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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 18 years

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I have unusual heart beat episodes many times in a day. What it the reason?

I'm pretty healthy, and have never been diagnosed with heart problems. But I've had MANY episodes where, out of nowhere, my heart will beat extremely fast, ranging from 10 seconds to 20 minutes. It feels sort of like a butterfly feeling in my chest, and I get really dizzy and weak. And it doesn't slow down gradually, rather it stops abruptly and returns to a normal beat and my chest hurts. Sometimes it'll only happen once every few months, and sometimes it'll happen up to 20 times in one day (while vacationing in Florida, it was occurring many times a day). Sometimes it happens while I'm very active, sometimes it happens when I'm just sitting on the couch watching TV. I don't have insurance or the money to see a doctor or a specialist, so I'm hoping it's harmless. umm i'm 5'4, 115 lbs so it's not from being overweight.
Fri, 11 Dec 2009
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  User's Response
Hello, You are probably have a recurring heart arrhythmia which can be harmless or harmful depending on what type it is and what symptoms it produces. If you ever lose consciousness it is not a harmless arrhythmia and it warrants a specialist consultation. The only way to tell you for sure what arrhythmia it is is by doing an electrocardiogram which will monitor the electrical activity of your heart. Judging from your description you could just have atrial fibrillation in the "holiday heart syndrome". This syndrome manifests itself as unusual heart beat after stressful events, binge drinking or just dehydratation in an otherwise normal person. Remember if it truly atrial fibrillation, that is a DANGEROUS condition which can lead to the formation of blood clots with the following embolisms.
Disclaimer: These answers are for your information only and not intended to replace your relationship with your treating physician.
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