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What a skipped heart beat feels like and the dangers it can cause?

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I am wondering what a skipped heart beat feels like and the dangers it can cause? I get these very intense electrical sensations in my chest at night as Im about to fall asleep and it feels like my heart is skipping a beat. I dont know what a skipped heart beat is supposed to feel like, so im not sure if that is whats happening. Ive had a 24 hr holter and it came back fine. They are very frightening and the doctors cant seem to figure out whats going on. Everytime I am being monitored, I do not experience any symptoms. I also get fluttering feelings in my chest during the day. I am worried that these electrical sensations are going to stop my heart beat. Please help with any insight. Thank You
Posted Wed, 25 Jul 2012 in Heart Rate and Rhythm Disorders
Answered by Dr. Anil Grover 1 hour later
Hi there,
Thanks for writing in.
I am a cardiologist and read your question with diligence.

You have listened to mechanical clock beating tick tick tick and so on. Imagine yourself are hearing it in silent room with half concentration of its existence and other half reading a book. If one tick does not come after the perceived time that is skipped beat. Or one tick comes before time and there is pause longer than normal before the following tick that is also skipped beat. Human heart beats for about 72 times a minute meaning about 0000 (60x72x24) times in a day. It follows what is normal circadian rhythm of the body for example slower in night faster in day time. Also. as per of the body. When you run it beats faster. During this rhythmic run when it beats out of rhythm the condition is called arrhythmia. Well, arrhythmia, mostly benign, mostly physiological may be 1% of time that would translate to 1000 times a day. When we perceive it, we call it skipping of beat. Sensitive persons appreciate more, anxious persons appreciate more and relaxed happy go lucky type learn to ignore this normal phenomenon. In several studies it has been found arrhythmia is present in almost 90% of fetuses and neonates. Mostly benign. So, if you dont know how skipped beat feel like means what I explained above. XXXXXXX arrhythmia does occur, it is responsible for some patients of heart attack even not able to reach hospital. On EKG it manifests as conditions which need treatment in the form of drugs, pacemaker and at times intracardiac cardioverter defibrillpator. So, if one thinks of dangers only they are many but compared to prevalence of skipped beats in majority of population the proportion is small. If your HOLTER is fine that means you are not in the XXXXXXX group and unlikely to join that club for another 50 years!

Coming to fluttering feeling in your chest. Do they come like bolt from blue and after some time stop as abruptly they start. Or you get fluttering feeling when you are running or walking fast. Did you ever keep your hand over where the fluttering feeling is? Is there cat's purring feeling. If any of the question you want clarification please write back, I will answer the followup query. I was surprised at your worry of electrical sensations stopping heart. If you have studied physics then you will understand that the current at which heart operates is in 5-30 mili volts, it needs electrical energy of at least 50 joules on the chest to change its rhythm.

With Best Wishes.

Dr Anil Grover,
M.B.;B.S, M.D. (Internal Medicine) D.M.(Cardiology)
http://www/ WWW.WWWW.WW
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: What a skipped heart beat feels like and the dangers it can cause? 41 minutes later
The fluttering feelings come out of the blue. I do not experience them during exercise. They make me jump out of bed to check my pulse.

Also on a different note. When I inhale, my heart rate increases, and when I exhale, my heart beat pauses for a second and returns to its
Normal beat. This is separate from the fluttering/electrical feelings and happens on every breath. Is this normal?

Thank you
Answered by Dr. Anil Grover 14 minutes later

Hi there,

What happens to heart rate during fluttering feeling if it is normal and so is Holter, absolutely nothing to worry.

Change in heart rate during respiration is normal physiological phenomenon.

My personal feeling is that you and your heart is absolutely normal. You may close the query if you want with comments. It was pleasure interacting with you


With Best Wishes.

Dr Anil Grover,
M.B.;B.S, M.D. (Internal Medicine) D.M.(Cardiology)
http://www/ WWW.WWWW.WW
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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