact I've been looking at this situation in a positive way.  If this hasn't caused an anxiety attack at this point, my techniques may actually be doing the trick finally. 

       

      I'll take a bit of my own advice out loud for others in order to help here in fact.  If you have any of these things: smoking, anxiety, stress, bad sleep habits, and all the other minor things that can cause palpitations, do NOT assume the worst!  Take it from me you're not alone and I guarantee you that the added stress over worrying will not be your friend at this time.  I'm not discounting the feeling and how spooky it may feel, but if your heart checks out fine as mine has so far, lets do ourselves a favor and believe we're ok!  Us worriers need to differentiate between possible and probable.

       

      Good point too Rudy on the destiny thing.  As my mom used to say, "when it's your time, it's your time."  In the meantime I will quit smoking (it can't be that hard if people do it everyday despite withdrawls), and I plan on living the life I have in a healthier way so I can "not" have to worry about things as much anymore.

       

      Be well everyone and stay positive!

       

      Charley

  • Anonymous
    Rudy Martin
    May. 26, 2010

    I thank the Almighty God for sending Dr. Kirk Laman to this big world, for without him, I would have beem scared stiff why my heart skips once in a while particularly towards the evening hours; and let me tell you I feel quite abnormal whenever this happens.

       My guess is my heart had been practically dormant over more than 5 years since I became...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    I thank the Almighty God for sending Dr. Kirk Laman to this big world, for without him, I would have beem scared stiff why my heart skips once in a while particularly towards the evening hours; and let me tell you I feel quite abnormal whenever this happens.

       My guess is my heart had been practically dormant over more than 5 years since I became unemployed (partially retired); I mean my heart has not been used in any physical exertions because I was too lazy to exercise. Besides, I had always philosophized that exercise was nothing but a waste of energy. Well, what I have begun doing now is do some straneous exercises: fast-paced walking in the park, bedroom free-hand exercises such as jugging, shadow boxing, twisting, bending, pushups, jumping, etc. a few minutes three or four times a week. Time of day is immaterial. I also have cut down on my fat intake. It has only been a few weeks now and I already feel my heart is responding positively. Pulse rate is quite fast, but I surely feel that this old heart is reviving itself to my younger days. My nasal passages used to be almost always congested during sleeping hours, so I had been using nasal spray for years (may be more than 5 years) as though I would not last a day without it. Now this nasal conjestion has disappeared and I have never used nasal spray for over two weeks now.

       I was an engineer by profession and I know plumbing and circulation systems. The circulating pump must be clear of scales and sludges if it were to perform its functions flawlessly and so are the pipings or tubings as well as capillaries. The pump must be run at full or maximum speed periodically (exercised) and the system flushed also periodically. The system will be trouble-free when this procedure is done without fail as scheduled. I see my heart, very similar to this pumping circuit. The old heart must be run like a horse on a regular basis, lest it becomes dormant and sick. Now I feel my heart will be good for another 20 or 25 more years before it quits beating.

     

    Thank you again Dr. Laman, for the very enlightening internet article.

     

    Rudy Martin

  • kristy
    May. 06, 2010

    i am just wanting to know what kind of heart condition is wachiebachie, i dont even know if its spelled right, i had a monitor on and that is what the results said i have, but im not understanding exactly what it is and means.

  • Jessica
    Mar. 25, 2010

    I have had this problem for years, but for the past four days my heart has continuously raced, slowed down and just stopped with a thump of starting back up again. I went to the ER and the doc had an EKG done, which told them nothing because they caught it between episodes. They sent me home with a 24 hour heart monitor and I will not have the results until the...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    I have had this problem for years, but for the past four days my heart has continuously raced, slowed down and just stopped with a thump of starting back up again. I went to the ER and the doc had an EKG done, which told them nothing because they caught it between episodes. They sent me home with a 24 hour heart monitor and I will not have the results until the first part of April. I am 38 and I am not ready to die yet. What would be making it do this all day long? It happens mainly when I am calm with no stress. Within a five minute period it will happen at least 15 times. Anybody know what I should do until I find out what my reaults are? Should I be teaching my 6 year old twins how to do CPR and compressions? Help.!!

    • Anonymous
      bre
      Apr. 30, 2010

      I just had that 24 hour heart monitor done two days ago and have the results.  Im a 27 year old pregnant women.  The doctor is having me see a cardiologist.  The problem is though very common and scary.  I would not worry yourself to much.  Mine happens to when i am sitting still i can almost feel my heart coming out of my chest. ...

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      I just had that 24 hour heart monitor done two days ago and have the results.  Im a 27 year old pregnant women.  The doctor is having me see a cardiologist.  The problem is though very common and scary.  I would not worry yourself to much.  Mine happens to when i am sitting still i can almost feel my heart coming out of my chest.  Calm yourself.  Im postive its fixable!  :)

  • Anonymous
    Coach G
    Nov. 05, 2009

    I had experienced this many years ago and thought it was odd so I decided to go to the doctor. I had multiple tests done (echo cardio gram to name a few) and they all came back normal. My doctor said it was a fairly common problem and not to worry that everything was normal. He also said that sometimes the heart doesn't beat with the normal thumps and sometimes...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    I had experienced this many years ago and thought it was odd so I decided to go to the doctor. I had multiple tests done (echo cardio gram to name a few) and they all came back normal. My doctor said it was a fairly common problem and not to worry that everything was normal. He also said that sometimes the heart doesn't beat with the normal thumps and sometimes it is a little off.

     

    I have been able to control instances of this when I control my breathing leading me to believe that this could be due to anxiety issues or just tense moments.

     

    My father also has had this same problem since childhood.

     

    I don't worry about it as much anymore but I plan to get a check up soon just to make sure everything is in order.

     

     

  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Oct. 28, 2009

    I really appreciate your explanation.

     

    I have experienced this for years, I noticed that the frequency would be related to stressful times when I was tired and often 4 -5 hours after my cardio exercises. I talked to a couple of doctors, had my heart monitored and did some testing, all the results came back normal. So no worries.

     

    I discussed...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    I really appreciate your explanation.

     

    I have experienced this for years, I noticed that the frequency would be related to stressful times when I was tired and often 4 -5 hours after my cardio exercises. I talked to a couple of doctors, had my heart monitored and did some testing, all the results came back normal. So no worries.

     

    I discussed it with my husband's cardiologist since it was still bothering me. He told me to add magnesium tablets on a daily basis. I did and did not experience arrythmia for years but also did only mild exercising like biking and walking only.

     

    I increased my cardio exercises last week, and added 10 min on the elliptical exerciser on top of my 10 min biking in the morning. I am 51 years old, overweight, have been all my life but otherwise healthy. Should I be worried?

  • Anonymous
    anu
    Aug. 21, 2009

    All that is said in the article is very informative, but it will be nice if we could get some indepth insight to the problems that lead to the conditon of a heart for a pacemaker.

     

    The primary signs to look for and lifestyle to avoid this problem.

    • Dr. Kirk Laman: Wholehearted Cardiologist
      Health Pro
      Sep. 01, 2009

      Hi:  Good idea. Perhaps in the future.

       

      take care,

       

      Dr. Kirk Laman

      www.drlaman.com