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Why am I experiencing skipped heartbeats?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2001
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For the past few weeks I have been experiencing irregular/skipped heartbeats. Sometimes I only feel this sensation a couple times, then it stops at other times i will feel 3 to 10 regular beats then a "lull" or skipped beat and then it will resume normal for a few minutes then skip again. Sometimes these episodes will last for hours and other times for a few minutes. During these episodes I have no other symptoms. I feel fine, no pain, no sweating, no breathlessness, no light headed/fainting feeling. Many times during these episodes I will belch and somehow I think this is associated w/esophagus or upper GI issues. I am 61 years old, female average weight for my height. I was a distance runner for 20 years until the age of 57. I can still climb a flight of stairs quickly w/no breathlessness or chest pain/pressure. My average blood pressure is 115/72 and average heart rate 60 - 70bpm. I was told when I was very young I had a heart murmurer but it isn't always audible when being checked. I take NO pharmaceutical drugs and no OTC drugs only vitamin supplements. B complex 2x's weekly B12 oral spray daily, Magnesium 500mg 2x's weekly, Krill oil, CoQ10 daily, D-mannose/cranberry concentrate daily. I eat only organic foods, organically raised meats and poultry and only wild fish/seafood. I eat next to NO processed foods. The skipped heartbeats sometimes go away for months at a time. I used to have them when I was in my 30s but they stopped for decades and seem to have come back now the past year or so. I do not have a family physician as I don't do well w/most doctors LOL, many seem distant and disinterested (sorry not judging) any advice? Thank-you.
Posted Tue, 4 Dec 2012 in Heart Rate and Rhythm Disorders
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 2 hours later
Hi, thanks for using healthcare magic

It sounds like an arrhythmia.
An arrhythmia is a condition in which the heart beats at an abnormal rate or abnormal rhythm.
Normally the 'electrical signal' that initiates a heart beat starts at one specific point in the heart, then travels down a specific pathway where it then splits to send a signal to different parts of the heart.
Arrhythmias occur if the signal is sent out too fast or slow, if the signal starts from a different point, if it travels along a different pathway or if a blockage exists in any part of the normal path.

There are a number of different causes such as : electrolyte imbalance, high levels of thyroid hormone, medication (however you stated that you were on no medication), heart failure or abnormal heart valve,blockage of any of the blood vessels of the heart,lung disease.
Arrhythmias are classified into different types and treatment varies according to the classification.

I know that you stated that you've had difficulty with doctors but the only way to diagnose the type of arrhythmia is to visit a doctor who should take a thorough history and examine you.
Normally investigations are required including blood tests to rule out electrolyte disturbances or hormonal issues. Iin addition an ECG will be requested , if the ECG does not demonstrate any abnormalities then a holter , which is basically a 24 hr ECG will be done.
It is important to figure out the type of arrhythmias because treatment and prognosis varies.

I hope that you find a patient centered doctor

I hope this answers your question, feel free to ask any other questions
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