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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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My heart palpatations happen literally hundreds of times a day

My heart palpatations happen literally hundreds of times a day. Is this normal? In Summer 2002 I went to the doctor because I had started feeling a sinking feeling in my chest. At that time I didn t think it was my heart as it was more like when you take a breath in but have phlegm on your lungs. Anyway, the doctor said my heart could be doing an extra beat, everything sounded fine and I was probably stressed (I was in second year at universtiy).After that they seemed to go away for a while, then Autumn 2006 it flared up again and I went to the doctor where I now live. I was hooked up to a monitor for a couple of minutes, and they said the reading was a bit inconclusive but probably fine and I was probably stressed as I had just started a year s post grad degree. The symptoms have been there ever since, and I think the palpations are getting much more frequent. Also sometimes when it happens I then feel a kind of rushing sensation up to my head for a second. I ve always been afraid to take my own pulse in case my heart is stopping beating, but today I did as the feelings were coming over and over again. So I took the pusle in my neck and soon realised that my heart does skip a beat when I have these attacks. Last year the doctor said this is all normal and won t scar my heart, but as it seems more often I m getting really scared. But I don t want to go back to the doctor for him just to say yeah yeah, same as last time. But last time when I had the ECG thing I didn t have a palpatation while I was hooked up so I m worried there s something seriously wrong and it was overlooked. Does anyone have a valid opinion about what could be wrong? I m a teacher, but really enjoy it so don t feel like I m stressed out (but I didn t really feel stressed last year either when I went to the Dr.). My dad is pretty ill, so I admit I am a bit worried about him, and when I visited him in hospital every day for a week or so over Christmas my heart was palapatating loads. But then again these days it does that every day.
Sat, 12 Dec 2009
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You are having what is called premature ventricular contraction (PVC). You are not actually skipping heart beats, it is a form of irregular heartbeat in which the ventricle contracts prematurely. You need to inform your doctor about this and have him put you on a Holter monitor. You wear the monitor for 24 hours and it records your heart's activity (just like an EKG) and they can then tell what is going on. Usually, if it is of any concern, they will prescribe you a beta blocker of some kind or just try to balance your levels of magnesium, calcium and potassium and that will take care of the problem. Don't be too worried because everyone has thrown a PVC at one time or another and stress is a common cause. The only problem arises when you start having many PVC's in a row.
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