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Skipping heart beats, fluttering, stopped after coughing, non smoker. Normal?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2009
Answered : 983 Questions
My heart skips a beat at least once or more everyday. It's caused by many things like exercise, dehydration, excessive work and caffeine. I stopped drinking caffeine 6 months ago and the symptoms have dropped heaps. But this morning I was laying in bed on my left side and when I breathed in my heart felt light and fluttery and when I breathed in it felt like it was grinding. It happened for the next few breaths and then stopped after I coughed. I'm 20 female and a non smoker or drinker but this heart thing has been going on for years and this morning it had me real scared. Is this normal?. I'm quite healthy otherwise and I'm a pilot too and I don't want problems up in the air.
Posted Mon, 17 Sep 2012 in Heart Rate and Rhythm Disorders
Answered by Dr. Aparna Kohli 4 hours later
Thanks for writing in and I do understand your concern.
Even though your symptoms could simply be caused by anxiety, I would want a EKG and probably a 24 hour Holter to be done to find out of something is wrong. This may be followed by an echocardiogram as well.
For the anxiety, XXXXXXX breathing exercises called pranayama, yoga and exercise can do you a world of good. Also, regular exercise, avoiding cigarettes, excessive alcohol and caffeine (as you already are) would really help.
It would be preferable to get an EKG during one of these episodes. It would be more accurate at diagnosing whats wrong.
Once you have the reports, we can discuss them further.
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