Why Does My Heart Skip A Beat?

Question

Asked by Shanann75

Why Does My Heart Skip A Beat?

I can feel my heart skip beats, is this something I should be worried about?

Answer

I can understand how actually feeling your heart skip a beat can be worrisome. However, hearts skipping a beat -- which are called palpitations -- are rarely serious. Some heart conditions that result in skipped beats may be harmless.

By and large skipping of the heart, what is called palpitations, are rarely serious.   The vast majority of skipped heartbeats are something called premature atrial complexes or PAC'S.   These are early heartbeats that generally arise from the upper chambers (the atria) of the heart. PACs are also often paired with other medical conditions. While PACs themselves are rarely dangerous, they can kickstart Atrial Fibrillation.

Your skipping heart beat can also be due to a fast heartbeat called a tachycardia. Your heart may be beating so fast that you feel as though it is skipping beats. This could be caused by over-excitement, anxiety, or caffeine beverages.

Another type of skipped beat is a Premature Ventricular Complex or PVC.   PVCs arise from the lower chambers of the heart, the ventricles.   They may be found in normal people but are much more frequent in people with abnormalities of the heart.

By themselves PVCs are not dangerous, but they may indicate other types of medical illness: high blood pressure, damaged heart muscle, Valvular conditions, heart failure, electrolyte abnormalities, and other conditions.

In order to determine the root of your heart beat -- or lack thereof -- you'll want to visit your doctor and get an EKG.