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Flutters, long pauses in heartbeat. Tests, scans clear. Family history of heart problems. Suggestions?

I have been having heart flutters almost every day for past eight weeks. Some days I experience them at least 30- 40 times a day. When they happen I sometimes feel momentarily faint and light headed, although I have not fainted. I am only 37. My doctor took blood tests and found no deficiencies or thyroid problems. An ECG was done and showed my heart rate to be 58, but I do not feel fit at all as I do not really exercise much and often get out of breath just walking up the stairs. i feel very tired and low in energy too. My blood pressure was normal as is my weight. My doctor feels I am generally healthy, but noticed abnormalities on ECG report where the hear beats were normal and then there were long pauses for about 3/4 beats, then started normal. She said these long pauses could be why I feel these symptoms. She has referred me to wear a 24 hour heart monitor to check things out. I am concerned because I have family history of heart problems, my grandmother had a pacemaker and my mother has very high blood pressure. Do you have any advice? Thank you
Asked On : Tue, 30 Apr 2013
Answers:  1 Views:  39
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Cardiologist 's  Response
Dear patient,

Thank you for your health concerns. The symptoms are suggestive of an electrical problem of the heart, an arrhytmia, which needs to be characterized and labeled with a more prolonged study such as a Holter. There are many of these rhythms, including advanced heart blocks, symptomatic bradycardia and abnormal pauses that put you at risk for accidents mainly, and a pacemaker could be indicated if such abnormalities.

I am glad that you are following up with your physician, if you have worsening symptoms would strongly suggest accessing urgent/emergent care services.

Hope that is helpful, wish you the best health,

Dr Brenes-Salazar MD
Mayo Clinic MN
Answered: Wed, 1 May 2013
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