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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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What causes irregular heartbeat ?

I had a bit of a scare this morning and my heart was very irregular for about 2-3 minutes. I was admitted to hospital for a few hours for an ECG but everything turned out fine but not conclusive. I ve had slight murmurs now and again over the past few weeks but nothing like this morning and it scared me. I don t drink regularly, smoke, take drugs (aren t I boring?!) and eat pretty healthily and I m only 31. The doctors said they ve done tests for thyroid problems which will take a few days to come through and if not I may need medication to make my heartbeat regular. Just wondered if any professionals out there have any further advice on what will happen if it is my thyroid or ways to prevent it happening anymore? Many thanks. P.S. Thanks so far guys. I m feeling a bit more relaxed already! By the way my heart hasn t been fast, just the opposite. Felt like it wass missing a beat and fluttering like was struggling to beat properly but your advice so far makes me feel less abnormal! By the way I only drink one cup of coffee a day but my weakness is chocolate. Good incentive to diet I suppose!
Mon, 22 Feb 2010
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  User's Response
's  Response
I have had exactly the same thing. I am 34. I had to wear a 24 hour heart monitor but there was nothing wrong. The specialist explained to me in very simple terms that 99.9% of the time our heart beats and we are not aware of it beating. If we were, it would drive us crazy. The heart re-sets itself all the time without us knowing it but sometimes when it does re-set itself we notice it for the first time and understandably get scared. It is so normal you wouldn't believe it. All it is is that you are noticing it on occasions. Keep off caffeine as much as you can as this can exacerbate it. Go for the tests to put your mind at rest but I think you'll be just fine. I still get my symptoms and just accept it now instead of panicking (which is natural). It makes it go much quicker. Good luck.
  User's Response
Mellanie True Hills's  Response

If it's atrial fibrillation, which is the most common irregular heartbeat, you can learn more about it here:

You'll find causes and triggers, risk factors, why it can be a problem, and how it's treated.

While atrial fibrillation isn't as common in younger folks like yourself, those who "over-exercise"  can be more vulnerable to it. In addition, it often runs in families, and younger folks who have it may have other family members who have had it.

Good luck.

Mellanie True Hills
Atrial fibrillation survivor & founder of patient resource

  User's Response
laurie walker's  Response

m 31 about 4 years ago i had a asthma attack and then on came these irregular beats had stress test and all they said they cnt find no reason but latly they seem to get worse with short breaths, light headed, chest pain..just over all feelin yukie. they still tell me its no problem they can find but why is it gettin worse then?

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